What is the difference between Buckets and Folders in Amazon S3 ? Is such a thing like Folder exist in Amazon S3 ? or only the S3 clients present Folders to us for better handling ?

3 Answers 3


Directories don't actually exist within S3 buckets. The entire file structure is actually just one flat single-level container of files.

The illusion of directories are actually created based on naming the files names like dirA/dirB/file.

Certain S3 tools (Firefox S3 organizer, s3fs, etc.) have taken the extra step of introducing proprietary metadata files to simulate directory nodes for usage in making the tool operate more intuitively.

But the bottom line is there are no real sub-directories in a bucket.


Either you create empty directory file "dirA/" or not, amazon s3 gives you common prefixes, which is the list of strings delimited by "/" if you want to get directory list for the prefix

To see the difference see the folder view and file view in Bucket Explorer or try its search feature will make you more understand about its response.

I am one of the developer from Bucket Explorer Team


There is no folder concept in S3, it only has bucket and key. Their tool is just so nice that interpret the key in to folder like structure.

For example in foo bucket, A/b/c and A/b/d are two distinct keys sharing only the bucket in common

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