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How to copy data from one S3 Bucket to another

How to copy data from one S3 Bucket to another

In the ever-evolving landscape of cloud computing, transferring data efficiently between storage services like Amazon AWS S3 buckets has become a common necessity. As a macOS user, I’ve discovered several methods to streamline this process, ensuring quick and secure data transfer. In this article, I will share the invaluable techniques I have used, with an emphasis on the convenience of using the Commander One application, known for its friendly user interface.


Common Scenarios:

Frequent Backup Transfers

  • Moving data as part of a backup strategy, to ensure high availability and disaster recovery.
  • Syncing data between S3 buckets situated in different geographical locations for lower latency access.
  • Updating content in a content delivery network (CDN) or hosting static websites.

Consolidating Resources

  • Transferring data to a central S3 bucket to consolidate resources and reduce costs.
  • Archiving data from multiple buckets to a single archive bucket for better management and compliance with retention policies.

Data Migration and Transformation

  • Migrating data to a new AWS account or as part of an organizational restructuring.
  • Applying transformation to the data (like format conversion) during the transfer process.

Step-by-Step Guide. Aws S3 Copy From One Bucket To Another:

Method 1: AWS Management Console

  • Log into the AWS Management Console and navigate to the S3 section.
  • Select the source bucket, mark the files or folders you want to transfer, and then choose

    Method 2: AWS Command Line Interface (CLI)

    • Install the AWS CLI on your macOS device by following the official AWS guide.
    • Configure the AWS CLI with your AWS credentials using aws configure
    • Use the aws s3 cp command to copy data from the source bucket to the destination bucket with the –recursive flag for directories.

    Note: Ensure you have the necessary permissions to access both the source and destination buckets.

    Conclusion: The AWS CLI is a powerful tool for scripting and automation of data transfers between S3 buckets.

    Method 3: Amazon S3 Transfer Acceleration

    • Enable S3 Transfer Acceleration on the destination bucket for faster data transfer.
    • Use either the AWS Management Console or AWS CLI to initiate the transfer, ensuring that the acceleration endpoint is specified.

    Note: Additional costs may apply when using S3 Transfer Acceleration.

    Conclusion: This method is ideal for transferring large data sets over long distances quickly.

    Method 4: AWS S3 Cross-Region Replication (CRR)

    • Set up CRR by going into your bucket’s Management settings and configuring the replication rules.
    • Ensure that both the source and destination buckets have versioning enabled.
    • Choose whether to replicate all or just a portion of the objects in the source bucket.

    Note: CRR is suitable for automatically copying objects across buckets in different regions.

    Conclusion: This method is effective for maintaining data redundancy and availability in multiple regions.

    Method 5: S3 Batch Operations

    • Create a job for replicating objects using S3 Batch Operations in the AWS Management Console.
    • Decide the scope of the job by selecting specific objects or an entire manifest of objects to transfer.
    • Monitor the job’s progress and receive completion notifications.

    Note: This approach is scalable and handles large-scale operations across buckets.

    Conclusion: S3 Batch Operations streamline the management process when dealing with bulk transfer between buckets.

    Method 6: Commander One for macOS

    • Download and install Commander One app for macOS.
    • Connect both the source and destination S3 buckets within the app using your AWS credentials.
    • Use the dual-pane interface to easily drag and drop files and folders between the connected buckets.
    • Take advantage of the app’s background queue feature, which manages simultaneous transfer operations effectively.

    Note: Commander One offers a friendly UI that simplifies the transfer process and has additional features such as archive management, advanced search, and more.

    Conclusion: For macOS users, Commander One is an excellent third-party app choice for managing and transferring data between S3 buckets with ease even when uploading large files.


Precautions and Tips:

Streamlined Operations

  • Ensure consistent upload speeds by testing different AWS regions to find the one that offers the best latency for your needs.
  • Consider using data transfer automation tools to schedule and manage recurring data transfers without manual intervention.
  • Always monitor costs as some data transfers may incur higher fees depending on various factors such as region and transfer method.

Additional Insights

The ability to move data efficiently between S3 buckets is crucial for various use cases such as data backup, content distribution, and more. Knowing the right tools and methods can save you significant time and money. Services like Amazon S3 provide robust APIs that enable a wide range of operations. One can use these services directly or via third-party applications like Commander One, which facilitate a user-friendly experience.

When performing transfers, it’s essential to understand the pricing implications of different methods. For instance, while using S3 Transfer Acceleration might be faster, it can be more expensive compared to standard transfers. AWS provides a detailed pricing guide to help estimate the costs associated with S3 operations. It’s beneficial to use the AWS Pricing Calculator to predict your monthly expenses.

Security is another aspect not to overlook. Before initiating a transfer, make sure your S3 buckets are properly secured. Implement fine-grained access controls through AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies and secure your data in transit and at rest using encryption mechanisms provided by AWS S3.

For macOS users, Commander One is a valuable addition to your toolset due to its comprehensive features. It not only simplifies S3 data transfers but integrates smoothly with other cloud services and network servers, consolidating file management operations into a single application.

Transferring S3 data can be a complex task, especially at scale, but by leveraging suitable strategies and tools, organizations can enhance their data mobility and management capabilities. It’s always recommended to stay updated with AWS’s best practices and services updates to utilize the full potential of cloud storage services like S3.


To conclude, transferring data between Amazon AWS S3 buckets can be handled in various effective ways. Whether through the AWS Management Console, using the AWS CLI, enabling S3 Transfer Acceleration, setting up Cross-Region Replication, utilizing S3 Batch Operations, or deploying third-party applications like Commander One for macOS, each method serves unique needs and scenarios. As a macOS user, Commander One particularly stands out for its user-friendly interface, making it a choice worth considering. By following the methods outlined in this article and ensuring appropriate security and cost-management measures, you can optimize your data transfer tasks and maintain a robust cloud-based data management system.


Yes, you can utilize the AWS Management Console, CLI, or SDKs to replicate the entire contents from one S3 bucket to another within the same region.

Indeed, AWS supports cross-region replication, allowing you to copy S3 buckets to different regions via the bucket's management settings or using the CLI.

The aws s3 cp command followed by the source and destination bucket paths is used to copy files between S3 buckets using the AWS CLI.

By including the --acl bucket-owner-full-control flag in your copy command, you can preserve the permissions and metadata of S3 objects during the copy process.

Yes, by enabling bucket versioning and using the sync command in AWS CLI, only new or modified files can be copied between S3 buckets.

No, you can copy content from one S3 bucket to another without interruption. S3 allows concurrent read and write operations.

Copying data between S3 buckets may incur costs for data transfer, requests, and storage, especially if the buckets are in different regions. Review the S3 pricing page for details.

Yes, you can automate the process using AWS Lambda functions triggered by S3 events or by setting up Amazon S3 Batch Operations.

Use the ETag comparison for individual files or enable S3 Inventory reports to check the consistency of data in both the source and destination buckets.

Yes, during the copy operation, you can specify filters using the --include and --exclude parameters in the AWS CLI to copy objects that match certain patterns.