AWS S3 Sync Vs CP
AWS S3 Sync Vs CP

AWS S3 Sync Vs CP | What Is Difference Between Them (2023)

Check AWS S3 Sync Vs CP, the distinction between the sync and cp commands is only sometimes apparent. There needs to be more clarity among developers since the explanations for these commands are remarkably similar.

The document outlines the major differences between the two guidelines.

AWS S3 Sync Vs CP


  • CP The program copies all files regardless of whether they exist already in the directory you want to copy them to.
  • CP It is not allowed to delete files within the destination folder, even though those items have already been deleted from the source folder.


  • Sync It will only copy newly created or modified files from your original folder. Before copying files, Sync will test the destination folder.
  • –delete flag allows files to be removed from the destination folder, however, not from the original. If a file still needs to be updated, it will be checked by Sync for the size of the file and its most recently modified date. The contents of files aren’t compared using Sync.

Comparison Area Of (AWS S3 Sync Vs CP)


S3 CP – Files must be copied to the new location. This will duplicate the existing file from the original location without checking whether it exists. Even if the file is not present in the original place, the file will be in the new location.

S3 sync – The program will determine if the document is already present in this new address. Only if the file can’t be found and has been altered since last modified at the location of origin will this operation copy the file and then update it. Removing files that aren’t at the source location is a different option.


S3 CP – It will create a new file and read each file from the original location.

S3 sync – It will examine the new location and replace the file in the original location if it has been created or updated (based on the file’s size and time stamp).

From a perspective of operation, it is much more efficient because it can reduce time and effort by avoiding duplicated files that exist from the origin and destinations.

Use Case

S3 CP – If we require copying a few files from one location to the destination and don’t need them to be in the same order, then we can utilize the cp command.

S3 sync – If the files and folders are required to be the same between the location of origin and the new location using sync.

AWS Sync Vs CP Examples

In this article, we’ll show how the commands for cp and sync look. We’ll also give more comprehensive demonstrations of both the cp command and sync command here.

It would help if you referred to your AWS documentation to confirm that you are running the most current version of AWS CLI.


  1. # Recursively move all of the files from one folder to another
  2. aws s3 cp s3://my-bucket-old/folder s3://my-bucket-new/folder  –recursive
  3. # Sync the 2 locations while removing files that does not exist in source location
  4. aws s3 sync s3://my-bucket-old/folder s3://my-bucket-new/folder –delete

Other Related Articles


In this article, we discuss AWS S3 Sync Vs CP. While it might appear to be superior to the cp command, the be used depends on the scenario. Utilize cp to copy smaller amounts of files. If it’s required for both locations to remain in the exact location using sync, we’ll do so.


Does AWS S3 sync faster than CP?

The sync process will be slower the bigger the S3cli bucket.

What is the difference between aws s3 cp and aws Sync?

No matter if the file is inside the local directories or not, no matter where it’s located, the “cp” command downloads it. The “sync” transfers to the local folder any files that are updated or are not yet downloaded.

What does aws S3 Sync do?

It is a simple method of synchronizing S3 directories and prefixes.

Does aws S3 sync replace files?

If the option to version is turned on If versioning is enabled, existing files will be deleted or replaced as a brand new version.1

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