How do I unlock or delete an AWS S3 bucket that inadvertently locked with a bucket policy?


I am the AWS account owner, admin (both IAM and root password – not recommended I know, but have some legacy apps that depend on root pw). I recently added a bucket policy which has subsequently rendered the bucket locked an inaccessible to me:

I’ve tried both the CLI and the AWS S3 console, but only receive the error: Sorry! You do not have permissions to view this bucket.

It’s a small relief that this bucket is completely empty, but I need to use this particular name and am stuck as I cannot do anything with it.

I’m hoping I’m not the only one who has experienced this dilemma.

(P.S. – I’d post the EXACT bucket policy I used, but I created it using the console and, if I entered some part of it incorrectly as I suspect, I can’t get at it to copy/paste it here for you…)

Kind regards, Jeff.


Directly from AWS support:


G** here with AWS Support. I understand that your bucket policy for S3
bucket ‘s3-bucket-name’ prevents access, or removal of bucket. There
are a couple of ways you can delete the bucket policy as follows and
then delete the bucket itself:

  1. Log into the AWS S3 Console with root credentials. Please note that the root account is different than an account with ‘Administrator
    Access’ [1]. The root account should have access to modify/delete this
    bucket policy. Unfortunately, I have noticed that this is a fickle
    option which only works sometimes. OR
  2. (Option works all of the time) Delete bucket policy through AWS cli as follows (Linux and Windows options):

Via Linux: $ export AWS_DEFAULT_REGION= us-east-1 $ export
delete-bucket-policy –bucket s3-bucket-name

Via Windows: set AWS_DEFAULT_REGION= us-east-1 set
AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=”ROOT_SECRET_KEY” aws s3api delete-bucket-policy
–bucket s3-bucket-name

If so, could you please provide the output for the following after
setting up your root account credentials: $ aws s3api
delete-bucket-policy –bucket s3-bucket-name –debug

Note that these are both using root account credentials. Please
attempt these methods and let me know if you have any issue. I hope
this information was helpful. Please feel free to reach out to me with
any additional questions or concerns.

[1] Root Account vs IAM User –

Best regards, G**

Option 2 worked for me.


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