check if a key exists in a bucket in s3 using boto3

I would like to know if a key exists in boto3. I can loop the bucket contents and check the key if it matches.

But that seems longer and an overkill. Boto3 official docs explicitly state how to do this.

May be I am missing the obvious. Can anybody point me how I can achieve this.


Boto 2's boto.s3.key.Key object used to have an exists method that checked if the key existed on S3 by doing a HEAD request and looking at the the result, but it seems that that no longer exists. You have to do it yourself:

import boto3
import botocore

s3 = boto3.resource('s3')
exists = False

    s3.Object('my-bucket', 'dootdoot.jpg').load()
except botocore.exceptions.ClientError as e:
    if e.response['Error']['Code'] == "404":
        exists = False
    exists = True


That should print True if the key exists and False otherwise. load() does a HEAD request for a single key, so it should be relatively quick.

Of course, you might be checking if the object exists because you're planning on using it. If that is the case, you can just forget about the load() and do a get() directly, then handle the error case there.

I'm not a big fan of using exceptions for control flow. This is an alternative approach that works in boto3:

import boto3

s3 = boto3.resource('s3')
bucket = s3.Bucket('my-bucket')
key = 'dootdoot.jpg'
objs = list(bucket.objects.filter(Prefix=key))
if len(objs) > 0 and objs[0].key == key:
    print("Doesn't exist")

The easiest way I found (and probably the most efficient) is this:

import boto3
from botocore.errorfactory import ClientError

s3 = boto3.client('s3', aws_access_key_id='aws_key', aws_secret_access_key='aws_secret')
    s3.head_object(Bucket='bucket_name', Key='file_path')
except ClientError:
    # Not found

In Boto3, if you're checking for either a folder (prefix) or a file using list_objects. You can use the existence of 'Contents' in the response dict as a check for whether the object exists. It's another way to avoid the try/except catches as @EvilPuppetMaster suggests

import boto3
client = boto3.client('s3')
results = client.list_objects(Bucket='my-bucket', Prefix='dootdoot.jpg')
return 'Contents' in results

Not only client but bucket too:

import boto3
import botocore
bucket = boto3.resource('s3', region_name='eu-west-1').Bucket('my-bucket')

except botocore.exceptions.ClientError as ex:
  if ex.response['Error']['Code'] == 'NoSuchKey':

If you have less than 1000 in a directory or bucket you can get set of them and after check if such key in this set:

files_in_dir = {d['Key'].split('/')[-1] for d in s3_client.list_objects_v2(
Prefix='my/dir').get('Contents') or []}

Such code works even if my/dir is not exists.

Check out


Check to see if a particular key exists within the bucket. This method uses a HEAD request to check for the existence of the key. Returns: An instance of a Key object or None

from Boto S3 Docs

You can just call bucket.get_key(keyname) and check if the returned object is None.


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