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Removing files on Google Cloud Storage using Python

Cloud Computing
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Google Cloud Platform
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Cloud Storage
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Python client library
schedule Jul 1, 2022
Last updated
local_offer Cloud Computing
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Prerequisites

To follow along with this guide, please make sure to have:

  • created a service account and downloaded the private key (JSON file) for authentication (please check out my detailed guide)

  • installed the Python client library for Google Cloud Storage:

    pip install --upgrade google-cloud-storage

Removing a single file on Google Cloud Storage

Suppose we have a file called cat.png on Google Cloud Storage (GCS) at the root level. To remove this file on GCS, call blob.delete():

from google.cloud import storage
# Authorize ourselves using the private key of the service account
path_to_private_key = './gcs-project-354207-099ef6796af6.json'
client = storage.Client.from_service_account_json(json_credentials_path=path_to_private_key)

bucket = storage.Bucket(client, 'example-bucket-skytowner')
blob = bucket.blob('cat.png')
blob.delete()

Equivalently, we can delete a blob using the delete_blob(~) method of the bucket:

bucket = storage.Bucket(client, 'example-bucket-skytowner')
bucket.delete_blob('cat.png')
WARNING

A delete operation is irreversible, so be cautious when deleting files!

Handling case when file does not exist

Note that if the specified file does not exist, then an error will be thrown:

blob = bucket.blob('non_existing_file.png')
blob.delete()
NotFound: 404 DELETE https://storage.googleapis.com/storage/v1/b/example-bucket-skytowner/o/non_existing_file.png?prettyPrint=false:
No such object: example-bucket-skytowner/non_existing_file.png

You can handle this NotFound error by using the try-except clause:

from google.cloud.exceptions import NotFound

try:
blob = bucket.blob('non_existing_file.png')
blob.delete()
except NotFound:
print(f'🚨 {blob.name} does not exist - do something')
🚨 non_existing_file.png does not exist - do something

Notice how we had to import Google Cloud's NotFound exception here.

Removing multiple files on Google Cloud Storage

There is no way to remove multiple files in one go. Instead, we must iteratively call blob.delete().

Suppose we have two files called cat.png and sample.txt on GCS at the root level. To remove these files, we iteratively call blob.delete() for each blob item:

from google.cloud import storage
path_to_private_key = './gcs-project-354207-099ef6796af6.json'
client = storage.Client.from_service_account_json(json_credentials_path=path_to_private_key)

bucket = storage.Bucket(client, 'example-bucket-skytowner')
str_files_to_delete_on_gcs = ['cat.png', 'sample.txt']
for str_file in str_files_to_delete_on_gcs:
blob = bucket.blob(str_file)
blob.delete()

Removing a folder on Google Cloud Storage

Suppose we have a folder called my_folder that holds two files:

📁 my_folder
├─ cat.png
├─ sample.txt

There is no direct method to remove a folder on GCS. We must first fetch all the files belonging to a folder using the list_blobs() method with the prefix argument, and then delete them iteratively:

from google.cloud import storage
path_to_private_key = './gcs-project-354207-099ef6796af6.json'
client = storage.Client.from_service_account_json(json_credentials_path=path_to_private_key)

blobs = bucket.list_blobs(prefix='my_folder/')
for blob in blobs:
print(f'Deleting file {blob.name}')
blob.delete()
Deleting file my_folder/
Deleting file my_folder/cat.png
Deleting file my_folder/uploaded_sample.txt

Here, we are deleting the folder blob as well as all the blobs (files) within the folder individually.

Alternatively, one could delete the blobs using the Bucket.delete_blobs(~) method:

from google.cloud import storage
path_to_private_key = './gcs-project-354207-099ef6796af6.json'
client = storage.Client.from_service_account_json(json_credentials_path=path_to_private_key)

blobs = bucket.list_blobs(prefix='my_folder/')
bucket.delete_blobs(blobs)

Note that the delete_blobs(blobs) does not perform deletion in a bulk - this method simply calls the delete_blob(~) method iteratively.

Removing all files on Google Cloud Storage

To remove all files on GCS, first use the list_blobs(~) method to get a reference to all the blobs (files) available in the GCS bucket. We then iteratively delete them one by one using blob.delete():

from google.cloud import storage
path_to_private_key = './gcs-project-354207-099ef6796af6.json'
client = storage.Client.from_service_account_json(json_credentials_path=path_to_private_key)

blobs = client.list_blobs('example-bucket-skytowner')
for blob in blobs:
print(f'Deleting file {blob.name}')
blob.delete()
Deleting file cat.png
Deleting file uploaded_sample.txt
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Published by Isshin Inada
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