Choosing an internal stage for local files

A stage specifies where data files are stored (i.e. “staged”) so that the data in the files can be loaded into a table.

Types of internal stages

Snowflake supports the following types of internal stages:

  • User

  • Table

  • Named

By default, each user and table in Snowflake is automatically allocated an internal stage for staging data files to be loaded. In addition, you can create named internal stages.

File staging information is required during both steps in the data loading process:

  1. You must specify an internal stage in the PUT command when uploading files to Snowflake.

  2. You must specify the same stage in the COPY INTO <table> command when loading data into a table from the staged files.

Consider the best type of stage for specific data files. Each option provides benefits and potential drawbacks.

User stages

Each user has a Snowflake stage allocated to them by default for storing files. This stage is a convenient option if your files will only be accessed by a single user, but need to be copied into multiple tables.

User stages have the following characteristics and limitations:

  • User stages are referenced using @~; e.g. use LIST @~ to list the files in a user stage.

  • Unlike named stages, user stages cannot be altered or dropped.

  • User stages do not support setting file format options. Instead, you must specify file format and copy options as part of the COPY INTO <table> command.

This option is not appropriate if:

  • Multiple users require access to the files.

  • The current user does not have INSERT privileges on the tables the data will be loaded into.

Table stages


Iceberg tables don’t support table stages.

By default, each table has a Snowflake stage allocated to it for storing files. This stage is called a table stage.

You might use a table stage if you only need to copy files into a single table, but want to make the files accessible to multiple users.

Table stages have the following characteristics and limitations:

  • A table stage has the same name as the table. For example, a table named mytable has a stage referenced as @%mytable.

  • A table stage is an implicit stage tied to a table object. It’s not a separate database object. As a result, a table stage has no grantable privileges of its own. A table stage is also not appropriate if you need to copy file data into multiple tables.

  • To stage files on a table stage, list the files, query the files, or drop them, you must be the table owner (have the role with the OWNERSHIP privilege on the table).

  • Unlike a named stage, you can’t alter or drop a table stage.

  • Table stages don’t support transforming data while loading it (using a query as the source for the COPY command).

Named stages

Named stages are database objects that provide the greatest degree of flexibility for data loading:

  • Users with the appropriate privileges on the stage can load data into any table.

  • Because the stage is a database object, the security/access rules that apply to all objects apply. The privileges to use a stage can be granted or revoked from roles. In addition, ownership of the stage can be transferred to another role.

If you plan to stage data files that will be loaded only by you, or will be loaded only into a single table, then you may prefer to simply use either your user stage or the stage for the table into which you will be loading data.

Named stages are optional but recommended when you plan regular data loads that could involve multiple users and/or tables. For instructions on creating a named stage, see Creating a Named Stage below.

Creating a named stage

You can create a named internal stage using SQL or the web interface.


To create an internal stage, you must use a role that is granted or inherits the necessary privileges. For details, see Access control requirements for CREATE STAGE.

Create a named stage using SQL

Use the CREATE STAGE command to create a named stage using SQL.

The following example creates an internal stage that uses server-side encryption:

CREATE STAGE my_int_stage

Create a named stage using Snowsight

To use Snowsight to create a named internal stage, do the following:

  1. Sign in to Snowsight.

  2. In the navigation menu, select Create » Stage » Snowflake Managed.

  3. In the Create Stage dialog, enter a Stage Name.

  4. Select the database and schema where you want to create a stage.

  5. Optionally deselect Directory table. Directory tables let you see files on the stage, but require a warehouse and thus incur a cost. You can choose to deselect this option for now and enable a directory table later.

  6. Select the type of Encryption supported for all files on your stage. For details, see encryption for internal stages. You cannot change the encryption type after you create the stage.


    To enable data access, we recommend that you select server-side encryption. Otherwise, staged files are client-side encrypted by default and unreadable when downloaded. For more information, see Server-side encryption for unstructured data access.

  7. Complete the fields to describe your stage. For more information, refer to CREATE STAGE.

  8. Select Create.

Create a named stage using Classic Console

Select Databases Databases tab » <db_name> » Stages.

Next: Staging data files from a local file system