How to download files via PowerShell (Start-BitsTransfer)

To download files from the Internet you can use the graphical interface or a command from the PowerShell module BitsTransfer. In this blog post, I show how to download files with Windows PowerShell.

The Module BitsTransfer

In order to download files we need the Cmdlet Start-BitsTransfer that can be found by exploring the commands of the Module.

Get-Command -Module BitsTransfer


Downloading Files via PowerShell

Well, all we have to do is to provide an URL. For example, I would like to download and watch a Video from Technet about Windows Azure. The downloaded file should be saved in my Home Directory. So, I run

Start-BitsTransfer "http://video.ch9.ms/ch9/3202/b43a9daa-b0e7-4591-b1b9-14a4ab503202/AzureFridayEventGridBanisadr20170814_high.mp4" -Destination $Home


Watching the Video via PowerShell

Once downloaded open the file with Invoke-Item.

Invoke-Item $Home\AzureFridayEventGridBanisadr20170814_high.mp4


Downloading large files in Asynchronous Mode

If you are thinking about downloading large files you can do this without interrupting your work. The download then starts in the background. The good news are, that the download will even continue if you quit PowerShell. When you shut down your computer, the download will resume automatically after the next startup.


Start-BitsTransfer "http://video.ch9.ms/ch9/3202/b43a9daa-b0e7-4591-b1b9-14a4ab503202/AzureFridayEventGridBanisadr20170814_mid.mp4" -Destination $Home -Asynchronous


To check the status of the download run



Important Note: To open the downloaded file, you have to complete the transfer.

Get-BitsTransfer | Complete-BitsTransfer

Once completed check your directory to find the file.

Get-ChildItem $Home -Filter *.mp4


Categories: PowerShell

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2 replies »

  1. How can I download a file from an HTTPS that needs a user name and password for the site. I do not want to type the username and password each time.


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