Is there a Wget or cURL type command line utility native to Windows Vista? How does it work?

  • Even Microsoft distributes wget.exe in the IIS Administration Pack.
    – paradroid
    Jun 20, 2011 at 19:41
  • Duplicates the mis-titled "DOS Downloaders / Downloads Managers (e.g. WGET) any more?".
    – JdeBP
    Jun 21, 2011 at 10:59
  • 1
    Using curl just for downloading things is like using vim just for the regex feature and then saying a question about vim is a duplicate to a question about regexes. Yes downloading data files is a huge part of HTTP but it's not its main purpose.
    – erikbstack
    Sep 19, 2015 at 17:04
  • October 2017 with Windows 8.1: wget and curl are included in PowerShell, as shown here: stackoverflow.com/questions/33364752/…
    – SDsolar
    Oct 14, 2017 at 7:52
  • No, *nix versions of wget and curl are not included in PowerShell. The PowerShell Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet is aliased as both wget and curl. It works similarly for very basic requests, but has substantially different parameters.
    – Mashmagar
    Jul 16, 2018 at 13:25

9 Answers 9


Native to Windows (comes preinstalled and depends on the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) Windows service):


It can do what Wget does, and probably more (you can control an ongoing job via API-like commands - for example you can get the status speed and cancel if it is too slow).

Example usage from my own experience (you can do parallel downloads in the same .bat, or do sequential downloads in the same job):

bitsadmin /create thisissomejobname

bitsadmin /addfile thisissomejobname http://kakao.ro/Pictures.iso C:\john_pictures.iso

bitsadmin /SetCredentials thisissomejobname Server BASIC somehttpuser somehttppassword

bitsadmin /resume thisissomejobname

REM how to get status:
bitsadmin /info thisissomejobname

Note: It works on Windows XP, 7, 8 & 10 (tested on Windows 10 Pro). On Windows XP it must be installed manually from the SP2 Support Tools.

On the latest Windows 10 the deprecation warning is gone, so it looks like this useful tool is here to stay.

  • 2
    check out /SetNotifyCmdLine option if you need to use this command sequentially in a .bat
    – oxygen
    Oct 26, 2011 at 12:49
  • 5
    Running bitsadmin under Windows 7 displays the following warning: BITSAdmin is deprecated and is not guaranteed to be available in future versions of Windows. Administrative tools for the BITS service are now provided by BITS PowerShell cmdlets. Users beware.
    – yop83
    May 31, 2012 at 17:36
  • "Administrative tools for the BITS service are now provided by BITS PowerShell cmdlets." Nothing much to be beware of. Only the BITS client is deprecated, while the BITS service will remain. It will be accessible with another, similar in functionality, client (PowerShell will come preinstalled with future versions of Windows).
    – oxygen
    May 31, 2012 at 20:28
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    This looks like the alternative to a download manager, not to a HTTP request crafter, doesn't it?
    – erikbstack
    Sep 19, 2015 at 17:05
  • 1
    Nice, but it doesn't seem to be able to call SOAP web services, like Curl can...
    – DAB
    Feb 6, 2020 at 8:35

PowerShell v3 CTP1 comes with a command like wget/curl. It's called Invoke-WebRequest. To learn more, you can visit the post Windows Powershell V3 includes command like wget/curl.


I often use PowerShell for simple things, like WebClient's DownloadString:

$wc = New-Object Net.WebClient

Or DownloadFile if you want something downloaded like wget does and package that off into a function. Of course, this is very rough and won't have any of the niceties like resumable downloads and similar.

  • Using DownloadFile. it worked when I tried it (PowerShell 2.0): $wc.DownloadFile('http://traffic.libsyn.com/makingembeddedsystems/embedded-ep149.mp3', 'EmbeddedFm_149.mp3'). However, there is no progress information duríng the download. Apr 29, 2016 at 16:26
  • @PeterMortensen: Of course not. It's just a .NET object. You can attach an event handler to DownloadProgressChanged, though. But I guess then you'll also need to use the async variants of the methods.
    – Joey
    Apr 29, 2016 at 16:34

It seems you only need to download an alternative browser. You can use this command to download Mozilla Firefox with the command prompt:

explorer.exe http://releases.mozilla.org/pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/6.0.2/win32/en-US/Firefox%20Setup%206.0.2.exe

This also launches Internet Explorer, but only with a basic feature set. This should work even if Internet Explorer is broken (in most cases).

You can also use the FTP command. Type the following into the command prompt commands:

  1. Type FTP - Which opens the FTP client
  2. Type open ftp.mozilla.org - Which connects to Mozilla-FTP
  3. Just login as Anonymous and use an empty password.
  4. Type cd /pub/mozilla.org/firefox/releases/4.0.1/win32/en-US/ -To change the directory
  5. Type recv "Firefox Setup 4.0.1.exe" - To download the Firefox installer. The file is located in the current folder of the command prompt. (usually your Profile folder)
  6. Type bye to close the FTP client
  7. Type exit to close the command prompt.
  • 3
    Nice answer, but completely unrelated to the question asked.
    – Antimony
    Aug 14, 2014 at 6:09
  • 4
    Um. Seems both topical and an example of using explorer.exe as an alternative. Jan 14, 2015 at 17:40
  • First way error Unable to launch Microsoft Edge. while it is not installed, Second way will freeze after open command
    – a55
    Dec 20, 2021 at 19:26

There is no Wget alternative really. You can use Wget for Windows and assign the path in your environment variables to get it working how you want.

  • 1
    The problem is, the person I'm working with is getting a browser freeze on launch, and they have no access to another computer.
    – Jordan
    Jun 20, 2011 at 19:48
  • 2
    If they're running through ethernet, get them to boot into safe mode with networking? Jun 20, 2011 at 19:56

Native cURL for Windows is available here. There are many flavors available- with SSL support, without SSL support. You don't need the extra baggage of Cygwin and the likes, just one small EXE file.


I'd just use Cygwin and install the wanted libraries... I have always done that...

In the past, I searched for alternatives, yes. But Cygwin is just the best tool for the job.

  • 3
    Except it is overkill installing the gazillions of files for a typical Cygwin installation just to get Wget. Apr 29, 2016 at 16:29
  • You get wget, curl, ... and much more. I suppose if you need wget you will probably use some additional linux tools in the future :) - definatly not an every day screnario though
    – NicoJuicy
    May 4, 2016 at 7:46

I've created my own. Check it out at https://github.com/acarrilho/global (at the bottom of the page).

Download the source and, using cmd.exe, navigate to the requester folder. From there, just type http to see all the settings available. As an example:

http -u "http://www.example.com" -oc

This is not for windows vista but it is for windows 11. Open command prompt and type this command:
curl parrot.live

Now watch the parrot dance and move around in circles!


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