Is there an equivalent of curl in PowerShell? Does it have some similar built-in capability or is there a 3rd party cmdlet?


9 Answers 9


PowerShell 3.0 has the new command Invoke-RestMethod:


more detail:


  • 12
    You may want the Invoke-WebRequest command instead, depending on what you are trying to accomplish. Jun 10, 2014 at 16:32
  • 46
    It's also aliased as curl or wget in Powershell now. Jun 12, 2014 at 5:49
  • 47
    Yeah it's bizarre that they'd alias them, as the syntax is entirely different. If MS doesn't want to ship a package manager and make it easy to get common, basic tools, hiding it behind a fake alias isn't gonna make the situation better.
    – MichaelGG
    Nov 7, 2014 at 20:08
  • 3
    The biggest problem with Invoke-WebRequest is that it does not work if IE is not 'initialized'; so when writing pipeline or DSC scripts you have to do some extra legwork first or you can use Invoke-RestMethod. May 22, 2017 at 15:27
  • 1
    @LimpingNinja, do you have a source for this? Maybe the problem you experienced was due to this: "-UseBasicParsing Uses the response object for HTML content without Document Object Model (DOM) parsing. This parameter is required when Internet Explorer is not installed on the computers, such as on a Server Core installation of a Windows Server operating system." from msdn.microsoft.com/powershell/reference/3.0/… May 22, 2017 at 19:24

As of Powershell 5.0, if not before, curl is an alias for Invoke-WebRequest.

PS> Get-Alias -Definition Invoke-WebRequest | Format-Table -AutoSize

CommandType Name                      Version Source
----------- ----                      ------- ------
Alias       curl -> Invoke-WebRequest
Alias       iwr -> Invoke-WebRequest
Alias       wget -> Invoke-WebRequest

To use the unaliased command ...

PS> Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://localhost:443/
PS> Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://www.google.com

So return several properties of the request as follows ...

PS> Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://www.google.com

StatusCode        : 200
StatusDescription : OK
Content           : <!doctype html><html itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/WebPage" lang="en-AU"><head><meta content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"
                    http-equiv="Content-Type"><meta content="/images/branding/googleg/1x/...
RawContent        : HTTP/1.1 200 OK
                    X-XSS-Protection: 1; mode=block
                    X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN
                    Vary: Accept-Encoding

... or just the content ...

PS> Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://www.google.com | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Content

<!doctype html><html itemscope="" itemtype="http://schem[etc ...]

The equivalent aliased commands are ...

PS> curl -Uri https://www.google.com
PS> curl -Uri https://www.google.com | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Content

Leveraging Powershell defaults and other aliases you could shorten the commands to

PS> curl https://www.google.com 
ps> curl https://www.google.com | Select -ExpandProperty Content

... but I wouldn't recommend it. Verbose commands help others when reading your code.


Powershell 6.x

Use of Aliases discouraged

As of Powershell 6.x "Core" curl is no longer an alias for Invoke-WebRequest (the alias wget is also removed) . Instead use Invoke-WebRequest directly.

PS> Get-Alias -Definition Invoke-WebRequest | Format-Table -AutoSize

CommandType Name                     Version Source
----------- ----                     ------- ------
Alias       iwr -> Invoke-WebRequest

Curl is no longer an alias for Invoke-WebRequest (tested on Powershell 6.2.3), despite an apparent rejection of a motion in an RFC "to to remove the aliases curl and wget from Windows PowerShell".

That RFC notes "The wget/curl aliases were already removed from PowerShell Core so the problem [of having those aliases] was limited to Windows PowerShell."

In the conclusion the Powershell team also encourages users "to not rely on aliases in scripts".

As @v6ak has noted in the comments using curl and wget in PowerShell (5.0 or lower) can be a problem in: unintentionally invoking the real curl or wget if installed side-by-side; and, in any case, causes confusion.

New Encoding

It is recommended you upgrade Powershell "core" (6.x or above) in order to take advantage of the default encoding utf8NoBOM, when using Invoke-WebRequest (and many other text outputting commands). If one was doing this explicitly you could do something like:

Invoke-WebRequest ` 
-Uri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fancyapps/fancybox/master/dist/jquery.fancybox.min.js `
| Select-Object -ExpandProperty Content `
| Out-File jquery.fancybox.min.js `
-Encoding utf8NoBOM 

However, even when using a shorter, implicit, command ...

Invoke-WebRequest `
-Uri https://raw.githubusercontent.com/fancyapps/fancybox/master/dist/jquery.fancybox.min.js `
-OutFile jquery.fancybox.min.js

... encoding with utf8NoBOM will be done (you can verify this, for example, by opening the saved file in Visual Studio Code and observing "UTF-8" in the status bar).

Files saved with utf8NoBOM tend to cause fewer problems when traveling through various ecosystems. Of course, if you need some other encoding you can set some alternative explicitly.

In Powershell 5.0 and lower the utf8NoBOM encoding was not available, let alone the default.


  • What's the -Uri flag doing... I get same results with or without it for 'curl -Uri api.github.com/rate_limit'. I've searched for this, but still not sure
    – Drenai
    Jul 28, 2017 at 8:35
  • 2
    In powershell some parameter names can be implicitly derived from the order of the parameter values. You can see this through looking at get-help curl. You'll see Invoke-WebRequest [-Uri] <Uri> ..., with the brackets [] indicating -Uri can be left out (and therefore implicitly invoked). As I mentioned in the main post: in general you ought be explicit (where you or others are going to read your code in the future). Jul 30, 2017 at 22:59
  • Ah - thanks. So I'm leaving it out, but it's still being invoked, didn't know that's what the [] did
    – Drenai
    Jul 31, 2017 at 10:22
  • You are welcome. You've got it. The syntax descriptions for powershell commands that you find in get-help is given in some version of en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extended_Backus%E2%80%93Naur_form. You'll do well to read/skim that because some version of Extended Backus Naur Form is likely used to describe the syntax of many languages you'll come across. You'll notice that at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… brackets [ ...] designate syntax that is optional. Aug 1, 2017 at 10:55
  • It is, but I suggest not using it, as it is confusing. On PowerShell Core 6.1.3 for Linux, neither curl nor wget are the aliases. They refer to the original curl and wget (if they are present in the system). Since they are different, usage of those aliases is a potential source of confusion and non-multiplatform scripts.
    – v6ak
    Mar 7, 2019 at 16:04

The excellent Command Line Kung Fu blog has a post where they compare curl, wget and the related PowerShell commands

In a nutshell:

(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://www.example.com/hello-world.html","C:\hello-world.html")

Or, if your version of Powershell/.Net doesn't accept 2 parameters for DownloadString:

(New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString("http://www.example.com/hello-world.html") > "C:\hello-world.html"
  • This answer mentions the DownloadFile function which works well too.
    – Paul Hicks
    May 19, 2016 at 22:36

You can install cURL with Chocolatey and have curl available in PowerShell CLI or cmd.


You can also install Git for Windows, and then put the Git bin folder in your path. The Git install includes, among other things, curl.exe. After installing, just put %programfiles(x86)%\git\bin in your PATH. Then you'll be able to use the curl command from the Windows Command Prompt or PowerShell console.


If you use insider preview build 17063 or release version 1803 and up then there's already curl.exe that you can run directly

If you’re one of these people – HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🙂 Windows 10 Insider build 17063 and later now include the real-deal curl and tar executables that you can execute directly from Cmd or PowerShell.

Tar and Curl Come to Windows!

On PowerShell you need to run explicitly curl.exe if curl is an existing alias

  • That worked for me!
    – Alma Z
    Feb 23, 2022 at 5:29

the closest thing to wget or curl on windows is bits (Background Intelligent Transfer Service), which has some snippets ready for powershell.

  • 3
    I think BITS solves a different problem than wget or curl. Jul 7, 2012 at 1:08
  • Fetching things from a Http-Server?
    – akira
    Jul 7, 2012 at 19:03
  • 2
    No :), the background intelligence part of it. Jul 7, 2012 at 20:03


cmd, bash

curl -H "Host: whoami.local"


Invoke-WebRequest -H @{"Host"="whoami.local"} -UseBasicParsing

# or 
# $(Get-Command curl) return  "curl -> Invoke-WebRequest"
curl -H @{"Host"="whoami.local"} -UseBasicParsing

This command should work:

Invoke-WebRequest -UseBasicParsing -Uri http://example.com/

It's part of Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility since PowerShell 3.0.

See also: Get $webclient.downloadstring to write to text file in Powershell.

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