I'm an MSDN subscriber and I'd like to download a large file from there (~3.5 GB).

  • Downloading straight from FireFox is problematic as it would stop after a few hundred megabytes.
  • Downloading from IE10 and Chrome is too slow.
  • There's supposed to be an automatic ActiveX "Akamai Download Manager" for MSDN downloads but apparently it isn't configured for this download (the ActiveX pane never pops up, even after the steps here).

I tried using FlashGot to route it to FDM (Free Download Manager) but I get:

Access denied. Invalid user name or password

I tried setting my MSDN user/pass in the download properties, to no avail. Is there some way to get this to work in a decent download manager (doesn't have to be FDM)?

  • 1
    Personal or company computer?
    – Ramhound
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:15
  • Personal computer
    – t0x1n
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:16
  • wget gets "403 forbidden"
    – t0x1n
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:19
  • Might want to determine what's making Firefox quit the download
    – Ramhound
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:19
  • Well I've always had that with big downloads, I was under the impression that it was common knowledge for browser downloads to be unreliable. Otherwise why have download managers ?
    – t0x1n
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:24

4 Answers 4


Unfortunately, as of March 2015, MSDN has discontinued the use of the Microsoft File Transfer Manager. They recommend using a 3rd party download manager or the browser's built-in download functionality. See the link here


MSDN can use Microsoft File Transfer Manager to download files, but it doesn't launch properly in IE11.

The solution in http://stealthpuppy.com/work-around-for-getting-file-transfer-manager-to-download-from-technetmsdn/ to get File Transfer Manager to launch worked for me:

  1. For Internet Explorer 11, press F12 to bring up the developer tools window
  2. Click the Emulation icon (bottom left) or press Ctrl+8
  3. Select ’9′ under Document Mode
  4. Choose ‘Internet Explorer 9′ under User Agent String
  • Trying to get this method to work on Win 8 + IE 11, but it's not happening. Can you check again please? Maybe they've made some server side changes as Dirk Strauss points out.
    – Alex S
    Sep 9, 2016 at 10:22

The DownThemAll-Addon for firefox works well with MSDN. Also it allows to download with a much faster speed than with many other download-helpers.


It's very easy to use. Only start the download. Than in the window where you can set the download-path, there will be a downthemall-option. Maybe you have to write in the username and your password again.

  • and works as built in. indeed a good choice, along with pipelining for speed. Sep 25, 2013 at 21:18
  • Unfortunately that doesn't work. Still 403 error.
    – t0x1n
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:24
  • The problem maybe could be solved by clearing ALL browser history (cache, etc). Then restart firefox.
    – Christian
    Sep 25, 2013 at 21:43

Visit the MSDN site in Internet Explorer 9 and you get the option to download the file through the Microsoft File Transfer Manager. You can pause transfers and the transfer rate will be much higher.

You can also visit the site in IE11 in IE9 document mode (use the Internet Explorer's F12 Developers Tools feature)

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