I downloaded Wget from here, and got a file named wget-latest.tar.gz, dated 22-Sep-2009. I saved it into one of the folders on my D: drive and unzipped it. I read through the READ ME file, but didn't find any information there on how to install it. Since there was no Install file, I assumed that unzipping wget.zip into a previously created folder had installed it.

However, when I opened the command line and typed:

 wget -r -A ".jpg,.gif,.png" http://mywebsite

I only got an error message. Since I am using Chinese version of XP at the moment and I don't read Chinese, I don't understand what this message is saying, but I assume it means that Wget didn't install properly.

So, how do I properly install Wget on Windows XP?

up vote 14 down vote accepted

It sounds like you're using Windows. To download a pre-built wget.exe for Windows, see WGET for Windows.

In the box near the top of the page, wget.exe is a link to download the wget program itself. Since this is an exe file already, there's no need to unzip or install this particular version.

What you downloaded previously was the source code to wget, so you would need a compiler to build a wget for your system. This is probably not what you wanted.

You may want to also look into cygwin. This allows you to manage windows totally from command line. With cygwin you can easily wget any file.

  • 1
    I use cygwin for wget. – Aaron Mar 12 '15 at 16:23

To actually "install" wget so that you can use it from any command prompt (as you attempted), you need to add its containing folder to the PATH environment variable. Proper practice would be to create a "Utilities" folder such as C:\Program Files\Utilities and adding it to the path, and then placing any utilities that do not come with an installer into here and adding it to the system path.

I however, tend to be lazy and simply drop the utilities into C:\Windows\System32 as it is already on the path and doesn't require a reboot to take effect. Use proper caution when working with the windows directory if you choose this route.

  • Changing PATH should not require a reboot. Just open a new command prompt, and it should take effect there. – sleske Apr 14 '10 at 15:38
  • it requires you to log in and log out (for the GUI) or to start a new command window. I just have a specific folder for tools i need in my path though – Journeyman Geek Jun 28 '11 at 2:53

A pre-built binary 32-bit version of wget for Windows (currently version 1.11.4-1) can be found on SourceForge at:


You have the choice of downloading the wget package as a setup program or a zip file. As described on the SourceForge download page, here is the difference:

If you download the Setup program of the package, any requirements for running applications, such as dynamic link libraries (DLL's) from the dependencies as listed below under Requirements, are already included. If you download the package as Zip files, then you must download and install the dependencies zip file yourself. Developer files (header files and libraries) from other packages are however not included; so if you wish to develop your own applications, you must separately install the required packages.

I chose to install wget with the objective for checking for broken links. Here is a bat file I created to drive wget to do so:

@echo off
set Path=C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin;%Path%
set TARGET=http://your.website.com/here.html

: http://www.gnu.org/software/wget/manual/wget.html
: -e  --execute
: -o  --output-file
: -p  --page-requisites
: -r  --recursive
:     --spider
: -w  --wait

wget --spider -o wget.log -e robots=off --wait 1 -r -p %TARGET%


I installed wget via its setup program on Windows 7. As you can see in the PATH variable in the bat file, the default installation location for wget.exe is:

C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuWin32\bin

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