Basic http file downloading and saving to disk in python?


I’ve been going through the Q&A on this site, for an answer to my question. However, I’m a beginner and I find it difficult to understand some of the solutions. I need a very basic solution.

Could someone please explain a simple solution to ‘Downloading a file through http’ and ‘Saving it to disk, in Windows’, to me?

I’m not sure how to use shutil and os modules, either.

The file I want to download is under 500 MB and is an .gz archive file.If someone can explain how to extract the archive and utilise the files in it also, that would be great!

Here’s a partial solution, that I wrote from various answers combined:

import requests
import os
import shutil

global dump

def download_file():
    global dump
    url = ""
    file = requests.get(url, stream=True)
    dump = file.raw

def save_file():
    global dump
    location = os.path.abspath("D:folderfile.gz")
    with open("file.gz", 'wb') as location:
        shutil.copyfileobj(dump, location)
    del dump

Could someone point out errors (beginner level) and explain any easier methods to do this?

Asked By: arvindch



A clean way to download a file is:

import urllib

testfile = urllib.URLopener()
testfile.retrieve("", "file.gz")

This downloads a file from a website and names it file.gz. This is one of my favorite solutions, from Downloading a picture via urllib and python.

This example uses the urllib library, and it will directly retrieve the file form a source.

Answered By: Blue Ice

As mentioned here:

import urllib
urllib.urlretrieve ("", "file.gz")

EDIT: If you still want to use requests, take a look at this question or this one.

Answered By: dparpyani

I use wget.

Simple and good library if you want to example?

import wget

file_url = ''

file_name =

wget module support python 2 and python 3 versions

Answered By: Ali

Another clean way to save the file is this:

import csv
import urllib

urllib.retrieve("your url goes here" , "output.csv")
Answered By: Ala

Four methods using wget, urllib and request.

import requests
from StringIO import StringIO
from PIL import Image
import profile as profile
import urllib
import wget

url = ''

def testRequest():
    image_name = 'test1.jpg'
    r = requests.get(url, stream=True)
    with open(image_name, 'wb') as f:
        for chunk in r.iter_content():

def testRequest2():
    image_name = 'test2.jpg'
    r = requests.get(url)
    i =

def testUrllib():
    image_name = 'test3.jpg'
    testfile = urllib.URLopener()
    testfile.retrieve(url, image_name)

def testwget():
    image_name = 'test4.jpg', image_name)

if __name__ == '__main__':'testRequest()')'testRequest2()')'testUrllib()')'testwget()')

testRequest – 4469882 function calls (4469842 primitive calls) in 20.236 seconds

testRequest2 – 8580 function calls (8574 primitive calls) in 0.072 seconds

testUrllib – 3810 function calls (3775 primitive calls) in 0.036 seconds

testwget – 3489 function calls in 0.020 seconds

Answered By: Saurabh yadav

Exotic Windows Solution

import subprocess"powershell Invoke-WebRequest {} -OutFile {}".format(your_url, filename), shell=True)
Answered By: Max

I started down this path because ESXi’s wget is not compiled with SSL and I wanted to download an OVA from a vendor’s website directly onto the ESXi host which is on the other side of the world.

I had to disable the firewall(lazy)/enable https out by editing the rules(proper)

created the python script:

import ssl
import shutil
import tempfile
import urllib.request
context = ssl._create_unverified_context()

with urllib.request.urlopen(durl, context=context) as response:
    with open("file.ova", 'wb') as tmp_file:
        shutil.copyfileobj(response, tmp_file)

ESXi libraries are kind of paired down but the open source weasel installer seemed to use urllib for https… so it inspired me to go down this path

Answered By: Jayme Snyder

For Python3+ URLopener is deprecated.
And when used you will get error as below:

url_opener = urllib.URLopener() AttributeError: module ‘urllib’ has no
attribute ‘URLopener’

So, try:

import urllib.request 
urllib.request.urlretrieve(url, filename)
Answered By: Om Sao

For text files, you can use:

import requests

url = ''
req = requests.get(url)
path = "C:\YOUR\FILE.html"

with open(path, 'wb') as f:
Answered By: DaWe
import urllib.request
urllib.request.urlretrieve("", "test.ipynb")

downloads a single raw juypter notebook to file.

Answered By: Golden Lion
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