A no-frills tool to download files from the web. It will attempt to be smart about not downloading data that’s already there, checking to make sure that there were no errors in fetching data, automatically unzipping the contents of downloaded zipfiles (if desired), and displaying a progress bar with statistics.


This draws heavily from the MNE-python _fetch_file function.

_This package doesn’t get a ton of developer attention, but is hopefully well-scoped enough that it should still be useful! If you’d like to help improve it, fix bugs, etc, please reach out in the issues!_


Either clone this repository and install with:

python install

or, simply install with pip:

pip install download


Download a file on the web is as easy as:

from download import download
path = download(url, file_path)

a file called file_name will be downloaded to the folder of file_path.

File types

If your file is a zip file, you can add the flag:

path = download(url, file_path, kind="zip")

in this case, the file will be downloaded, and then unzipped into the folder specified by file_name.

Supported formats are ‘file’, ‘zip’, ‘tar’, ‘tar.gz’ Defaults to file.

Progress bar

Whether to display a progress bar during file download. Defaults to True:

path = download(url, file_path, progressbar=True)


If True and the URL points to a single file, overwrite the old file if possible. Defaults to False:

path = download(url, file_path, replace=False)


The URL open timeout in seconds. Defaults to 10 seconds:

path = download(url, file_path, timeout=10)


Whether to print download status to the screen. Defaults to True:

path = download(url, file_path, verbose=True)

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I occasionally get a “Error file size is…” error?

Occasionally, when you try to download a file, the server from which you are downloading will return that the download is finished, when it is not. download will check whether the final downloaded file is the correct size. If not, it will throw this error. In this case, you should try re-downloading the file.