HTTP Downloader is an open source download manager for Windows

Dec 10, 2019
Software, Windows software

HTTP Downloader is an open source download manager for Windows. It works with FTPS and HTTPS protocols as well.

The program's interface is quite basic and yet modern at the same time. I like the clean look of the pane and the menu bar. If you want to, you can enable the toolbar from the View menu for quick access to some options. The file menu can be used to add a URL to download, or to save, export and import the download history. Drag and drop is supported to start new downloads.

The main pane displays the number of the download (queue item number), file type (icon), file name, downloaded and completed file sizes and a progress bar to serve as a visual indicator for the download's status.

You can Start, Pause, Stop, Restart, Pause active or Stop all downloads from the edit menu. Resuming a broken download is as simple as using the Update download option and manually adding a different URL. If the download that you requested requires to login to a server, you can enter your user credentials to authenticate it. Also available in this menu are options to copy the URL, remove, delete and rename the downloads.

The Search option in the Tools menu can be a time saver when you want to find a download by its URL or name. There is a dedicated Login Manager that you can access from Options  > Connection, for adding your username and passwords for servers. Other important options in HTTP Downloader include setting the default download folder, global speed limit, selecting the number of active downloads, FTP, Proxy and Server settings.

The program's right-click menu offers the same options as the edit menu. HTTP Downloader is smart in that it checks if a file already exists in the download folder, and if it does, the program skips the download. If the file isn't present, the download starts as normal.

The system tray icon of the program is a quick way to access the downloads list and to add URLs or to get to the options panel. Refer to the official website of the project for a list of supported command-line switches that you can use with the program.

HTTP Downloader extension for Firefox and Chrome

The official extensions for Firefox and Chrome are available from the GitHub page, and are used to capture URLs from the browser and send them to HTTP Downloader. These didn't work very well for me at first, but that was because I hadn't configured the desktop application. The server addresses must be the same in the extension and the program. Don't worry about what you have to set. All you have to do is open the Options menu, navigate to the Server tab and check the box next to "Enable server". Also, make sure you have enabled the "Override browser's download manager" option for the add-on to obtain the URL.

If you don't want to enable server functionality, use manual copy and paste to add downloads to the program.

The "Show add URL(s) window before download" option is useful, as it will display a pop-up window where you can see the URL and the download folder, before the download is sent to the program. This window also lets you use the RegEX filter, and set the login credentials (if required by the server).

Note: When the extension is enabled and you click on download, you'll see Firefox's usual download dialog pop-up. It may look like it isn't working correctly. Just click on the "Save File" button as usual, and the add-on will send the URL to the program to download.

HTTP Downloader is a portable program. It's user-friendly and gets the job done, that's pretty good in my book.

Xtreme Download Manager is another good open source download manager if you're looking for something like IDM.

Author Rating
2.5 based on 12 votes
Software Name
HTTP Downloader
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  1. John Navas said on November 11, 2021 at 5:16 pm

    With a recent update to reallocate completed parts of a multi-part download, which it previously lacked, HTTP Downloader is greatly improved, but it’s still lacks two important features:

    1. There is essentially no queue management; i.e., it’s not possible to directly reorder downloads.

    2. There’s no logging or history, so there’s no record of downloads.

    1. Birdemic said on February 1, 2022 at 1:20 am

      @ John Navas

      > 1. There is essentially no queue management; i.e., it’s not possible to directly reorder downloads.

      That is essentially not the case. You can add files to the queue in whatever order you want. Once in the queue you can reorder them by filename, downloaded, progress, download directory, and URL, and by pausing or stopping other downloads, you can single out priority downloads.

      > 2. There’s no logging or history, so there’s no record of downloads.

      That’s 100% not true. After you download a file, the full record of the file is still in the main list, with a link to where you downloaded it, and the URL of where it came from. You can remove the downloaded records whenever you want. Also, it keeps a record of all current downloads, so if the program closes for whatever reason, your download queue will still be there when you start it again.

      Note that there are settings that can change much of what I’ve mentioned here, but that how it mostly works by default.



      HTTP Downloader now has a proper Edge Extension on the Edge Add-ons site.

      Also, keep in mind that HTTP Downloader is a true downloader, the same as with DownThemAll. It’s not a ripper of media streams, hence it shouldn’t be compared to such software IMO, as it just confuses folks here, as you can see. But whatever.

      Good article, and thanks for taking your time to explain how the extension worked for you.

      1. EmbyDDL said on February 3, 2022 at 4:26 pm

        You can also run more than one instance of HTTP Downloader. I find this helpful when I’m downloading from different servers.

  2. ArC said on June 6, 2021 at 1:05 pm

    HTTP Downloader v1.0.4.3 exe file is detected as trojan by the following :

    SecureAge APEX : Malicious
    Webroot : W32.Trojan.Gen

    others are detecting no such alert.
    Please check before installing.

  3. D.T. said on October 10, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    HTTP Downloader is not safe to download. Mozilla has it available as an extension but when I attempted to download it directly from the author (It is available for direct download from GitHub under the authors name Eric Kutcher) I was alerted to a virus or malware. Not sure if the extension through Mozilla is safe so I removed it. I aborted the direct download.

    Here is the link-

    1. EmbyDDL said on February 3, 2022 at 4:46 pm


      > HTTP Downloader is not safe to download

      Wong. It’s safe. Also, your issue is with the extension and Firefox, not HTTP Downloader.

      Most all browsers are going to give you a warning when trying to do that with extensions. Best to install extensions from the store. Those GitHub files are for geeks who know what they are doing.

  4. semper liber said on December 23, 2019 at 1:14 am

    Thanks for that info smaragdus.

    Also, getting the word out about HTTP Downloader should help too.

    For example, I see that’s it’s not listed on FOSSHUB yet. But we can change that by letting them know here:

  5. smaragdus said on December 17, 2019 at 11:38 pm

    I got to know that the working machine of the developer of HTTP Downloader had died. Until he is able to get a new machine the development of HTTP Downloader will be stalled. There is a donation link on his website:

    I suppose that he will appreciate any donation. I believe that open source developers deserve some financial aid.

  6. Peterc said on December 12, 2019 at 3:32 am

    I’m still running DownThemAll! in Pale Moon, where it continues to work just fine, and in Basilisk, where it *reportedly* works just fine. (I rarely use Basilisk and haven’t yet tried DTA in it.) Unfortunately, I don’t think I will get a chance to try HTTP Downloader since I’m switching to Linux, but I guess it will depend on how long I keep my Windows 7 machine running past end of life. Also, I haven’t yet been forced to switch from Pale Moon to Firefox or Google Chrome for the great majority of my browsing (although, Lord knows, a lot of webmasters seem to be doing their level best to make that happen).

    Just a quick afterthought: Since HTTP Downloader is a standalone app that the browser extensions just hand off links to, if you try using the Firefox extension in Tor Browser, I’m all but certain your “download anonymity” will *not* be protected by Tor. Think carefully before using it to download anything scandalous and forbidden, like “1984” or “Brave New World.” Or use a VPN. But what if your VPN is secretly owned and monitored by GCHQ or NSA? Noooooo! ;-)

    1. semper liber said on December 23, 2019 at 12:57 am


      Similar here, yet I’ve been running DTA in Basilisk, in a sandbox in a VM (just to be safe). It has been working great for years now.

      That’s all I’ve been using Basilisk for.

      FYI: there’s a new DTA, but I think is sucks. Enough said on that.

      Yet thanks to this review, I’ve been using HTTP Downloader a lot with good results. As such, I don’t think I need DTA anymore.

      As for Linux, perhaps you can run HTTP Downloader in Wine?

      As for using extensions in Tor, I don’t think that’s a great idea, and may not even work as intended.

      Furthermore, if you’re worried about getting busted for just downloading popular media for “free”, then depending on where you’re at that’s pretty much a myth.

      AFAIK, no one in the USA has ever got busted for just downloading popular movies via a home ISP that they pay for, without some intermediary agency.

      Yet propaganda from VPNs try to make users think otherwise, but those threats/fears are mostly unsubstantiated. For example, VPN marketing teams are all over reddit, spreading lies in comments about such.

      Yet if you download through a school or work related ISP, then that depends on their particular policies,
      where monitoring/logging, blocking, fines and such are common practice, such as with campus dorms.

      As for uploading pirated media, that is clearly where they bust users, as with torrents.

      That said, it’s still a good idea to use a VPN regardless, as ISPs in the USA can now record and save user traffic, and such data is best kept private IMO.

  7. Prometej said on December 11, 2019 at 10:15 am

    Thnx for this info.
    It seems like an interesting DM, small and fast. Will have to test it more. I was searching for a good alternative, since I’ve stopped using new version of FDM and until now only uGet DM got my attention. I believe uGet should also get it’s place on the open-source-download-managers list.
    I use it on Windows & Linux machines and it works pretty solid.

  8. Anonymous said on December 11, 2019 at 5:02 am

    Wow below 1MB.. 1MB apps are basically non existent nowadays..

    1. Zero3K said on December 21, 2019 at 12:14 am

      Brynhildr is also a good program that is under 1 MB. Its a VNC client/server program that is freeware and easy to use. I hope that someone on here makes an article about it soon. Its homepage is located at

  9. Rick said on December 10, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    I use AriaNg, a frontend for aria2.

    1. FilePursuit said on December 11, 2019 at 7:19 am

      Thanks Rick..

      I will give the Native release a try.

  10. Sam said on December 10, 2019 at 3:29 pm

    That’s awesome! Does it support capturing and downloading embedded videos? A feature that Internet Download Manager browser extension has, which is very useful sometimes if you want to download an embedded video quickly.

    1. FilePursuit said on December 11, 2019 at 7:10 am

      No, this is for DDL links.

  11. happysurf said on December 10, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    With Firefox I suggest the Multithreaded Download Manager add-on, very effective with many advanced options.

    1. VioletMoon said on December 10, 2019 at 6:43 pm

      Also available for Chrome:

      Unfortunately, there is the warning from FF that the add-on isn’t monitored, so the user will have to “trust” the developer.

      I’m fine with XDM, but I rarely use any download manager anymore–simply not downloading huge files.

      I always liked EagleGet which had a clean, updated user interface.

  12. smaragdus said on December 10, 2019 at 2:03 pm

    HTTP Downloader is the best download manager I have ever used (I have tested and used more than a dozen)- open source, tiny, light, customizable, it supports integration with Chromium and Firefox, it sports a clean and nice GUI, it can be used in portable mode. Portable mode can be triggered in two different ways:

    command-line argument – start the program with the following parameter – ‘HTTP_Downloader.exe -p’ and HTTP Downloader will save settings in program folder;

    portable flag – create a file ‘portable’ (without extension) in program folder and HTTP Downloader will save settings in program folder;

    HTTP Downloader is written in C++. The developer is very helpful and open to suggestions. Bugs are usually fixed rather quickly. Overall, HTTP Downloader is a great alternative to now ruined Free Download Manager.

    1. Anonymous said on December 11, 2019 at 4:57 am

      Any reason why FDM now is ruined? I’m still using the ancient version

  13. owl said on December 10, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I’m using a third-party external downloader “Internet Download Manager” and integrated into the browser, so I’m not frustrated with the download function.

    However, I was interested in Ashwin’s article and decided to give it a try.
    Certainly, “HTTP Downloader” can enhance the downloader function implemented in the browser.
    And It can reproduce everything that the previous “DownThemAll” was able to realize.
    The amount of resources is small and no “defects” are found.
    Another advantage is that it is supported by open source projects.
    httpdownloader/HTTP_Downloader_Firefox_WebExtension at master · erickutcher/httpdownloader | GitHub
    Issues · erickutcher/httpdownloader | GitHub

    1. FilePursuit said on December 11, 2019 at 6:58 am


      Thanks for that info.

      I too have been testing HTTP Downloader on, and it is much like DTA, but it doesn’t do “everything” that it did, yet close enough for me.. Just saying.

      That said, this dev deserves our $upport!

    2. hmm said on December 10, 2019 at 7:01 pm

      There is open source XDM Xtreme Download Manager which is an alternative to IDM.

  14. Ray said on December 10, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    How about freedownloadmanager? They have new beta based on qt. It works superb

  15. Crodol said on December 10, 2019 at 12:06 pm

    Why would I use this program/add-in?

    1. FilePursuit said on December 11, 2019 at 7:06 am

      To achieve better download speeds and successful downloads such as from static directories with DDLs.

      Otherwise, you can experience timeout failures and such, such as when a server is maxed and/or restricted and/or your connection is slow.

  16. FilePursuit said on December 10, 2019 at 10:46 am

    Thanks Ashwin, I’ve been looking for something as this for years, to replace the old DTA, as the new one is sucky and slow.

    Also note that HTTP Downloader can also speed up downloads, as it’s a multi-part download manager.

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