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Posted 15 May 2019

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Downloading All the Files and Folders from a FTP Server Recursively using a Batch File and wget

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15 May 2019     CPOL    
How to use wget to download files recursively from a FTP server

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I needed to download all the files in a robot controller in order to back up them into a server.

That robot controller offered only FTP connection to get access to those files.

From a Windows 7 computer, I needed to automate the download of all those files.

The FTP tools that come preinstalled with Windows are easy to use, but don't offer any option to recursively download files.

In order to be able to do that, you should create a script that would list the files and folders and then process them all.


  • Download files from the Internet
  • Know usernames and passwords from the FTP server
  • Basic file editing

Using the Code

The first step is to download the wget tool from its site:

Once you have the tool in your computer, you'll have to write a batch file with those contents:

c:\"program files (x86)"\GnuWin32\bin\wget 
--recursive ftp://IP_ADDRESS_OF_YOUR_SERVER/ --directory-prefix="DESTINATION_PATH"

The path to the wget executable is given at the beginning.

The user name and password are given using the --ftp-user and --ftp-password arguments.

The --recursive parameter activates the ability to go deep up to 5 levels (unless you specify something different).

Then you specify your FTP server address, using the IP address or the name of the computer, and finally, you specify the folder where you want the files to be downloaded.

This small tip is a very simple thing, but can help many people who need to perform this kind of automation and to myself to remember what I did.


  • 15th May, 2019: Initial version


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Joan M
Chief Technology Officer robotecnik
Spain Spain
I'm from Catalonia (in Spain) and a specialist in CNC, PLC, robotics and automation in general.

From 1998 I've been developing software applications for the automation market.

I'm using different technologies in each case to get the proper result, fieldbus communications, special electronics, special laser sensors, artificial vision, robot arms, CNC applications, PLC's...[^] - robots, CNC and PLC programming

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GeneralMy vote of 4 Pin
Member 1236439016-May-19 2:38
memberMember 1236439016-May-19 2:38 

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