Wget: Resume Broken Download

by on February 15, 2006 · 63 comments· LAST UPDATED March 9, 2014

in , ,

The GNU Wget is a free utility for non-interactive download of files from the Web. It supports HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP protocols, as well as retrieval through HTTP proxies. Recently, I was downloading a Ubuntu Linux ISO (618 MB) file for testing purpose at my home PC. My Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) unit was not working. I started download with the following wget command:

$ wget http://ftp.ussg.iu.edu/linux/ubuntu-releases/5.10/ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso
However, due to power supply problem, my computer rebooted at 98% download. Again, after reboot I typed wget at a shell prompt:
$ wget http://ftp.ussg.iu.edu/linux/ubuntu-releases/5.10/ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso
However, wget restarted to download ISO image from scratch again. I thought wget should resume partially downloaded ISO file.

wget resume download

After reading wget(1) GNU Linux man page, I found the -c or --continue option to continue getting a partially downloaded file. This is useful when you want to finish a download started by a previous instance of wget, or by another program. The syntax is:

wget -c url
wget --continue url
wget --continue [options] url

So I decided to continue getting a partially-downloaded ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso file using the following command:
$ wget -c http://ftp.ussg.iu.edu/linux/ubuntu-releases/5.10/ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso
$ wget --continue http://ftp.ussg.iu.edu/linux/ubuntu-releases/5.10/ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso
Sample session:

Animated gif 01: wget resume  a failed download

Animated gif 01: wget resume a failed download

If there is a file named ubuntu-5.10-install-i386.iso in the current directory, Wget will assume that it is the first portion of the remote file, and will ask the server to continue the retrieval from an offset equal to the length of the local file. Thus, it will result in saving both time and bandwidth.

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{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mork Smith June 13, 2007 at 4:04 am

Use option -c (aka “continue”


2 hobo June 17, 2007 at 7:16 am

wish i’d know then yesterday when i had to restart a download of a 4.7GB dvd iso from the 4 GB point :(


3 WebTenet December 23, 2007 at 6:22 am

Thanks a lot. You saved my day!


4 Hammad December 31, 2007 at 1:46 pm

Man you saved my time. It happened twice first time i started downloaded again but this time i have downloaded already much more and ‘-c’ has saved the time for me.



5 Anjanesh January 3, 2008 at 5:27 pm

I’ve now switched to wget on windows (gnuwin32 wget) in favour of other download programs like flashget etc – now that i know that wget can resume.


6 rahul January 25, 2008 at 11:35 am

Thanks a lot !! wget is my fav command line tool i never knew abt this option ! this time it happend my internet connection suddenly got disconnected while downloadin an .iso file
-c option really saved my time ! thx again :)


7 hibi June 24, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Great article… helped me a lot! thx


8 samba September 10, 2008 at 9:42 pm

great artcle. you saved my. thanks


9 Robert Woestman September 21, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Thank you. I kept losing my wireless signal today and after 3 attempts at downloading a 719M file (close to 70% on one attempt), I realized that there MUST be a way to resume. I googled “resume” and “wget” and here I am. Good post


10 kashyap November 26, 2008 at 11:19 am

but if we had to give username/password for other website does this works? if so how ?


11 Jim January 5, 2009 at 6:38 pm

If you have a username/password you can use the –load-cookies option after logging in and exporting your cookies to a cookies.txt file.


12 roel January 16, 2009 at 9:47 am

You just saved me 20 minutes. :-) Doesn’t that sound funny? We are really impatient people, and we are right!



13 Jessica Tanenhaus January 29, 2009 at 7:32 pm

You have seriously saved me. I needed the last 4KB of a 1.9GB file – and I’m at a site with 7KB/s – 60KB/s download speeds. I kiss your virtual feet on this one.


14 Hafni March 6, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Now, I can continue my stopped downloads.
I like wget because the speed is stable in my network.


15 James March 30, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Nice tip – thanks


16 Akula April 3, 2009 at 3:51 pm

example for ur problem
wget -c --user=theman --password='hasfoundus' http://example.comt/file.pdf


17 AJ April 25, 2009 at 4:45 am

now on third attempt to download ubuntu for netbook prev got to 27% of 947MG this is great find tq for post AJ


18 martin April 27, 2009 at 2:59 pm

does anyone had experience on how to resume a same file from different server url? Seem that wget can’t use a different url to resume download a file (shown file not found, but actually can start a new download)



19 goran May 3, 2009 at 7:11 am

How can i download this program? Were is the download link?


20 Vincent Isle May 19, 2009 at 10:05 am

What if you are downloading recursively? Will this work?


21 Sebastian June 9, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Thank you for this post! You helped me a lot!


22 Othman July 10, 2009 at 10:02 pm

Thank you for posting this experience, I would have gone crazy without your help tonight. .


23 KiLL_DJ July 14, 2009 at 12:58 am

Thank you for this post! i love linux…


24 Pramod Ghuge August 23, 2009 at 6:33 am

Awesome tip!! It just saved my a$$.. It works on all files.. even those that were downloaded by other programs.. w00t


25 CYRUS the greate October 31, 2009 at 6:49 am

thanks alot !@


26 Jah Bless November 16, 2009 at 4:49 pm

dude! thank you so much for this post!
saved me a lot of extra time AND bandwidth!
Jah Bless!


27 skanumuri November 17, 2009 at 1:16 am

Thanks a lot for the post.It helped a lot!!!


28 MakLaN November 17, 2009 at 9:21 pm



29 SIFE November 24, 2009 at 7:51 am

Salamo Alikom
thx man for this info .


30 anom January 1, 2010 at 1:50 pm

ooo..thanks man..
i almost download from the “zero” again..
you save my time..


31 Ragavendra January 20, 2010 at 2:19 pm

yes the -c option in wget helps resume downloads. Important article. :)

If you want GUI like Flashget you can use Multiget.


32 gautam March 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

thnx.. man u really saved my 4 hrs.. :)


33 knee April 14, 2010 at 3:20 am

Thanks, buddy!


34 Khalid May 2, 2010 at 7:11 am

This is really useful and I greatly appreciate your effort in doing the digging for us.



35 James Ng August 13, 2010 at 5:55 am

Thank you for this wonderful info. I was cursing so hard when my download was cut by a power outage.


36 Israel September 1, 2010 at 4:28 am

Thank you so much! After days of broken attempts to download I finally found you. Thanks again.


37 Robert September 14, 2010 at 8:05 am

Thanks, that’s helpful !


38 Kumar September 26, 2010 at 3:28 am

Wow its very useful, it saved my time aswell.


39 rami davis December 7, 2010 at 11:29 pm

SWEET! for me, this is HEAVEN. I am out in the middle of the forest, and all i get for internet is tethering my cell phone to my computer…. at a whopping 3k-10k speed.
(good thing i have unlimited data plan) It can hell just doing a simple 20-30 mb file. At least now i do not have to start all the way at zero again. Huge thanks!


40 torrtruk December 27, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the tip. It definitely saved my time :)


41 Mark March 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks… for just one glimpse with your site and information, it really helps me well.


42 Amit March 25, 2011 at 11:37 am

THanks dude… U made my dayyyyyy


43 Alessandroe April 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm

Thanks ! It stop the download in windows, but with with wget -c i can resume it in Linux, even in a ntfs-3g partition.


44 kenny May 2, 2011 at 5:04 pm

thanks for this cool tip…. saved my day :)


45 TechNife June 19, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Thanks a ton Vivek.
I used your info to resume a broken http (browser) download of a 11.04 iso.
The command-line / URL I eventually figured for this was :

wget -c http://ubunturelease.hnsdc.com/11.04/ubuntu-11.04-desktop-i386.iso

Sharing this just in case this contemporary URL info helps some more of us in a similar situation.
TechNife, 20-Jun-2011.


46 Prescilla September 20, 2011 at 5:24 am

Hello, thanks for this post. I have been using wget before. And I would like to ask anyone of you if there is a way for wget to resume a partially downloaded file but this time from a different server url? I am using torrific and it gives a different url after computer shutdown and resuming downloads.


47 roger November 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Sweet, this even helped with redownloading a file Safari had truncated for some reason. Sweet!


48 Indra Saputra Ahmadi December 4, 2011 at 6:27 am

thanks a lot, -c = -continue


49 vik January 21, 2012 at 3:23 am

thanks a bunch. u saved my day on resuming a 7GB download at 100K/s


50 Daniford February 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm

dude you are an angel from linux geeks, you saved my ass, now I don’t have to use windows for downloads any longer! simple but very important!


51 Julius Gyaviira June 2, 2012 at 8:31 pm

How I wish I came across this post before I got screwed up by chrome. I have been downloading the image for Ubuntu 12.04 and it so happened that my internet connection went off and chrome threw me the “INTERRUPTED DOWNLOAD” error and worst of all even the downloaded part was deleted… and I was almost getting to the end of it. Though I really thought there MUST be a way of resuming a download however much chrome had let me down due to my internet connection going down. I Googled and here I landed on this great solution. To me this is really great because now this is the method am going to use to do downloads from now onward.


52 Jeff June 15, 2012 at 11:06 pm

OMG – that is SO AWESOME. Thank you! I’ve been moving around many big files (setting up a bioinformatics server) and this was a life-saver.


53 Luis November 27, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Same thing happened to me. Just erased an 80% 4.5GB download from Firefox to restart it from the beginning.
Wish I knew this before.


54 zazuge November 27, 2012 at 8:11 pm

Its been 3 years that i use wget extensevly because you can resume on any file
even when using another mirror link (well even wrong links for another file)
even at the time i could resume megaupload(before it was shutdown) and mediafire
(which is still working)
I wrote some scripts with wget that can ripe anything from any site
read the man and check the cookies section which enable to download otherwise forbiden content (that was intended to be downloaded using the browser only)
and changing wget signature (lying that its a browser and not a download tool)


55 xuedi February 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

Hehe, i know this is an quite old post, and it might seem funny these days with 100MB connection when 700MB just take 40 seconds to download …

Does anyone know a way to make wget behave a bit more agressive if a download stops? I need to something from a really bad connection, it stops and waits long long time until retry. if i cancel and resume the download it goes quite well for another 10 min or so …


56 lingesh March 1, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi thanks a lot i am trying to download skype more than 30 time this helps me a lot. Thanks again………….


57 Eric July 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm

does it mean wget will resume download even if the downlaod serve doesnot support resume download ?


58 Tanmoy July 10, 2013 at 5:09 pm

wow, great. Didn’t notice before.


59 Onkar Parmar August 6, 2013 at 2:51 pm

waw, worked and highly useful!


60 Raj L November 20, 2013 at 3:26 am

Excellent! This worked flawlessly! :)


61 Ankit Gade May 10, 2014 at 12:27 pm

You saved my life man ! Thanks a lot :)


62 Nyarkanyuy August 14, 2014 at 7:39 am

Thanks a lot. It was so helpful to me

Hunan University/China


63 Rajib August 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm

This is really very useful. Thanks a lot for sharing.


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