How Do I Download A File Using Vba Without Internet Explorer

In today’s digital world, automation is the key to efficiency and productivity. Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is a powerful tool that allows users to automate tasks in Microsoft Office applications, including Excel, Word, and Access. One common task that many VBA users encounter is downloading files from the internet. While Internet Explorer used to be the default method for this task, it’s no longer the most reliable option. In this article, we will explore how to download a file using VBA without relying on Internet Explorer.

Why Avoid Internet Explorer for File Downloads

Internet Explorer (IE) was once the go-to browser for automating file downloads with VBA. However, IE is no longer the default browser in Windows, and Microsoft has officially discontinued its support. As a result, relying on IE for file downloads can lead to compatibility issues and unreliable automation.

Additionally, using IE for file downloads requires interacting with the user interface, which can be slower and less efficient compared to alternative methods. Luckily, there are more reliable and faster ways to download files using VBA.

Using the WinHTTP Library

The WinHTTP library is a powerful tool for making HTTP requests in VBA. It allows you to send HTTP requests and receive responses without the need for a web browser. This makes it an excellent choice for downloading files programmatically.

Setting Up a Reference to WinHTTP

Before you can use WinHTTP in your VBA project, you need to set up a reference to the WinHTTP library. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open your Excel workbook.
  2. Press Alt + F11 to open the Visual Basic for Applications editor.
  3. In the VBA editor, go to Tools > References.
  4. In the References dialog box, scroll down and check the box next to “Microsoft WinHTTP Services, version X.X” (X.X will depend on the version installed on your system). Click “OK” to add the reference.

Writing VBA Code to Download a File

Now that you have added the WinHTTP reference, you can write VBA code to download a file. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Sub DownloadFileUsingWinHTTP()
    Dim WinHttpReq As Object
    Set WinHttpReq = CreateObject("WinHttp.WinHttpRequest.5.1")

    ' Specify the URL of the file you want to download
    URL = ""

    ' Send an HTTP GET request to the URL
    WinHttpReq.Open "GET", URL, False

    ' Save the downloaded file to a local path
    LocalFilePath = "C:\Path\To\Save\Your\File.ext"
    If WinHttpReq.Status = 200 Then
        Set oStream = CreateObject("ADODB.Stream")
        oStream.Type = 1 ' Binary
        oStream.Write WinHttpReq.responseBody
        oStream.SaveToFile LocalFilePath, 2 ' Overwrite
        MsgBox "File download failed. Status code: " & WinHttpReq.Status
    End If
End Sub

Replace "" with the actual URL of the file you want to download and "C:\Path\To\Save\Your\File.ext" with the desired local path where you want to save the downloaded file.

This VBA code creates an HTTP GET request using WinHTTP, downloads the file, and saves it to your specified local directory.

Handling Authentication and Headers

If the file you are trying to download requires authentication or if you need to set custom headers in your HTTP request, you can do so by modifying the code accordingly. Here’s an example of how to add basic authentication:

' Set the username and password for basic authentication
Username = "your_username"
Password = "your_password"

' Add basic authentication to the request
WinHttpReq.SetRequestHeader "Authorization", "Basic " & Base64Encode(Username & ":" & Password)

In this code, replace "your_username" and "your_password" with your actual credentials.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I download a file using VBA without Internet Explorer?

You can download a file using VBA without Internet Explorer by using the URLDownloadToFile function from the Windows API. This function allows you to download files directly from a URL without opening a web browser. You’ll need to declare and use this function in your VBA code to accomplish the task.

Can you provide an example of VBA code to download a file without Internet Explorer?

Certainly! Here’s an example of VBA code to download a file using the URLDownloadToFile function:

       Option Explicit
       Declare Function URLDownloadToFile Lib "urlmon" Alias "URLDownloadToFileA" ( _
           ByVal pCaller As Long, _
           ByVal szURL As String, _
           ByVal szFileName As String, _
           ByVal dwReserved As Long, _
           ByVal lpfnCB As Long _
       ) As Long
       Sub DownloadFile()
           Dim URL As String
           Dim DestinationPath As String
           URL = ""
           DestinationPath = "C:\Downloads\file-to-download.pdf"
           If URLDownloadToFile(0, URL, DestinationPath, 0, 0) = 0 Then
               MsgBox "File downloaded successfully!"
               MsgBox "File download failed!"
           End If
       End Sub

    Is it possible to download multiple files sequentially with VBA?

    Yes, it’s possible to download multiple files sequentially with VBA. You can create a loop that iterates through a list of URLs and downloads each file one by one using the URLDownloadToFile function. This allows you to automate the download of multiple files without the need for Internet Explorer.

    Are there any alternatives to the URLDownloadToFile function for downloading files in VBA?

    Yes, there are alternatives to the URLDownloadToFile function. You can also use the MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP object to make HTTP requests and download files. Additionally, you can use third-party libraries like WinHTTP or CURL through VBA to achieve similar functionality.

    Is it possible to download files with authentication using VBA without Internet Explorer?

    Yes, it is possible to download files with authentication using VBA without Internet Explorer. You can include the necessary authentication credentials (e.g., username and password) in the HTTP request headers when using the MSXML2.ServerXMLHTTP object or other HTTP request methods. This allows you to access password-protected resources and download files securely.

    Downloading files using VBA without relying on Internet Explorer is not only more reliable but also more efficient. By utilizing the WinHTTP library, you can automate file downloads with ease and ensure compatibility across different versions of Windows.

    Automation is all about streamlining your workflow, and VBA empowers you to achieve just that. Whether you’re working with Excel, Access, or other Microsoft Office applications, VBA is a valuable tool for automating repetitive tasks and making your work more efficient.

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