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Sample code to download file from internet - Phonegap Wiki
<!DOCTYPE html>
<!-- Android
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0, maximum-scale=1.0, user-scalable=no;" />
<meta charset="utf-8">-->
<!-- iPad/iPhone specific css below, add after your main css >
<link rel="stylesheet" media="only screen and (max-device-width: 1024px)" href="/ipad.css" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" media="only screen and (max-device-width: 480px)" href="/iphone.css" type="text/css" />
<!-- If your application is targeting iOS BEFORE 4.0 you MUST put json2.js from into your www directory and include it here -->
<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="phonegap-1.4.1.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
// If you want to prevent dragging, uncomment this section
function preventBehavior(e)
document.addEventListener("touchmove", preventBehavior, false);
/* If you are supporting your own protocol, the var invokeString will contain any arguments to the app launch.
for more details -jm */
function handleOpenURL(url)
// TODO: do something with the url passed in.
function onBodyLoad()
document.addEventListener("deviceready", onDeviceReady, false);
function downloadFile(){
LocalFileSystem.PERSISTENT, 0,
function onFileSystemSuccess(fileSystem) {
"dummy.html", {create: true, exclusive: false},
function gotFileEntry(fileEntry){
var sPath = fileEntry.fullPath.replace("dummy.html","");
var fileTransfer = new FileTransfer();
sPath + "theFile.pdf",
function(theFile) {
console.log("download complete: " + theFile.toURI());
function(error) {
console.log("download error source " + error.source);
console.log("download error target " +;
console.log("upload error code: " + error.code);
function showLink(url){
var divEl = document.getElementById("ready");
var aElem = document.createElement("a");
aElem.setAttribute("target", "_blank");
aElem.setAttribute("href", url);
aElem.appendChild(document.createTextNode("Ready! Click To Open."))
function fail(evt) {
/* When this function is called, PhoneGap has been initialized and is ready to roll */
/* If you are supporting your own protocol, the var invokeString will contain any arguments to the app launch.
for more details -jm */
function onDeviceReady()
// do your thing!
<body onload="onBodyLoad()">
<h1>Hey, it's PhoneGap!</h1>
<p>Don't know how to get started? Check out <em><a target="_blank" href="/">PhoneGap Start</a><em>
<br />
<span id="ready"></span>

mulhoon commented May 16, 2012

Hi Nathan,
What is the dummy.html doing here? it seems like it is created and then removed immediately. Is there a reason for this?


nathanpc commented May 16, 2012

It's just a mirror with syntax highlighting.

mulhoon commented May 16, 2012

Sorry, I mean "dummy.html" in lines 48-52
What does this do on the phone?



nathanpc commented May 16, 2012

Ahh, that's just a simple example of a file that will be created on the file system.

mulhoon commented May 16, 2012

Ah, ok.

Gowiem commented May 18, 2012

Hey man, this is great thanks!
Couple quick questions:

  1. Does the "dummy.hmtl" file have to be created for a file to be instantiated or could we start the filesystem.root.getFile function with a new FileTransfer? Do we need to create the dummy file to get the path, is that why it's there? Or is it there just to show that we can create blank files if that is what we are looking to do?
  2. I noticed the LocalFilesystem.PERSISTENT. Does that mean that this file is stored locally forever or is it persistent till the app is closed/the phone is turned off or reset?

dpatey commented Jul 5, 2012

Would it be possible to save an image from an external URL to the Camera Roll using this method?


nathanpc commented Jul 5, 2012

@dpatey Sadly not. The only thing you can do is display the image and tell the user to click-and-hold so the default OS menu comes up and then he can click to save the photo, but I think there is a plugin for what you want.

dpatey commented Jul 5, 2012

I appreciate the reply @nathanpc. I've been looking at Jesse McFadyen's imageHelper plugin but for some reason have been having a devil of a time getting it to work. I thought maybe I'd found a magic bullet with your script here - which worked exactly as advertised on the first try, by the way :) - but magic bullets very rarely exist in the PhoneGap universe I've found. Thanks again!


1- The dummy.html is there for the fileEntry to be instantiated.
2- The file will be stored locally forever

Glad this code getting evolved.

hay, thanks a lot for this :) I was just wondering - i have already coded a file to be written to the localFileSystem and was going to tell the computer to retrieve the file from memory and download that. how would i alter the code to suit that? do i just replace "dummy.html" with my file name? (Sorry if this is a little stupid-sounding, i'm new to all this) xx

moa7ed commented Apr 16, 2013

Failed to load webpage with error: The requested URL was not found on this server.

Thank you so much for the code Nathan.
I wonder if you could give me any hint with a further step on your script.
How do I retrieve the file to display content?
I was able to go through your script and it is working fine. However, after downloading the file I would like to go to another HTML page in which the content of the downloaded XML file would be displayed. I have not being able to do that. How can I find the downloaded file in the device? I have tried a lot of approaches but I cannot get the file in another page.
I thank anyone in advance for any help.

i want to use internal storage ( /data/data//app_database) of the application to store the that the file is only accessible within the application. not for other application.
how can i use store the file in application storage area..?

Ty for code! :)

Phonegap/Cordova 3.0.0:
Method toURI() is deprecated. Use toURL(); instead of toURI();

shows download complete but nothing happens when we click on "Ready , click to open". Please help out what to do

emreX commented Sep 22, 2013

hi, thank you for your example, but I HAVE A PROBLEM WİTH STORAGE !!!!!

when I turn off the wifi(internet) or close the app , my downloaded file removes !

what can I do, thanks for your comments already, dear masters...

How can i get to the downloaded image in iOS (6+)? It's nowhere to be found. For Android it is downloaded to the root of the sdcard.

Many thanks, is this works on ios too ?
also please let me know how can I add my directory name in download location

artiveng commented Jan 7, 2014

The code snippet is working. but somehow the file is not downloading, it is creating a dummy file with the same name (specified name). The file is just a piece of junk and not a real file i need. Can anyone please help me out.

hillsng commented Jan 23, 2014

Hi Guys,

Any help to get this code work on Phonegap 3.X.X, precisely using phonegap Build. Thanks in advance

This code works fine on android but when I used this code on ios, it tells me that the download is successfully completed but I find no files downloaded ... please help

Dear Sir thank you So much, i used ur work with PhoneGap 3.0 and it works great, but now i couldn't make it work with PhoneGap 3.3 the line fileSystem.root.getFile always give me Exception

02-20 12:24:34.997: W/System.err(32109): No installed handlers for this URL
02-20 12:24:34.997: W/System.err(32109): at org.apache.cordova.file.FileUtils.getFile(
02-20 12:24:35.007: W/System.err(32109): at org.apache.cordova.file.FileUtils.access$5(
02-20 12:24:35.007: W/System.err(32109): at org.apache.cordova.file.FileUtils$
02-20 12:24:35.017: W/System.err(32109): at org.apache.cordova.file.FileUtils$
02-20 12:24:35.017: W/System.err(32109): at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor.runWorker(
02-20 12:24:35.017: W/System.err(32109): at java.util.concurrent.ThreadPoolExecutor$
02-20 12:24:35.017: W/System.err(32109): at

torrmal commented Apr 5, 2014

Maybe you'd like to try this:

new FileManager().download_file('http://url','target_path',Log('downloaded success'));

target_path: can include directory (example: dira/dirb/file.html) and the directories will be created recursively.

- Download file from url to your device using phonegap
- It is working 3.0 and up to for iOS and android 

var folderName = 'xyz';
var fileName;

function downloadFile(URL) {
    //step to request a file system 
    window.requestFileSystem(LocalFileSystem.PERSISTENT, 0, fileSystemSuccess, fileSystemFail);

    function fileSystemSuccess(fileSystem) {
        var download_link = encodeURI(URL);
        fileName = download_link.substr(download_link.lastIndexOf('/') + 1); //Get filename of URL
        var directoryEntry = fileSystem.root; // to get root path of directory
        directoryEntry.getDirectory(folderName, {
            create: true,
            exclusive: false
        }, onDirectorySuccess, onDirectoryFail); // creating folder in sdcard
        var rootdir = fileSystem.root;
        var fp = fileSystem.root.toNativeURL(); // Returns Fullpath of local directory

        fp = fp + "/" + folderName + "/" + fileName; // fullpath and name of the file which we want to give
        // download function call
        filetransfer(download_link, fp);

    function onDirectorySuccess(parent) {
        // Directory created successfuly

    function onDirectoryFail(error) {
        //Error while creating directory
        alert("Unable to create new directory: " + error.code);


    function fileSystemFail(evt) {
        //Unable to access file system

function filetransfer(download_link, fp) {
    var fileTransfer = new FileTransfer();
    // File download function with URL and local path, fp,
        function(entry) {
            alert("download complete: " + entry.fullPath);
        function(error) {
            //Download abort errors or download failed errors
            alert("download error source " + error.source);

thx parthdevmurari91, it works!

just change "toNativeURL()" deprecated
var fp = fileSystem.root.toNativeURL();
with "toURL()"
var fp = fileSystem.root.toURL();

thax parthdevmurari91

just one question, how do you pass the URL to downloadFile(URL) function

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