How To Download Firefox Without a Web Browser

UPDATE 2/7/2013: Download Chrome Without a Web Browser.

I recently came across an interesting tutorial on how to download FireFox using only the command prompt on Windows XP or Windows Vista, and I have made it a little more user friendly.  This may come in handy in a variety of different situations, or it may just be used in an attempt to convince your friends that you are a hacker. In the quick tutorial below, please note that when I use quotes, it indicates exactly what you should type in, but do not type in the quotes themselves unless explicitly noted.

  1. Go to Start > Run > “cmd” and hit OK. This will load the command prompt.
  2. type “ftp” and hit enter.
  3. type “open” and hit enter.
  4. It will ask for a username, type “anonymous” and hit enter.
  5. It will then ask for a password, type “anonymous” and hit enter.
  6. Open the folder with the latest Windows release of Firefox by typing in:
    “cd pub/” and then enter.
  7. View the contents of the current directory by typing in “ls” and then enter.
  8. Switch to binary file mode by typing in “type image” and then hit enter.
  9. Choose the directory to download firefox to by typing “lcd C:\” (Typing this will save it right to the root directory of the C: Drive.
  10. When you typed in “ls” from step 7, it should have listed a .exe file for you.  As of writing the latest version is Firefox Setup 3.0.11.exe.  In this case, we will type in: get “Firefox Setup 3.0.11.exe” (type in the quotes)
  11. Now go check in your c:/ drive, and you should see the .exe file downloaded.
  12. Type “bye” to exit the FTP mode, and then type “exit” to close out of the Command Prompt.

UPDATE 2/7/2013: Download Chrome Without a Web Browser.

Update 7/29/2013: Updated URL structure per comment to


  • Show Comments (35)

  • Misty

    Help please when im in the command prompt. I get the promot after i enter ftp however after entering “ hit enter and get invalid command… 🙁

  • Katelyn

    When I go to type in “open” and press enter the “ftp connect” comes back with “Connection refused”. Why is that? Is it because my computer is a Surface 2?

  • Kritesh Dhakal

    connection timed out it says

  • Tess

    What if ftp timed out? What should i do?

  • Justin Morneau

    When I go to type “ftp” it closes the window. So this is useless.

  • Luna

    hey Matt thanks so much, i looked at the pic u posted and at the bottom i see it says directory send OK, mine stops at 150 opening BINARY mode data connection for Firefox Setup 28.0.exe (25200168 bytes). So is that it? Do i close the window or wait? I’ve looked in my computer for the file and cannot find it.

  • Robert

    When I login, I type my username (anonymous)
    and the I must type the password (anonymous)
    But there are no letters…
    If I type the password and the hit enter,
    then he says: 530 Login authenication failed
    What’s happening??

  • Unoriginal Junglist

    Explorer is totally obsolete.

  • viewfinder

    The site autoconverted the item 3. Remove “http://” from my previous post.

  • viewfinder

    The URL is no longer valid. The address has changed to

    That is:
    3. open
    6. cd pub/

  • hameeda

    it was great thank you
    but how we can use it in windows 7

  • kotex

    A great tip, I follow by google and see this. Work like a charm. Thanks very much.

  • kelly

    woohoo!! It worked!

  • kelly

    woohoo! It worked! thanks!

  • blezzie kyna

    i can’t seem to find that .exe in C: .. i did the instructions perfectly.. but then there’s no .exe… what should i do?

  • Vijay

    Great post, exactly what I needed.


  • Hamza

    can anyone tell me how to browse websites on cmd if possible ??

  • sarath

    i cant use “ls” command in my cmd .
    when i type ls command
    it shows like this

    ftp> cd pub/
    250 Directory successfully changed.
    ftp> ls
    500 Illegal PORT command.
    425 Use PORT or PASV first.

  • sarath

    i cant use ls command in cmd .it shows “USE PORT” i am using windows xp os? plz solve my problem…

  • Ibrahima

    Holy caw Marvelous…
    Awesome i am glad to stumble upon this .. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  • John

    Worked like a charm on a Vista operating system, thanks!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Pancake

    I love this so much. Everything in the tutorial worked perfectly.

  • viplove

    Its nice and simple it download very quikly.

  • souls

    This saved my life

  • Derf Skren

    Sweet, just what I needed, thanks.

  • Admin

    I am getting a ” Failure Writing Network Stream” On the last step…. I wait … and this is the error I get…….. Any Advice?

  • satpal

    gr8 job………simple and easy

  • Theodore

    I appreciate your effort to put up this post. Very great but the is much easy. Though u have to click through series of directories to get to ur destination. Good post though…thumb up

  • Austin

    Thanks a bunch!

  • Mario

    mmhh windows and linux file explorers also can browse Mozilla Ftp. Type in the adress bar ” “, browse the ftp directories and download graphically the EXE or Linux package. Is easier than the console

  • Peggy

    Amazingly, I used the information here in conjunction with something I read on another site, and entered

    “start” and landed where I needed to be.

    Thanks to all the generous people out there.

  • Lance

    “open” is not a command
    That’s the reply I got, and until you install the open command, that is what everyone will get.

  • Josh

    Excellent, thank you.

  • shirey

    I received an error “Replace Existing File with Temp File:I/O Error” although Instead of “lcd C:” type “lcd C:UsersUSER_NAMEDesktop“

  • crickets

    Some users will receive an error “Replace Existing File with Temp File:I/O Error” when trying to download to the C:\ directory. To fix that just change to a non-protected directory before downloading.

    Instead of “lcd C:\” type “lcd C:\Users\USER_NAME\Desktop” for example.

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