Part 1) Download a File (from a URL)

· 208 words · 1 minute read

This example shows how to download a file from the web on to your local machine. By using io.Copy() and passing the response body directly in we stream the data to the file and avoid having to load it all into the memory - it's not a problem with small files, but it makes a difference when downloading large files.

We also have an example of downloading large files with progress reports.

If you want to use the filename from the url, you can replace the filepath variable in DownloadFile with path.Base(resp.Request.URL.String()) and import the path package.

package main

import (

func main() {

    fileUrl := ""

    if err := DownloadFile("avatar.jpg", fileUrl); err != nil {

// DownloadFile will download a url to a local file. It's efficient because it will
// write as it downloads and not load the whole file into memory.
func DownloadFile(filepath string, url string) error {

    // Get the data
    resp, err := http.Get(url)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    defer resp.Body.Close()

    // Create the file
    out, err := os.Create(filepath)
    if err != nil {
        return err
    defer out.Close()

    // Write the body to file
    _, err = io.Copy(out, resp.Body)
    return err
Image of Author Edd Turtle

Author:  Edd Turtle

Edd is the Lead Developer at Hoowla, a prop-tech startup, where he spends much of his time working on production-ready Go and PHP code. He loves coding, but also enjoys cycling and camping in his spare time.

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