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

35 thoughts on “How To Download Firefox Without a Web Browser

  1. 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:UsersUSER_NAMEDesktop” for example.


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


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


  4. 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.


  5. Hello,
    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??


  6. 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.


  7. 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?


  8. 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… 😦


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