Download file through Google Chrome in headless mode

First the solution

Minimum Prerequisites:

  • Selenium client version: Selenium v3.141.59
  • Chrome version: Chrome v77.0
  • ChromeDriver version: ChromeDriver v77.0

To download the file clicking on the element with text as Download Data within this website you can use the following solution:

  • Code Block:

    from selenium import webdriver
    from import By
    from import WebDriverWait
    from import expected_conditions as EC
    from import Options
    options = Options()
    options.add_experimental_option("excludeSwitches", ["enable-automation"])
    options.add_experimental_option('useAutomationExtension', False)
    driver = webdriver.Chrome(chrome_options=options, executable_path=r'C:\Utility\BrowserDrivers\chromedriver.exe', service_args=["--log-path=./Logs/DubiousDan.log"])
    print ("Headless Chrome Initialized")
    params = {'behavior': 'allow', 'downloadPath': r'C:\Users\Debanjan.B\Downloads'}
    driver.execute_cdp_cmd('Page.setDownloadBehavior', params)
    driver.execute_script("scroll(0, 250)"); 
    WebDriverWait(driver, 20).until(EC.element_to_be_clickable((By.CSS_SELECTOR, "button#download"))).click()
    print ("Download button clicked")
  • Console Output:

    Headless Chrome Initialized
    Download button clicked
  • File Downloading snapshot:



Downloading files through Headless Chromium was one of the most sought functionality since Headless Chrome was introduced.

Since then there were different work-arounds published by different contributors and some of them are:

  • Downloading with chrome headless and selenium
  • Python equivalent of a given wget command

Now the, the good news is Chromium team have officially announced the arrival of the functionality Downloading file through Headless Chromium.

In the discussion Headless mode doesn’t save file downloads @eseckler mentioned:

Downloads in headless work a little differently. There’s the Page.setDownloadBehavior devtools command to set a download folder. We’re working on a way to use DevTools network interception to stream the downloaded file via DevTools as well.

A detailed discussion can be found at Issue 696481: Headless mode doesn’t save file downloads

Finally, @bugdroid revision seems to have nailed the issue for us.

[ChromeDriver] Added support for headless mode to download files

Previously, Chromedriver running in headless mode would not properly download files due to the fact it sparsely parses the preference file given to it. Engineers from the headless chrome team recommended using DevTools’s “Page.setDownloadBehavior” to fix this. This changelist implements this fix. Downloaded files default to the current directory and can be set using download_dir when instantiating a chromedriver instance. Also added tests to ensure proper download functionality.

Here is the revision and commit

From ChromeDriver v77.0.3865.40 (2019-08-20) release notes:

Resolved issue 2454: Headless mode doesn't save file downloads [Pri-2]


  • Update ChromeDriver to latest ChromeDriver v77.0 level.
  • Update Chrome to Chrome Version 77.0 level. (as per ChromeDriver v76.0 release notes)
  • Note: Chrome v77.0 is yet to be GAed/pushed for release so till then you can download and install a development build and test either from:

    • Chrome Canary
    • Latest build from the Dev Channel


However Mac OSX users have a wait for their pie as On Chromedriver, headless chrome crashes after sending Page.setDownloadBehavior on MacOSX.

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