GitHub is a popular platform for hosting and collaborating on software projects. It allows developers to store their code repositories in the cloud and provides various tools for version control and collaboration. One of the common tasks when working with GitHub is downloading files or entire repositories. In this guide, we'll walk you through the steps to download files from GitHub.

Login to Github (Optional)

To get started, find the file you want to download. If the file you want to download is private, you will need to login to your Github account and meet the right permissions. If you don't already have a GitHub account, you may need to create one. Creating an account is free and only takes a few minutes. Go to GitHub's signup page and follow the instructions to create your account.

Locate the Github Repository

Locate the repository that contains the files you want to download. GitHub repositories have a URL in the format below.

Once you are in the right repository, You will see information about the project, including a list of files and directories as shown below.

Img 1.png

Downloading a Single File

From the Image above, there are several files. wp.yml will be used for this demonstration.

  • Click on the file wp.yml to open up the file in the GitHub interface.

    Img 2.png

  • In the top-right corner of the file view, you will see a "Download" button. Click on it.

    Img 3.png

    Alternatively, you can press ctrl + shift + s.

    This will download the file to your computer in your specified downloads folder in its original format. You can then open and use it as needed.

Downloading a Repository

If you need the entire repository rather than a single file, you have a few options. You can download the repository as a ZIP file or use Git to clone the repository to your local machine.

Downloading a Zip

To download the repository as a Zip file, go back to the repository's main page to see all the files and directories.

You will then need to click on the green button that says Code.

Img 4.png

This will open a drop down menu with several options including **Download ZIP**.

Img 5.png

Click on the Download ZIP option from the dropdown.

GitHub will then compress the entire repository and save it to you preferred downloads folder.

After the download is complete, extract the ZIP file to access the repository's files and directories. You can check out how to unzip files in windows in this article.

How to Zip/Unzip Files in Windows 11
This article explains how to use the built-in Windows utility for compressing and decompressing files. By zipping your files, you save space and make it easy to transfer your files to others.

Clone the repository Using Git

To use this method, you need to have Git installed on your computer.

How to Install and Use Git on Windows 11
This article shows a step-by-step guide on how to install git on the Windows 11 operating system. You also get a Git commands Cheat sheet to help you get started with Git.

Once Git is installed, follow the steps below.

  • Click the green "Code" button on the repository's main page.

    Img 4.png

  • Copy the URL provided. It will look something like 

    Make sure you are under the HTTPS tab otherwise it will not work.

    Img 6.png

  • Open your terminal or command prompt and navigate to the directory where you want to store the repository.

  • Use the git clone command followed by the URL you copied as shown below.

    git clone
  • Git will then clone the entire repository to your local machine. You can then use Git commands to work with the files and directories.

Downloading a Release

GitHub allows project maintainers to create releases, which are specific versions of their software or project. If you want to download a release, follow these steps:

  • In the repository's main page, navigate to the "Releases" section.

    Img 7.png

  • Scroll to find the release you want then select it.

  • Within the release page, you'll find assets associated with the release, which could include files in various formats (e.g., source code, binary executables, or documentation). Click on the asset you want to download.

    Img 8.png

  • GitHub will prepare the asset for download and save it to your computer.

Wrapping Up

With these steps, you can easily download files, repositories, and releases from GitHub, making it a valuable resource for accessing and collaborating on open-source projects and code repositories.

Thank you for reading : )

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