How To

How to Download Files From GitHub – User Guide

Want to know how to download files from GitHub? Here is how

GitHub is a repository for developers to submit code and programs online. The repository has many valuable files, but the software could be more user-friendly. Especially folks who aren’t tech-savvy will struggle with discovering things and downloading them.

Finding the correct download link can be confusing if you are trying to download files from GitHub. I will give you some tips so you can locate the right download link on any GitHub project page.

We will demonstrate if you need help getting files from projects (or full projects) from GitHub. Let’s get started.

Downloading From GitHub

Download single file from GitHub: Most public repositories can be downloaded without requiring a user account. It is because public repositories contain open-source codebases. However, unless the codebase owner ticks an option to the contrary, the codebase can be downloaded and compressed into a .zip file.

  • If you already have a link — like this Tip Calculator — you will notice that in the top-right corner is a green button that says Code; tap on the button.

  • Afterward, in the dropdown, select Download ZIP. The files will begin downloading to your PC, usually in your Downloads folder.

  • Next, open your Downloads folder on your computer, then find the ZIP file. You will want to right-click it and choose the option that says Extract All…, Unzip, or Uncompress, then select a folder where you want the files to end up.

  • At last, navigate to that selected folder, and you will find all of those Github files we downloaded right there!

So, that’s a reasonably small codebase with only a couple of files. However, if you go to Wes Bos’ JavaScript 30 repository on Github, you will notice that it can be downloaded the same way since it is a public repository.

Downloading GitHub Files Using Commands

Download folder from GitHub command line: Alternatively, you can clone a file or repository on GitHub with simple commands. For this to function, you must install the Git tools. We will install the same tip calculator in this demo using the command line.

  • Copy the URL from address bar or the menu where the zip file was downloaded.
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  • Open Git Bash and type “cd Downloads,” followed by the Enter key. It will take you to the Downloads folder in the command window; however, you can enter any file location you choose.

  • Now, type in “git clone https://github.com/bdward16/tip-calculator.git” then press Enter.

  • Using this technique, the files are automatically unzipped once downloaded.

There’s a Better Way to Download Files From GitHub

Although the method to Download Files From GitHub we have outlined is straightforward, it is best suited for viewing code files, not experimentation. If you intend to grab GitHub files for experimentation, “fork” the project is the ideal option. A fork is only an individual’s copy of a repository.

Forking a repository offers numerous advantages. First, it creates a clone of the project on your GitHub account, allowing you to experiment freely with modifications without harming the original. You may, for instance, discover a fault in my Tip Calculator or wish to add your functionality. Further, you may, therefore, “fork” my Tip Calculator and create a replica on your own GitHub account. You might tinker with the code and conduct experiments without impacting the original project, as this is your copy or “fork.”

As previously stated, forks are typically used to propose improvements to someone else’s project, such as fixing a bug or introducing a new feature.

How exactly does one fork a public repository? It’s quite easy. You must register a free GitHub account before we begin, as you’ll need a place to store your fork. It can be done immediately by visiting www.github.com.

Once your account has been created, you can fork a public repository to it.

  • It may take few seconds to a few minutes, but GitHub will clone or “fork” the project to your account. After completion, the project will automatically appear under your GitHub login.
  • To verify, click the profile symbol in the navigation bar’s upper-right corner and select the Your Repositories option. The JavaScript 30-course codebase should appear in your repository list.

Now, you are free to modify and experiment with the code without affecting the original project files of the original owner. For example, if you modify some code, repair a bug, or add a new feature, you can make a “Pull Request” to discuss the modification. Then, if the original project owner approves and the modification is functional, it can merge into the original codebase as production code.

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Tips for Finding Files

A simple Google or Reddit search will guide you to the required files. However, you may search for and download files if you access GitHub. It is how to Download Files From GitHub:

  • Open GitHub and tap Search GitHub in the top right corner.

  • Type the file name, developer, or whatever you want, and tap Enter.
  • Afterward, scroll through the list until you find the one you need to download.

Tip: Use the sorter in the top right corner to select the ones with the best stars, recent updates, etc.

FAQs

Well, here are the answers to more of your queries about how to Download Files From GitHub.

How do I know which files are safe to download?

Because GitHub is essentially an online repository, anyone can upload any code for you to download. Therefore, it is prudent to exercise caution before downloading anything from GitHub. However, there are indications that the files are reliable.

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Examine the amount of stars, contributors, and recent releases. If the software is maintained by contributors and has numerous positive reviews, it is likely to be secure.

I can’t find the installation zip file. What do I do?

If, after installing the files, you cannot locate a necessary file, such as an installation file, return to the GitHub page from which you obtained the data. Next, select Issue and then click New Issue.

Notify the developer that a file is missing, and they should respond.

Final Words

Obtaining files and entire projects Download Files from GitHub is pretty simple. In minutes, you can download a project to your computer or fork it to your own GitHub account. It doesn’t require much effort to experiment with the code in your fork to determine what it impacts, and eventually, you may even be able to submit your first pull request!

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