Download Tool

The Download tool will retrieve data from a specified URL to be used in downstream processing or to be saved to a file. The Download tool can also download or upload data via FTP and SFTP.

The Download tool cannot be used in apps saved to the Alteryx Analytics Gallery.

Configuration Properties

There are four tabs with configurable options on the Download tool: Basic, Headers, Payload and Login. Only the Basic tab is required for proper configuration.


  1. URL Field: Specify the field from the incoming data stream that contains the URL (Uniform Resource Locator - Internet resource) to pull data from (or upload data to). This could simply be a Text Input tool where the URL is specified as a field value.
  2. Encode URL Text: When checked, the specified URL will be encoded as needed where unsafe ASCII characters are converted into a format that can be transmitted over the internet. An example of this would be the substitution of %20 for a space.
  3. Output: Specify how the returned data should be formatted. The data can be returned in a data field or output to a file.


The headers tab allows you to modify the HTTP headers sent with the web request.

  1. Add from the following constant values: Allows for adding fixed header values.
  2. For example to add the header Accept: text/plain enter 'Accept' in name and 'text/plain' in value.

  3. And values from these fields: Takes values from the record data and creates header values.
  4. For example to add the header Expect: 100-continue select a field named 'Expect' in the input data which has contents '100-continue.'


The payload tab allows you to set the HTTP Action you would like to perform and optionally build the Query String or Body for the web request.

  1. HTTP Action: Select the HTTP Action for the web request. Choices include:
  2. Choose from the following Query String / Body Options:

All text data is UTF-8 encoded before being sent to the remote web server.


  1. Username: Enter the user name if required by the URL specification above. This is an optional field.
  2. Password: Enter the password if required by the URL specification above. This is an optional field.
  3. Maximum Connections: Specify the maximum number of simultaneous transfers for the Download tool to perform. Transfers are only done in parallel when there are multiple input records sent to the Download tool. Multiple Download tools operate independently, but do not typically function at the same time. For new Download tools added to a workflow, the default number of connections is 2 and the maximum number of connections is 32.
  4. Increasing the number of connections may reduce the total time taken to complete all transfers, but please use caution not to set the number too high as it could overload the server being used. It is possible the server could quit responding, report errors, or even refuse connections if it believes you are misusing it. This is particularly important when accessing a public site that is not under your control. Most web browsers will do as many as 6 simultaneous transfers, but these would typically be relatively small transfers as a part of a web page. For a server inside your own business where you have more control over how it is configured, using a higher number of connections may be okay.

    Additionally, because the Download tool will send records downstream as transfers complete, it will likely result in a change in the order of records as they pass through the tool. If the order matters to your workflow, make sure to sort the results or limit the number of connections to 1. Finally, please note that empty URLs will be processed ahead of those that require an actual transfer.

  5. Timeout (seconds): Specify the number of seconds to wait before reporting a timeout due to an unresponsive connection. Select a number from 0 (never timeout) to 10,000.

Other Considerations

To avoid connection delays when using the Download tool, ensure that the “Automatically detect settings” option is deselected within your account’s internet properties (Control Panel > Internet Options > Connections > LAN Settings).