Downloading an Excel File from a Webpage Using Selenium

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of automating the download of Excel files from webpages using Selenium. By following this guide, you will gain the expertise to seamlessly extract data with just a few lines of Python code.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

When working on data analysis projects or any data-centric tasks, access to online datasets in Excel format is often crucial. However, manually downloading these files can be laborious and inefficient. This is where Selenium shines.

Selenium WebDriver empowers us to interact with web pages programmatically, enabling actions like clicking buttons and filling out forms. In our case, we leverage Selenium to automate the download of Excel files effortlessly. By configuring Selenium alongside your preferred browser (such as Chrome or Firefox), you can streamline the process of downloading files without any manual intervention.


from selenium import webdriver
from import Service as ChromeService
from import ChromeDriverManager

options = webdriver.ChromeOptions()
prefs = {"download.default_directory": "/path/to/download/folder"}
options.add_experimental_option("prefs", prefs)

driver = webdriver.Chrome(service=ChromeService(ChromeDriverManager().install()), options=options)

download_button_xpath = 'XPATH_OF_DOWNLOAD_BUTTON'

# Copyright PHD


  • Set up Chrome Options: Configure Chrome options by setting the default download directory in preferences.

  • Initialize WebDriver: Initialize webdriver.Chrome with necessary arguments for seamless automation.

  • Navigate and Click: Visit the webpage containing the Excel file and simulate a click on the download button.


  1. How do I find XPATH_OF_DOWNLOAD_BUTTON? Use browser developer tools (Inspect element feature) to copy XPath of the target button.

  2. Can I use Firefox instead of Chrome? Yes! Substitute webdriver.Chrome with webdriver.Firefox along with Firefox-specific settings.

  3. What if my download doesn’t start automatically? Ensure pop-ups aren�t blocked in your browser settings and check for site-specific prompts.

  4. Can I set specific MIME types for automatic downloads? Yes! Include MIME types within your options setup for custom downloads.

  5. How do I specify a custom path for every download? For dynamic paths per-file basis, consider handling downloads outside Selenium through server-side scripting or advanced browser configurations.


Automating file downloads using Python’s Selenium library streamlines data extraction processes significantly, especially when dealing with online datasets like Excel files regularly. With proper setup and precise element targeting, automating interactions becomes seamless.

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