DownloadManager is a service provided by Android that can conduct long-running HTTP downloads, typically for large files. So we do not need to worry about connection loss connection, system reboots, etc.

Listen for Download Complete Event

Before we start downloading, make sure we already listen for the broadcast of Downloadmanager, so that we won't miss anything.

private String downloadCompleteIntentName = DownloadManager.ACTION_DOWNLOAD_COMPLETE;
private IntentFilter downloadCompleteIntentFilter = new IntentFilter(downloadCompleteIntentName);
private BroadcastReceiver downloadCompleteReceiver = new BroadcastReceiver() {
    public void onReceive(Context context, Intent intent) {
        // TO BE FILLED

// when initialize
context.registerReceiver(downloadCompleteReceiver, downloadCompleteIntentFilter);

Request Download

We an get an instance of DownloadManager using this call.

DownloadManager downloadManager = (DownloadManager) context.getSystemService(Context.DOWNLOAD_SERVICE);

DownloadManager has a subclass called Request, which we will use to request for an download action. Here is the code snippet that initiate a download.

String url = "";
DownloadManager.Request request = new DownloadManager.Request(Uri.parse(url));

// only download via WIFI
request.setDescription("Downloading a very large zip");

// we just want to download silently
request.setDestinationInExternalFilesDir(context, null, "");

// enqueue this request
DownloadManager downloadManager = (DownloadManager) context.getSystemService(Context.DOWNLOAD_SERVICE);
downloadID = downloadManager.enqueue(request);

Please refer to the doc on more configurations of the request object. So now we have an downloadID, which we'll use to query the state of downloading.

Download Complete Handler

Now we already started downloading, in the above downloadCompleteReceiver, what we need to do?

First, we need to check if it's for our download, since it's an broadcast event.

long id = intent.getLongExtra(DownloadManager.EXTRA_DOWNLOAD_ID, 0L);
if (id != downloadID) {
    Log.v(TAG, "Ingnoring unrelated download " + id);

Then we need to query the state of downloading. This is done via the Query subclass of DownloadManager.

DownloadManager downloadManager = (DownloadManager) context.getSystemService(Context.DOWNLOAD_SERVICE);
DownloadManager.Query query = new DownloadManager.Query();
Cursor cursor = downloadManager.query(query);

// it shouldn't be empty, but just in case
if (!cursor.moveToFirst()) {
    Log.e(TAG, "Empty row");

Then we can get the state and also the downloaded file information like this.

int statusIndex = cursor.getColumnIndex(DownloadManager.COLUMN_STATUS);
if (DownloadManager.STATUS_SUCCESSFUL != cursor.getInt(statusIndex)) {
    Log.w(TAG, "Download Failed");

int uriIndex = cursor.getColumnIndex(DownloadManager.COLUMN_LOCAL_URI);
String downloadedPackageUriString = cursor.getString(uriIndex);

So now we get the downloaded file's URI, we can than either copy it to somewhere else, or go ahead and process it.

There are more information to query when the download failed, e.g., reason, how much as been downloaded, etc. Please refer to the documentation of DownloadManager for complete list of column names.