How to enable ‘Download All’ for Free Microsoft eBooks and other tips


imageSince I put up my “Largest Collection of FREE Microsoft eBooks Ever!” post, I have been receiving a flood of fantastic comments and feedback about the resources, as well as several questions. I thought I would put together this quick FAQ/How-To to help address many of these in one place as a way to make it as easy as possible for my readers to find what they need. I hope these help you out and address questions you have regarding the post.

1. Don’t you have a zip file with all of the ebooks included or a “Download All” button so I can download them at once?

  • ZIP File: No, I do not have a zip file of the docs stored somewhere for download and this is intentional for several reasons. Since the eBooks and resources themselves have been put together and are distributed by some incredible authors and publishers, ultimately, they have the rights to update, distribute, and manage their IP as they see fit.
    • Example 1: If an author finds a correction needed (think about a typo in code included in a book that needs to be updated), they can update their deliverable and put the new one up at the download site they control to ensure all future downloads have the current information.
    • Example #2: (This one has actually happened with some of the books I’ve blogged about earlier) Sometimes an author wants to distribute their book a different way (switch from a share they have to a distribution site like Lulu) to achieve scale, better metrics, whatever. As such, they have every right to have the downloads moved to that site for distribution and have the downloads come from there.
    • Example #3: The author/publisher chooses to no longer distribute the free eBook or chooses to charge at some point. Again, as the owners of the IP, they have every right to do so.
      • If I were to grab today’s versions of the books, put them in a zip file, and distribute them from my server as an example, I would now be removing the author’s or publisher’s rights to do any of the three items listed above (as well as many other examples not listed). Ultimately, I (nor anyone else) do not have the right to do this. This is why I always provide links directly to their distribution sites, wherever they are so, you can download from them. Yes, this can be a challenge at times as I need to go back and edit links from time to time as they move the resources, but it is still the right thing to do and I am happy to do so in support of the great efforts these authors and publishers have done to make these resources available to all of us for free.

  • Download All button: Sort of. I don’t have a “Download All” button specifically, since that would point to a single location, which I don’t provide based on the items above.
    • Alternative: Some of the readers of my blog have pinged me offline and suggested enabling the use of multiple browser download plug-ins that are available or various PowerShell options to download a list of links automatically. In order to use these options though, you would need a list of the download links to the eBooks on the site. Since this does not change the author’s/publisher’s rights to control their IP and distribution since it still enables downloads directly from their sites, I am happy to provide you with the list of links to do this.


If you right-click the icon to the right and select “Save Target As,” it will let you download a list of the links in a single .TXT file. In this file, I have split the list into two sub lists: 1) The new eBooks and resources in the post and 2) The former eBooks and resources from my earlier posts.

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    • With this list of links, you should be able to use the browser plug-ins, etc. of your choice to download the full list in an automated way.

 

2. Are these time-bombed versions of the books?

  • No, the free versions of the resources are full-version and do not have a time-out feature in them, so you can continue to use them for as long as you choose.

3. “I work for a library, resource desk, etc. and would like to share these with others. Is it ok to share your links to these?” (or some flavor of this with different variations)

  • Absolutely. Please feel free to share the links to these resources; however, please read #1 above on why you can share the links, but don’t distribute the actual works themselves as an offline resource. Please help support these fantastic authors and publishers by downloading the latest versions directly from them.

4. Download experiences seem to vary based on the resource I am downloading. Why is this?

  • As noted in #1 above, I always link to the site where the author/publisher is making the work available for download. Some of these are here on the Microsoft TechNet or MSDN sites, some are from blogs, some are from their OneDrive folder, etc. Depending on where they come from, your download experience may vary.

5. ‘”I’m having difficulty downloading some of the PowerShell documents.”

  • Several of these are coming directly from the MVP’s OneDrive itself since they are continually making updates and enhancements to these works. The links take you directly into the Word document they have shared (it is in DOCX format). Please make sure you have Word or a compatible Word viewer to read these since they are created in Word and not PDF.

6. “I tried to download an eBook or resource and it didn’t work.”

  • As noted in #5, these come from a variety of places, and sometimes there is very heavy traffic to some of them. Wait a few moments and try again. You can also try right-clicking on the download link and selecting “Open in New Tab” or “Save Target As” to try initiating the download that way as well.

Hopefully this helps address several of the questions you may have. If not, please feel free to send them in through the comments section below.

Did you find this information helpful? If so, you may want to make sure you are utilizing all of the areas I share information online, such as:


Get the Microsoft Info Partner Mobile App and get access to the latest from all of those plus: product teams, MPN teams, Microsoft News and hundreds more resources here at Microsoft right on your phone:

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Thanks again for being a reader of my blog!


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Thank you and have a wonderful day,

Eric LigmanFollow me on TWITTER, LinkedIn, and Facebook
Senior Sales Excellence Manager
Microsoft Corporation
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights

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Comments (50)

  1. Jack says:

    Thanks

  2. Moritz says:

    Danke für alles!

  3. Justin says:

    Thanks, much appreciated.

  4. Wonski27 says:

    Thanks!

  5. Richard says:

    Just FYI, "The Big Book of PowerShell Error Handling" isn't opening.  The other books I've tried all opened just fine.

  6. Akiim Ali says:

    Thank you and God bless you!

  7. Xavier says:

    trying to download "The Big Book of PowerShell Error Handling" not working?,

  8. Jeff says:

    Thanks a million!

  9. Freddy says:

    thank you very much

  10. Alberto says:

    Thanks, to have notified this

  11. Tran An says:

    We can right click and chose download all with idm and wait. enjoy,

  12. nurul amin says:

    much appreciated to you.

  13. HaMish says:

    Thanks Eric, much appreciated !

  14. JADiaz says:

    tnx a lot. God bless u.ü

  15. RamkumarChandran says:

    There should be a option to add it to the user One drive. it will be more convenient.

  16. sonia says:

    Thank u Eric

  17. Mihoo says:

    Big Thanks

  18. duke says:

    many thanks ^^

  19. David Iraheta says:

    Eric

    Gracias !!

  20. Brando says:

    Thanks for sharing

  21. leave says:

    thaknksks

  22. Amit says:

    Awesome stuff!!

  23. Jeff says:

    Thank you very much!!!

  24. Vehicles says:

    Tks so much!

  25. akis says:

    thanks

  26. aicha says:

    merci

  27. Günter Nickel says:

    Vielen Dank!

  28. radzio1993 says:

    Thank you.

    What program can easily download all files from the list?

  29. Mohammad Yakoob Chaudhry says:

    Thank you so much, keep the good work for learning community.

  30. Mike says:

    Hi,

    I am unable to download alll the files at a time, As u have mentioned in #1 above,  under Download

    on which icon i shud right click ??

    I am unable to understand yo point .!

    Any help would b grt

  31. ULTIMATESOUVIK says:

    Thanks

  32. jordicastellsa says:

    Thank you

  33. saed says:

    By thanks a lot from microsoft

  34. stormy1954 says:

    Having problems downloading multiple files. This worked for me.

    Get the kettle on, then

    1) Save the list of the book locations provided by Eric Ligman (many thanks Eric!) in a file (default msftebooks.txt) by right clicking the icon he provided in the article and use the 'Save' dialog.

    2) Download (the free) Wget.exe v1.11.4 (Bing it) [Warning: Later versions are not compiled correctly for Windows].

    3) Place both files in same directory (it was happy with general Download folder but you might prefer them to be in a

    New Folder e.g. Microsoft eBooks; the downloaded files will also be in that directory folder).

    4) Open Command Prompt and use 'cd' command (without the quote marks) to move the prompt to the location of the files.

    5) Type wget -i file_with_urls.txt (e.g. wget -i mstfebooks.txt if you used the default name).

    6) Get your cup of tea or coffee.

    7) Took about 2 hours (on a 1mb/s broadband) to download.

    Hope this is of help.

  35. Muhammad Arslan Siddiqui says:

    Thanks

  36. Todd says:

    # here is a Powershell script ( requires v3 or later) so you don't need 3rd party tools.

    #

    # Modify to point to your txt and dest directory.

    $booklist = Get-Content "C:ScriptsMSFTEbooks.txt"

    $destination = "C:eBooks"

    foreach ($url in $booklist){

       if ($url.StartsWith("http")){

           $result = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $url -outfile $destinationtemp.tmp -PassThru

           if ($result.statuscode -eq "200"){

               $filename = join-path $destination (Split-Path -leaf ($result.BaseResponse.ResponseUri))

               Write-Host $filename

               Rename-Item $destinationtemp.tmp $filename

           }

       }

    }

  37. Mohammad Lattakia says:

    Thx

  38. Fatos says:

    Thank you very much for this valuable collection of eBooks.

  39. Ángel says:

    Thanks

  40. FBuck says:

    Thank very Much..

  41. Sherwin Francisco says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Very helpful….

  42. abdou says:

    Thanks

  43. HArawi says:

    Great!! :)

  44. DuppA says:

    Thanks, This make training much easier – From South Africa.

  45. Hejar Rodriguez says:

    Thanks for your generosity.