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HTTP/HTTPS Requests via Invoke-Web Request PowerShell Cmdlet

This article will help you to use the cmdlet to send simple requests to HTML documents and process the result.

The Invoke-Web request cmdlet allows you to send HTTP/HTTPS/FTP requests, receive and send process responses, and return sets of elements from an HTML page. The cmdlet is available from PowerShell 3.0.

There are two aliases available for the Invoke-WebRequest CMDLET.

  • Iwk
  • wget

The simplest PowerShell request for an HTTP website page looks like this:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri Solutionviews.com

invoke webrequest powershell

Hint. Sometimes you can face an “Invoke-WebRequest: The request was aborted: Could not create SSL/TLS secure channel” error when performing a request to an HTTPS site. Most likely the problem is that PowerShell uses TLS 1.0 by default to connect, and the target site requires TLS 1.2. To change the list of available security protocols for PowerShell connection, run the commands:

[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls, [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls11,

 [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Tls12, [Net.SecurityProtocolType]::Ssl3

[Net.ServicePointManager]::SecurityProtocol = “Tls, Tls11, Tls12, Ssl3”

The Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet allows you to parse HTML page content as a set of attributes and properties. For example, you can get a list of links on a page:

$Site = “Solutionviews.com”

$HttpContent = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $Site

$HttpContent.Links

Or a list of images on the page:

$HttpContent.Images

$HttpContent.Images.src

Now you can get a Title from web page:

$($HttpContent.ParsedHtml.getElementsByTagName(‘title’)).innertext;

You can check the HTTP response status of the page:

$HttpContent.StatusCode

In this example, the HTML page turned into an HTML status 200. This means the request was successfully submitted and the webpage is available.

In order to get basic information about the server, cookies, and other headers. Follow this:

$HttpContent.baseresponse

powershell webrequest

IsMutuallyAuthenticated : False

Cookies : {}

Headers : {Transfer-Encoding, Connection, Vary, Cache-Control…}

SupportsHeaders : True

ContentLength : -1

ContentEncoding :

ContentType : text/html; charset=UTF-8

CharacterSet : UTF-8

Server : nginx/1.16.1

LastModified : 9/24/2021 7:52:26 PM

StatusCode : OK

StatusDescription : OK

ProtocolVersion : 1.1

ResponseUri : http://solutionviews.com/

Method : GET

IsFromCache : False

You can get any information about any element on a web page. All items are parsed as PowerShell objects, which are very convenient and helpful.

$HttpContent | Get-Member

The following attributes and properties are available:

  • Dispose
  • Equals
  • GetHashCode
  • GetType
  • ToString
  • AllElements
  • BaseResponse
  • Content
  • Forms
  • Headers
  • Images
  • InputFields
  • Links
  • ParsedHtml
  • RawContent
  • RawContentLength
  • RawContentStream
  • Scripts
  • StatusCode
  • StatusDescription

The HTML content of a web document can be accessed by two properties:

  • $HttpContent.Content
  • $HttpContent.RawContent

The Invoke-Web request cmdlet allows you to set your own User-Agent value for the connection:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $uri -UserAgent ‘Mozilla/5.0’

You can also set the user agent properties via HTTP headers:

$headers = @{

‘method’ = ‘GET’

‘cache-control’ = ‘no-cache’

‘user-agent’ = ‘Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 5.1; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/60.0.3112.90 Safari/537.36’}

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $uri -Headers $headers

If you need to authenticate the access of web page. Use the following commands:

Basic Authentication

$creds=Get-Credentials

$Site = “solutionviews.com”

$HttpContent = Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $Site –Credential $creds

To perform NTLM/Kerberos authentication under the current user credentials:

Wget $Site -UseDefaultCredentials

Authentication using a certificate (you need to specify it Thumbprint):

Wget $Site -CertificateThumbprint 0C64E8B1113E86C76EF1CCA458E5B2A693946E90

Hint. The Invoke-WebRequest cmdlet allows you to download any file available via FTP/HTTP(s). To do this, use the OutFile parameter:

Invoke-WebRequest -Uri ‘https://theitbros.com/media/template.zip’ -OutFile C:\downloads\solutionviews_template.zip.jpg

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