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Tip: Manage BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) with Windows PowerShell


Windows 7 includes Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) 3.5.BITS is a file-transfer service designed to transfer files across the Internet using only idle network bandwidth. Unlike standard Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), File Transfer Protocol (FTP), or shared-folder file transfers, BITS does not use all available bandwidth, so you can use BITS to download large files without affecting other network applications. BITS transfers are also very reliable and can continue when users change network connections or restart their computers.

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Previous versions of Windows provided command-line management of BITS using the BITSAdmin.exe tool. In Windows 7, BITSAdmin.exe is deprecated. Instead, you should use the Windows PowerShell cmdlets.

From Windows PowerShell, you begin by running the following command:
Import-Module BitsTransfer

After you import the BitsTransfer module, the following cmdlets are available:

  • Add-BitsFile Adds files to a BITS transfer
  • Complete-BitsTransfer Completes a BITS transfer
  • Get-BitsTransfer Gets a BITS transfer
  • Remove-BitsTransfer Stops a BITS transfer
  • Resume-BitsTransfer Resumes a suspended BITS transfer
  • Set-BitsTransfer Configures a BITS transfer job
  • Start-BitsTransfer Creates and starts a BITS transfer job
  • Suspend-BitsTransfer Pauses a BITS transfer job

For example, the following Windows PowerShell command begins a BITS transfer from the local computer to a computer named CLIENT:
Start-BitsTransfer -Source file.txt -Destination \\client\share -Priority normal

When running Windows PowerShell interactively, the PowerShell window displays the progress of the transfer. The following command uses an abbreviated notation to download a file from a Web site to the local computer:
Start-BitsTransfer http://server/dir/myfile.txt C:\docs\myfile.txt

For detailed information, run the following command from a Windows PowerShell prompt:
Help About_BITS_Cmdlets

From the Microsoft Press book The Windows 7 Resource Kit by Mitch Tulloch, Tony Northrup, Jerry Honeycutt, Ed Wilson, and the Windows 7 Team at Microsoft.
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