How to Copy Downloaded Coursera videos from an Android Phone


A little over a year ago, I joined Coursera. I took a few classes (Accounting, Entrepreneurial Studies, etc) mainly staying behind in the office for around two hours after close of work because I have crappy internet service at home.

In May last year I lost my Blackberry and so I joined the Android community and I was mighty pleased to have the Coursera Android app on my smart phone – now I could complete more courses as I could download the videos and watch them anytime (or so I thought).

But, I digress. I downloaded lots of videos and as time went on, I found out that Coursera was using up over 1GB of PREMIUM Internal storage space (My LG G Pro Lite comes with 8GB internal storage). I needed to move my videos out and so I started looking for ways to do this.

Luckily, I found this StackExchange Question which led me to another StackExchange question from which I got my solution. I’m going to just go ahead and list the steps here both for future references and for people out there looking for help:

  1. Enable USB debugging on your Android device.
  2. Install and Android SDK and USB drivers for your device.
  3. In Windows open Command Prompt (or Terminal in Linux), navigate to a directory where you want to store the backup, and issue the following command: adb backup -f courseraBackup.ab -d  This backs up the app and its data (including the downloaded videos) to the location where you ran the command.
  4. For Linux, convert the backup to an archive by running this command:  dd if=courseraBackup.ab bs=24 skip=1|openssl zlib -d > courseraBackup.tar
  5. Extract the archive using:  tar xvf courseraBackup.tar

UPDATE: A previous version of this post asked Windows users to download Droid Explorer. That didn’t work for me and I’ve updated this post to show what worked for me.

It turns out a bit more complicated for Windows users (at least, in my case). I spent 4 hours trying different “hacky” solutions before eventually reverting to one that I finally used.

Download Android Backup Extractor (here). And form thence, it’s a simple case of running the following command:  java -jar abe.jar unpack courseraBackup.ab courseraBackup.tar [password]

Running that took me all of 5 minutes and I started to wonder what I was thinking by ignoring this approach in the first instance.

  • Sumeet

    Hi, thanks a lot for your post. Running this command dd if=courseraBackup.ab bs=24 skip=1|openssl zlib -d > courseraBackup.tar
    in my ubuntu terminal was giving me openssl:Error: ‘zlib’ is an invalid command. I solved that using

    How do i copy downloaded videos in edx android app. Could you please help?

  • Sumeet

    I already tried adb backup -f edxBackup.ab -d
    dd if=edxBackup.ab bs=1 skip=24 | python -c “import zlib,sys;sys.stdout.write(zlib.decompress(” > edxBackup.tar but it wasn’t successful

    • Hi @disqus_21eWbz9pN0:disqus, I’d need to check my notes to find out how I uncompressed the archive. I know it took a while and I tried a few other things. I’d check for you and update this post asap.


      • Sumeet

        I managed to transfer coursera ones as i mentioned in the previous comment. How do i do that for edX? Any help will be great.

  • getuper

    may also use Allavsoft which can easily and batch Download Videos from Coursera to MP4, AVI, WMV etc