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How To FTP Using Windows 7 and Vista and XP

How To FTP Using Windows 7 and Vista and XP
Posted on Apr 20, 2010 by Stephen Owens
Tutorial and Code category
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I have been asked many times about how to use FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to upload and download files in Windows. Here are four simple steps that can be used with Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP to transfer files via FTP. These steps use the windows native FTP capabilities, which means you don't have to download or install anything.

How To FTP using Windows 7, Vista, or XP

Note: In Windows 7 I cannot see the folder tree on the left in Windows Explorer, but I can get around the server by clicking folders in the right window or by clicking "up." If these steps do not work for you, try the alternative methods at the end of this post.

Step 1: Click the Windows Start Orb and then click on "Computer"

Windows XP Step 1: click the Start Button Windows XP start button and then click on "My Computer"

Step 2: Enter the FTP address into the Windows Explorer Address Bar
Step 2: enter FTP address in Windows Explorer address bar

Step 3: If a window opened asking for a user name and password skip to step 4.
Choose Login As... from the File menu. Windows 7 may require that you to hold the Alt key when clicking on the file menu.

Step 3: if not prompted for user name then choose Login As from the file menu

Step 4: Enter your user name and password into the appropriate fields, then click the log on button.
Step 4: enter login user name and password then press the log on button

 

How To Upload Files to the FTP Server

Click and drag files from your "Documents" folder (or other location on your computer) to the FTP window (we opened this window in the four steps above). This is the same method that you use to move a file from one folder to another on your computer.

How To Download Files from the FTP Server

Click a file in the FTP window and drag it to your "Documents" folder.

Final FTP Thoughts

I recommend a FTP client, such as FileZilla, for transferring large volumes of files.

Alternative FTP Methods

If you find that Windows 7 has issues using the native FTP functionality it might just be easier and faster to install FileZilla. That thought aside, here are some alternative methods for using native FTP in Windows 7:

Create a FTP shortcut on your desktop using this code:

To do this, right-click an open area on the desktop, point to New, and then click Shortcut. In the text box under "Location of the item:" enter the following, and replace the text as needed using the code key below.

  1. C:\WINDOWS\explorer.exe /n, /e,
    ftp://username:password@ftp.website.com/

Code Key:
username = replace with your username
password = replace with your password
ftp.yoursite.com = replace with your FTP server

Try mapping a network drive to the FTP server:

Redmond Pie has a tutorial on mapping a network drive to the FTP server. Taimur also points out that builds of Windows 7 (up to Build 7057) have FTP support disabled or broken. Taimur goes on to state that starting with build 7077 the native FTP support has been fixed.

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