How to use FTP via Windows Explorer
There are three basic ways to determine how an organization wishes its users to connect to their FTP server -
- Anonymous FTP access – This is the easiest connection method. The user does not need to include any user information. Some common examples are software companies (Microsoft) or government sites (IRS.GOV) where you can download forms.
- User name required – In this instance the organization wants the user to have an account to access the site. Schools tend to use this type of access.
- User name + password – This is the most restrictive as the user has to have an account and password to gain access to the site. Many websites use this method for people to upload files to the server.
Regardless of the connection type, the user can use his/her web browser to gain access in most cases. There are some situations where browser access is disabled by organizations. For example, the web hosting company I use for my test server does not allow FTP connections using a browser. In order to connect, the user will first need the FTP account login information. The connection can be done with the primary cPanel username and password or an FTP account that the user has created in cPanel. Either way the user should have the following information about the FTP account:
- Server: User’s primary domain or the IP of the server.
- Username: Cpanel username or email@example.com.
- Password: The password that was created for the user.
1. Navigate to Start > Computer.
Use the shortcut Windows Key + E to start Windows Explorer.
Once Windows Explorer is up, you should see something similar to the following:
2. Enter ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org
into the top address bar and press Enter button on your keyboard. Replace username with your cpanel username and example.com with your primary domain name.
That should connect you and cause it to prompt you for a password.
3. Enter the full username in the User name text entry box.
4. Enter the password for the account you wish to connect to in the Password text entry box.
5. Click Log On.
You now have an open FTP connection.
6. You can drag and drop files to and from this window and your computer to upload/download files.