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How to Open FTP Site in File Explorer on Windows 10

File Explorer on Windows 10 lets you open any FTP site. Here are the steps to open an FTP site in File Explorer on Windows 10.

Windows File Explorer is one of the most powerful tools of them all. Not only for managing local files and folders but File Explorer also allows you to connect to remote servers by mapping them as network drives. Once you map the network drive, you can browse, copy, or manage remote files just like you would with your local files.

Apart from manually mapping network drives, you can also open an FTP site directly in the File Explorer itself. This is particularly helpful if you want to quickly browse an FTP site in File Explorer without first adding it as a network drive. For example, you can configure your Android phone as an FTP server and access the Android file system via File Explorer using the FTP address.

In this quick and simple article, I will show a simple way to open FTP site in File Explorer in Windows 10.

The steps below will work in Windows 7 and Windows 8 & 8.1.

Open FTP site in File Explorer

To open an FTP site in the File Explorer, follow the steps shown below.

1. First, open the File Explorer application. To do that, press the “Windows key + E” keyboard shortcut. You can also click on the File Explorer icon on the taskbar.

2. After opening the File Explorer, click on the address bar. This is where you need to type the FTP site address.

3. In the address bar, type the FTP site address and press “Enter”. In my case, the FTP address comes with a specific port number (9999). So, I typed the FTP address along with its port number.

The FTP address can be in the below formats.

  • ftp://domain.com/
  • ftp://ftp.domain.com/
type ftp address in file explorer

4. As soon as you press the Enter button on your keyboard, Windows File Explorer will open the FTP site. Do keep in mind that if the FTP site is protected with a username and password, Windows will prompt you for those details. In that case, type the username and password and click the “Log in” button to open the FTP site in File Explorer.

open ftp site in file explorer

Important notes to keep in mind

When connecting to FTP server in File Explorer, there are a few things you should always keep in mind.

  • The FTP connection is unencrypted by design. This means anyone in the network to see what you are doing and transferring from and to the FTP server.
  • You can only open FTP sites in File Explorer. You cannot open SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) or FTPS (FTP with SSL/TLS) sites. The main reason for this is that File Explorer doesn’t support encrypted FTP connections.
  • If you are opening the FTP site frequently, you can map FTP as network drive in the File Explorer. This removes the need to manually type the FTP address each time and makes your life a bit easier.
  • If you are unable to upload files to the FTP site, it might because the FTP server prohibits or doesn’t give Write permission to an outside connection. This is a common security precaution for many FTP servers.
  • Compared to third-party programs like File-Zilla, the FTP functionality in File Explorer is barebone. However, it is enough for most common tasks like accessing and copying files.
  • You cannot create an FTP server from File Explorer.

That is all. I hope that helps. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

3 thoughts on “How to Open FTP Site in File Explorer on Windows 10”

  1. Avatar for Pekka Nyyssönen
    Pekka Nyyssönen

    Please note that defining FTP address and folders should be done respecting case sensitivity. I have experienced annoying error 500 because I tried to link ftp address writing directory as lower case when dirs were actually uppercase. I tested issue with command prompt ftp and noticed that you cannot access to directory if you have written dir name differently than they really are. It seems that FTP directories are case sensitive and you’ll be heading troubles if case sensitivity is not taken care when defining FTP dir in file explorer.

  2. Avatar for Jonah

    Trying option 1, type the FTP site address in address bar, my Explorer got stuck every time, Windows 10. Had to kill the process. Option 2, mapping network drive, worked.

  3. Avatar for Zachary

    What if your default app is set to a browser like Chrome? I tried to go in and change it back to Windows Explorer under the default protocols but I’m not finding it in the list.

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