Jul 15

You can use Internet Explorer to access repositories of files using File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites as well as using HTTP to visit websites. To specify an FTP address, use the ftp:// prefix instead of http://. By default, Internet Explorer displays directory listings from FTP sites in a plain text view, using system fonts. You can click the link to open any file saved in a browser-friendly format (text or HTML, for example) directly in the browser window. To save a file, right-click its hyperlink and choose Save Target As.

If you simply enter an FTP address or click an FTP link, Internet Explorer attempts to log you on with anonymous access, using no credentials. To use Internet Explorer to connect to an FTP server that requires a user name and password, you can include your logon information in the Address bar, like this:


If you omit the password and enter only a user name followed by an @ sign and the FTP site address, Internet Explorer prompts you for credentials, using the dialog box shown here. You cannot save credentials in Internet Explorer.

Working with FTP sites in Internet Explorer is an awkward affair at best. For occasional anonymous access it will probably suffice, but for anything more than a quick download we recommend you work with an FTP site in folder view. Click Page and then click Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer. After approving a security prompt, you’ll see the site’s contents in a window.

If the site requires you to enter credentials, press Alt to display the Windows Explorer menu, and then click File, Login As and provide your user name and password, using the dialog box shown here.

Using Windows Explorer for FTP site access provides basic functionality, including the capability to change file and folder permissions. (Right-click and choose Properties to adjust permissions.) If you prefer to use a third-party FTP client instead, you can disable FTP browsing in Windows Explorer. Open the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab, scroll to the Browsing section, and clear Enable FTP Folder View (Outside of Internet Explorer).