These days I do not need a full FTP client as much as I used to several years ago. Part of this is just because we now tend to access everything over the Internet through websites instead of downloads from FTP servers.
Remember getting some big updates from a company by downloading from their FTP server?
Anyway, while there are plenty of fully equipped FTP clients out there to download, sometimes we just need a quick connection to grab some files - in my case for my website maintenance - and need something straight forward and simple.
Well did you know that there is an FTP client built right into the Windows File Explorer?
It has actually been there through the last few versions of Windows and is very easy to setup and use for these infrequent FTP sessions.
The service is very robust and gives you the ability to easily work with files over FTP and perform functions such as uploads, downloads, deletes, renames, change file permissions (CHMOD), and even pin folders and entire sites in your File Explorer UI.
Today I want to show you this process in Windows 10 but you will find the sequence very similar in Windows 7 and 8.1.
(1) Click in the File Explorer Address Bar to highlight the field.
(2) Type in the ftp address you want to access. Note: The ftp:// element is not required at this stage but can be used.
(3) Type in your FTP username
(4) Type in your FTP password
(5) Select this check box if you are accessing this FTP server anonymously
(6) Select this check box to save your password in the Windows Credential Manager
(7) Click Log On to access the FTP server
The FTP site will open up in second instance of File Explorer and now you can access the site.
(8) You can pin a folder to the Quick Access area of File Explorer at anytime for the selected folder.
(9) By right clicking on a file or folder that is on the FTP server you can adjust the Read, Write, Execute permissions for the content. This is commonly referred to as CHMOD.
(1) If you right click on This PC you can select Map network drive to add an FTP site to this tab of File Explorer.
(11) Select the link at the bottom of this dialog to get started.
(12) Click Next to continue.
(13) After selecting the single option on this dialog, click Next to continue.
(14) Type in the FTP site address here. Note: The ftp:// element is required in this step.
(15) Select this check box for anonymous access to the FTP server.
(16) Type in your user name. Note: If you have previously accessed this FTP site in File Explorer as I showed earlier and you opted to have your password saved then you will not be prompted for the password when you access this new resource since it is already stored.
(17) You can use the full server name as shown by default or choose your own unique name for this mapped resource.
(18) If you want to immediately access this FTP server then leave this check box selected, otherwise uncheck that box.
(19) Click Finish to wrap up this process.
(20) Your newly mapped FTP server is now available when you open File Explorer and access the This PC tab.
Enjoy your quick and easy FTP access right from within File Explorer.
Editor's note: We are running this feature from a past issue of Windows Secrets, a twice-weekly newsletter available exclusively to paid subscribers. What you see here is just a small sampling of what is in the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.