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How to use FTP via Windows Explorer

Microsoft has developed an easy way for you to connect and upload files to your website. This guide will walk you through connecting to an FTP account using Windows Explorer.

Note: We are not referring to Windows Internet Explorer but the actual Windows Explorer you use to manage files on a Windows PC. Internet Explorer once had a built-in FTP client, which many people used, but you can NOT access FTP through Internet Explorer anymore.

FTP Account Login

You will first need the FTP account login information. After that, you can connect with the primary cPanel username and password or an FTP account you have created in cPanel.

Here is a video tutorial on how to create an FTP account in cPanel.

Either way, you should have the following information about the FTP account: 

Server: Your primary domain or the IP of your server.
Username: Cpanel username or [email protected]
Password: The password that was created for the user you are using.

Now that you have the account information, you need to pull up Windows Explorer. You can go to Start, then click on Computer or use the shortcut Windows Key + E to start Windows Explorer.

  1. Once Windows Explorer is up, you should see something similar to the following:
  2. Type ftp://[email protected] into the top address bar. 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.
    Note: If you enter ftp://example.com, you will be connected anonymously. You cannot upload or download when you connect anonymously, so be sure to use ftp://[email protected], so you will be prompted to input a password.
  3. Input the full username and password for the account you wish to connect to and click Log On.
  4. You now have an open FTP connection. You can drag and drop files to and from this window and your computer to upload/download files.

If you forget to enter a username and password, then you may see a folder called "pub". If so, you have accidentally tried to connect to anonymous FTP, and your connection has failed. Please try again.

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