Browse FTP sites in Windows 7 Explorer

Did you know you can browse files on an FTP server in Windows 7 Explorer just like you browse a local drive? I didn’t, until I discovered this trick on WindowsObserver.

In Windows 7 open up a Windows Explorer window and type in the address to the FTP server in the location bar. If the FTP server requires login, it will prompt you to enter the username and password. You can also select Anonymous Log in, if the server allows, and Save Password at the bottom of that dialog box.


Once that data is entered and you press the Log On button you will see your FTP server as if it was part of your local drive:


You can browse the entire drive structure, perform all the same things you can do in Windows Explorer including drag and drop, copying and moving files, deleting files etc. Of course these operations will depend on your settings and permissions on the server.

I’m told this functionality was there in Windows Vista as well, but it’s better advertised in Windows 7. When you browse an FTP site Internet Explorer on Windows 7, you get this alert.


If you click on this from an IE Windows where your currently browsing a FTP site the address will be carried over to the Log on As window in Explorer.

If you are using Windows XP, you can use NetDrive, a software that mounts remote FTP servers on your computer as local drives. This lets you view and browse files on the FTP server on Windows Explorer. I’m not sure whether this software works on Windows 7, but I guess you won’t need it.


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