FTP in IE 7 revisited

I’ve written about this a couple of times already, troche but I discovered some new functionality in Internet Explorer 7 (IE 7) today that I thought I’d share.

Currently I’ve got a development box at work that I’ve upgraded (if you can call it that) to IE 7 while I keep my main box in IE 6, website like this so it allows me to try out some of the “features” of IE 7 without sacrificing productivity on my regular box. Today I was attempting to log in to an FTP site using IE 7, ambulance and I got it to work.

If you are trying to use FTP in IE 7, try the following procedure:

  • Open IE 7
  • Enter a FTP user name, password, and site in the URL bar using the following pattern:
    ftp://<username>:<password>@<site.tld>So if you had a username of johndoe, a password of pa55word, and your site is example.com, you would use the following URL:
  • IE will display a directory listing of the FTP site.
  • Click the Page menu (hint: it’s on the right hand side, under the search bar)
  • Select Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer.
  • Windows explorer opens. Windows can’t remember that we’ve already given the username and password, so we have to do it again.
  • Click the File menu and select Login As….
  • Enter your user name and password, and click the Log On button.

Yeah, it isn’t as smooth as IE 6, but hey, its doable!

36 responses to “FTP in IE 7 revisited”

  1. how do you log OUT of a ftp site or clear the saved info so that other users don’t end up looking through your private ftp directory?

  2. One thing that I am trying to do, is view it as folders, rather than as text.
    It sucks not being able to drag and drop files onto an ftp site using IE.

  3. It sucks not being able to drag and drop files onto an ftp site using IE.
    IE7 just droped my productivity by 70%
    The way me and my co-workers work on the Internet has been disrupted so we are uninstaling IE7!

  4. In order to see the Page menu option mentioned above, you need to enable the Advanced option “Enable FTP Folder View (Outside of Internet Explorer).
    In IE7 navigate to Tools->Internet Options->Advanced(tab) and make sure it is checked.

    The menu option “Page->Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer” will only be available after your first attempt to access your ftp site and you see the error page or actually get to the read only file view on the site.

  5. Many have found problems with ftp and IE7 however I thought I would save you some time.

    Dont open IE7, open any regular folder in windows.
    Make sure the adress bar is active if not right click on the tool bar and select address bar.
    Now you should see C:somefoldersomeotherfolder or whatever.
    Clear that off and type in ftp://yourftpdomain and it will open ftp using windows explorer instead of IE πŸ™‚ Neat huh?

  6. Oh yeah you can actually open html, php, text whatever directly off the folder just like if it were right on your hard drive πŸ˜› Double neat!

  7. Even using Windows Explorer, after installing IE7, the following no longer works:


    This worked with IE6 installed – I literally just upgraded a machine from IE6 to IE7 and saw the above syntax go from working to failing. In the above example, is allowed to view var/www/html.

  8. Chris – Are you sure you have the syntax correct? You need ftp://user:password@site.tld/folder structure. Note the two slashes after the first colon. If you are user john with password pa55word and site example.com, then you would use ftp://john:pa55word@example.com. Pointing to your HTML directory, you would use ftp://john:pa55word@example.com/var/www/html

    So the first thing I’d check is the syntax. Then I’d check to make sure you are using the correct directory structure. Then I’d check with your webhost to see if anything has changed on your serer. There is a chance it might not be related to your upgrade of IE.

  9. sorry, I guess there is some filtering going on on this site; some of my characters were stripped. Let me try again … The following ‘example’ used to work immediately prior to an upgrade from IE6 to IE7, in windows explorer:

    This CONTINUES to work after the upgrade:

    so there is something about either using the ‘..’ (up one level) or, the attempt to use any directories after the site name.

  10. Thanks for the info Paul.
    It worked for me…Only it is a bit of a drag to perform this each time.
    The advanced option Ted discussed, I have not been able to find… Hence thou, I am stuck with a French Lap Top due to me current work location…
    Do you know if there is a way to make the shortcut open a standard explorere window directly?


  11. The problem is security. How can I prevent the users of the FTP site to access any information in the root of the site?

  12. Hyperlink to FTP in MS Access object with IExplorer 7!
    In my MS Access Project application I used hyperlink in picture object that openes ftp folder.
    Hyperlinked looks like “ftp://user:password@address/xxx/xxx/…”. Application users know neither “user” nor “password”. It works fine with Internet Explorer 6.
    After upgrade to Internet Explorer 7 it opens the folder in a window with text where “user” is written, that I’d like to hide.
    And, more important, it does not allow write access to the folder though a user has got it.

    Thanks for any assistance.

  13. YES!!! Finally, someone who knows the secret!!! I hated IE7 and FTP because I could no longer drag and drop as in IE6.

    Using Windows Explorer in stead of IE7 for ftp stuff is the ticket!!!

    Thanks DAVID and everyone else too!!!

  14. Hi,
    I am connecting to the ftp using IE 7.0. from the same desktop for different user.When I close the browser and again reconnect the ftp site it is not asking for the password.Its directly showing all the root directory. Also if i connect with user1, user1 is able to access other users folder. Permission is in place, because it is working perfectly with IE 6.0.

    Also in IE 6.0 every user is able view/access his own folder.
    how can i stop this? I have to do all this from server. Is there any way to do so?

  15. Here’s a simple solution to bypass the extra step; create a shortcut as follows:

    explorer ftp://ftp.website.com

    This forces the issue of opening w/ Windows Explorer instead of IE7.

    Go JD!! Woot

    It’s ashame that Microsoft has once again managed to complicate a simple issue for us IT Professionals. I don’t need any more job security :p

  16. Nice one JD, that worked a treat.

    Alternatively you can add the FTP site as a favourite in Internet Explorer, then when you need to go to the ftp site, open up Windows Explorer and go to favourites and click your shortcut which forces it to open in folder view.

  17. Hi thanks so much for the info, but I have a question.

    Before viewing my site in ftp mode, I enter http://www.aqmme.com and IE automatically open it in http://www.aqmme.com

    after I opened the site in ftp mode, I’m unable to make IE forget ftp mode, I mean now I have to write http:// before the site so i can open it otherwise it will be open in ftp mode πŸ™

    Help !!

  18. Hi, I was looking at everyones questions and answers and I know this is an old post, but I think it’s relavent so I hope I get a responce from someone.

    Does anyone know how to use ftp in IE7 using a username with an ‘@’ symbol in it? for example

    I can’t seem to get it working. I can get it working in cute ftp and that, but I want to get it using Internet Explorer or Firefox.

  19. Steve is right; replace @ with %40, and note that this only works in Windows Explorer, not Internet Explorer.

  20. Do you have a suggestion for a username like domain/username:password@ftpsite? It seems the / is causing me fits. Thanks!!!

  21. A warning re: FTP access via IE7. Clearing your browsing history does not clear FTP session information; any FTP locations visited recently will open without any username/password prompting once you visit them once, even if the browsing history, passwords, cache, etc is cleared.

  22. Thanks for the information.
    I follow the procedure but get the error immediately after clicking open ftp site in windows explorer. ( I am using Vista)
    windows cannot access this folder. make sure you typed the file name correctly and that you have permission to access the folder. details: the ftp session was terminated.
    any idea?

  23. Hi all,

    I realise that this post is pretty old but thought I could help and was hoping that maybe someone could help me too. To get IE7 to open in folder view everytime make the following registry change: Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainFeatureControlFEATURE_INTERNET_SHELL_FOLDERS. Modify the iexplore.exe DWORD value to 1 (default is 0). Restart IE (if it was open in the first place) and then navigate to the FTP site. NB: you need to make sure the Enable FTP folder view option is selected in IE’s advanced settings.

    OK then. My problem. I work with an FTP site that has WordExcel docs in it. When I open one of the documents it opens in read only mode and as such you cant directly modify and then save the file you’ve been working on. Trying to just generates the good old “The file is read only” error. Strangely you can save the file to another location- for example the desktop, then cut and paste the doc over the original in the FTP site! The NTFS permissions on the site give full control to the necessary users. The FTP site itself is done in IIS and gives write access. I’m 100% stumped and have been looking at this for what seesm like forever. Trawled the web and can’t find anyone that has fixed this issue (although have found people with the same problem). Sadly this happens with IE 7 and 6.

    If there’s anyone out there with thhis problem or with advice (I’ll try anything at this point) please let me know.

  24. re: IE7 not opening in folder view… also joining the party late πŸ˜‰

    i will have to try the registry edit (lord knows i love the regedit fix for that stupid runonce headache)… but for folks that may not be comfortable with poking around the registry

    you can also use Start –> Run… then type in your ftp site [in our case just ‘ftp.domain.com’

    window pops up for credentials and opens in folder/windows explorer view.

    also, IIRC once you connect to the ftp site it shows up in “My Network Places” and launches in folder view as well.

  25. I’m jumping in late, too… here is my challenge… I’m trying to put together a spreadsheet with links to photographs on my FTP site. The address of one photo, for example, is: ftp://dealer:wooden@woodenmallet.com/AC/AC12-1-lo.tif/

    When I copy and past this address into Windows Explorer, it automatically downloads the photo – SO SLICK!!! – which is exactly what I want to happen… but, when I try to select the link from the Excel spreadsheet, it gives me an error.

    Any suggestions?

  26. Paul,
    Thank you so much! I was pulling my hair out, and your solution to accessing ftp sites through explorer (I’m running vista) was so easy, anybody can do it! Thank you!

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