There are so many interesting features in windows 7 which we usually ignore. One such feature is the Windows built-in File Transfer Protocol (FTP). It was some days when I could not imagine any alternative of FileZilla to transfer my website files. But one day, I accidentally discovered the Windows explorer as a File transfer protocol. Here is the story:
Someday, I went out of the town and my friend said on phone that my website is not working properly. Immediately, I went to a Cybercafe so that I can check out the problem. After searching for a while, I realized that there is a coding problem in my theme folder. I I immediately needed to download the file in the local machine and fix the bug. But there was no FTP client installed in that machine.
As I was working at a café, I had no privilege to install any application in that computer. So, there was no way to repair my website which resulted the website in going down for the day. I returned home after a day and made the amends in my theme folder.
One day, I suddenly found the interesting feature in the Windows explorer’s address bar. If you type any URL in the explorer’s address bar, it will open the page. No matter whether it is local or web address. Suddenly, a trick came into my mind and I typed my FTP address at the Windows explorer’s address bar. Voila! It asked me to give my FTP user name and password. After putting the necessary credentials, I successfully logged into my FTP server.
Did you know about this built-in feature of Windows? Follow the instructions below to use Windows explorer as a file transfer protocol (FTP).
How to use the Windows Explorer as FTP
1. Open ‘My Computer’ or any location to get into the Windows explorer.
2. Type your FTP server address at the address bar and hit the Enter key. Generally, the FTP address should be
3. A new window will pop up asking for the user name and password for the FTP account.
4. Just type them where required and click on the ‘Log on’ button.
You will immediately see all the files and directories of your server. Now upload or download the files or directory as usual. You can use the keyboard shortcut to copy or cut the files from the server to the local computer and vice-versa. You can also drag-and-drop to transfer the files.
Advantages of using standard FTP client instead of Windows File Transfer Protocol
1. The FTP client can manage your transfers. Let’s say that your internet connection has been disconnected suddenly when the transfer is in progress. The FTP clients like FileZilla remembers the files which are yet to be transferred. So, when the connection is back the transfer process gets resumed and transfers the remaining files.
2. FTP clients transfer files with high level of security. One can’t see the file location in your server without your username and password. But if you use the Windows explorer as FTP then it remembers the navigation history and in case if you forget to clear the history, any one can see your file locations in the server from the navigation history.
Due to the above drawbacks of Windows FTP I use FileZilla but the trick assured me that I’ll never repend due to the problems discussed earlier.