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Configure Internet Explorer to work as an FTP client

Learn how to tweak Internet Explorer to work as a fully functional FTP client.

Problem

Interacting with FTP sites from Internet Explorer can result in a number of confusing and frustrating errors. As a result, users often end up using a separate software program to access FTP, even though it would be much simpler to be able to handle tasks from within IE itself.

Solution

There are several tweaks you can make to Internet Explorer that will make it more FTP-friendly. First, you can set up IE so that it can browse FTP directories, just as if they were folders in Windows Explorer:

  1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Enable Folder View For FTP Sites.

Next, if you're on a computer that's behind a firewall, you'll need to set up IE to use passive FTP:

  1. Click Tools | Internet Options.
  2. Click the Advanced tab.
  3. Under Browsing, check the box labeled Use Passive FTP.

If you need to upload files to an FTP folder, you must use a special URL in the following format:

ftp://username@ftp.domain.com/directory/

This will result in the user being prompted for a password. Once the user supplies the password, a directory comes up, and the user can drag and drop files to and from the FTP window.

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