This article describes the basic FTP commands. We recommend trying out all of the functions before moving on to the extended instructions in the Knowledge Base article Practical command-line FTP. This article includes the following sections:


To open the command prompt window:

  • Windows NT, 2000 and XP: go to Start > Run, type cmd or command and press Enter key.
  • Windows Vista and 7: go to Start, type cmd and press Enter key.
  • Windows 8: from the Start screen type cmd and press Enter key.

To connect to your site, type ftp followed by your hostname from the command prompt. Once you are connected, you will be prompted for a username. Read our knowledgebase article on How Do I Access My Server Via FTP? for more information. As you type in your password, you may not see any text.

Moving around
If you want to know what is in the folder you're in, you should use the DIR function. The DIR function gives you a list of the file in your current directory (dir is short for directory).

You can move around within your site using the CD function. CD stands for Change Directories.

If you forget where you are, you can use the PWD function to find out. PWD stands for Present Working Directory.

Transferring files

Please note that you should upload ALL of your web content into the Htdocs directory. To upload a file to your website, you need to type SEND FILE.NAME after connecting. You are "sending" this file to the server where your account is located.

Sometimes, you will want to download (or "get") some content from your website. You can use the GET function to do this. You are "getting" the file from the server where your account is located.

Deleting files

You may find yourself with content you no longer want on your site. To get rid of these files, you can use the DEL function. There are actually several different ways to write this function: DEL, DELE, and DELETE.

When you are ready to do this, you should use the QUIT function to quit using the FTP server.

Read the Knowledge Base article on Practical command-line FTP for extended instructions, including how to transfer multiple files, how to transfer binary files, how to get additional help.