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How to install FTP Server in Windows

FTP has been around since the late 80s and it’s still in use. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is used in transferring files between computers. If you have used the internet to send files then it’s likely that you used FTP to transfer the data.

17 Nov, 20 by Susith Nonis 7 min Read

Step-by-step Guide on Installing FTP server

 The main use of FTP, as the name suggests is to transfer files between two entities. Let me give you an example: If you are working with WordPress and you copy files from your computer to the server, then you will be using FTP.

It’s also occasionally used as a way to share files. One person may upload a file to an FTP server then share a link to it with another person. However this is no longer the go-to method for people due to cloud based services.

FTP works pretty simply by using two channels:

  1. Data channel
  2. Command channel

The command channel carries information about the task and the data channel transfers the actual files between the two devices. However now a days the FTP is not used exactly how it was developed in the beginning.

FTP doesn’t have any security measures in place, which means that the data can be intercepted. However now-a-days we use SFTP or FTPS which is the same FTP protocol but with an added security feature.

The terms are different but since FTP has been around for more than 30 years, we still use the same acronym when explaining the file transfer protocol.

Throughout this article we will show you how to set-up an FTP server. We will cover three different methods:

  1. How to install FTP server on Windows Server 2019 using IIS
  2. How to install FTP server on Windows 10 using IIS
  3. How to run FTP server with FileZilla

Let’s get to it!

1. How to install FTP Server on Windows Server 2019 

Note: The following tutorial is based on Windows Server 2019 but the process is exactly the same for other Widnows Server versions.

  • Press Windows + R to open run
  • Type "ServerManager" and click OK (or press Enter)

  • In the appeared Window click on "Add roles and features"

  • Read the appeared Window and click Next

  • Select "Role-based or feature-based installation" and click Next

  • Choose "Select a server from the server pool
  • From the Server Pool pick your Server where you want to set the FTP server and Click Next

  • Under Roles select the Web Server (IIS) checkbox
  • Click Next

  • Click on Add Features: don’t forget to have the checkbox clicked for “Include management tool (if applicable)”


  • Keep the default features as it is and click Next

  • Click Next after reading the Web Server Roles (IIS) text

  • Under Role services, scroll down till you find FTP Server and select it. Check if all checkboxes are sleected as shown below.
  • Click Next

  • Click on Install

Once the installation will be finished cancel the installation Wizard and start using your brand new FTP Server. Congratulations to you!

2. How to install FTP Server on Windows 10

  • Press Windows + R to open run
  • Type "appwiz.cpl" and click OK (or press Enter)

  • Click on Turn Windows features on or off from the menu on the left

  • Select the checkboxes exactly as seen in the picture below.
  • Press OK

Once the installation is completed, Restart your PC and the installation will be completed. 

Once the FTP server is in place you have to add your FTP site to your FTP server. This is how to add FTP site to the FTP server:

Add FTP Site to your IIS FTP server

  • Open Control panel and click on Administrative Tools

If you will not be able to find the control panel as shown in the picture, on the top search bar type "All Control Panel Items"

  • Double click on "Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager"

  • In the appeared window check the left side panel. Here you will see "Sites".
  • Right click on Sites and select "Add FTP Site..."

  • Now you should enter the FTP site name and the path for the content directory. The path is where your files are stored for transferring purposes.
  • Click on Next

  • Now set the IP address to
  • In the SSL section select No SSL
  • Click Next

  • Under Authentication > select Basic
  • Under authorization part you can specify to whom this server can be accessed and what kind of permission is given to them. Under Allow access to:  select the users who can have access. 
  • Under Permissions you can set it to Read or Write. This means if it's set to Read they can only view the files. If its set to Write they will have access to edit the content. 
  • Click on Finish after completing the authentication and authorization parts

  • type the following on the search bar of your folders as shown in the picture:

  • Now you will see a Window as shown below. Enter the User name and password of your system and click on Log On

Congratulations! You did it and successfully set up a FTP server on Windows 10.

3. How to run FTP server With FileZilla

FileZilla Client is a fast and reliable cross-platform FTP, FTPS and SFTP client with lots of useful features and an intuitive graphical user interface. FileZilla is extremely easy to use and is an open source software which can be downloaded from here.

FileZilla supports FTP, FTP over SSL/TLS (FTPS) and SSH File Transfer Protocol (SFTP). It can run on multiple platforms like Windows, Linux, Mac OS and among many others. This part of the tutorial will focus on how to set-up an FTP server through by using FileZilla.

  • Download FileZilla to your computer.
  • Run the installation of FileZilla

  • Click on I Agree after reading the License Agreement

  • Select the type of install as Standard and check if all ckeckboxes are as same as shown in the picture below.

  • Enter the destination folder and click on Next

  • Check the details as shown in the picture below.

  • Choose the default settings as shown here for the server interface.
  • You can select the checkbox if you want to start the FileZilla interface once the setup is completed
  • Click on Install

  • Once the installation finishes, click Cancel

  • FileZilla will automaticall open. In the open Window select the Always connect to this server checkbox and keep the Host and Port as seen in the picture below.
  • Click on Connect

  • If it connects, then congratulations. However if you will face an error as seen below, there's a solution for that.

  • Click on the icon in the top menu
  • In the opened Window under users, click on Add

  • Under name, enter "ftp"
  • Click OK

  • Enter a password and click on OK

  • Click Ok

  • Select Shared folders on the left side panel
  • Click on Add

  • Select the folder as seen on the picture below
  • click on OK

  • Click OK

Congratulations! you made it to the end and succesfully created an FTP server using FileZilla.

If you have any feedback or questions, you can let us know in the comments below. 

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I veture into the world of Technology I try to share what I know in the simplest way possible. Not a fan of coffee, a sweet addict and a self accredited 'master chef'.