Print & Forward: Essential FTP Commands List for File Transfer

Essential Guide To Starting With FTP Commands

FTP not only transfers files from one system to another. Such as from a local computer to a remote FTP server. With FTP, you also get a form of data management.

Essential FTP Commands List

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Use FTP commands to manage data by locating files, deleting unneeded documents, and transferring data to clients and business associates at remote locations. Manage files individually, or use file transfer protocol to move multiple files between your computer and an FTP server.

To get you started with file transfer protocol, here is a list of the most common FTP commands and their basic descriptions. This chart makes a great cheat sheet for new programmers or a handy reference for pros who are juggling a lot of technical information.

FTP Command


Access the help screen. Request information about FTP commands.


Set file transfer mode to ASCII. Usually the default setting.


Set file transfer mode to binary. Binary is needed to transfer non-ASCII files.


Exit FTP environment.


Change directory.


Terminate an FTP session.


Delete a file.


Lists the contents of the remote directory. Includes files and subdirectories.


Get file from remote server/computer. Copies file to local computer.


Request a list of all available FTP commands. Help screen displays additional information about a command if the command is entered after help.


Change local directory.


List file names in the current remote directory.


Copy multiple files from the remote system to the local computer.


Make a new directory within the current remote directory.


Send multiple files from local computer to remote system.


Open connection with another system.


Send file to remote server/computer.


Show pathname of current directory.


Exit FTP environment.


Remove directory on the remote server/computer.

These FTP commands, while common for the basic FTP functions, are based on running a PC with Windows. Once you have all the basic FTP commands down, additional commands can be found in the help screen and used to request more complex functions. These commands may differ slightly depending on your system.

Did we leave any essential FTP commands off our list? What are your most used FTP commands? Drop us a note on social. You can find ExaVault on Facebook and Twitter.