Connecting and Transferring Files with WS_FTP

Once you've got WS_FTP up and running on your computer, you'll want to start making the most of it. To get going, you can use the typical way offered by most FTP clients:

  • The Quick Connect Toolbar
  • The Connection Panes

But WS_FTP also offers a guided way to get connected: the Connection Wizard.

The Connection Wizard

The WS_FTP Connection wizard.

The first time you start WS_FTP you'll see the connection wizard.

If you close the connection wizard, not to worry. Here's how you get it back:

1. Click the Connections menu.

2. Select New Connection.

The Connection Wizard will take you step by step through making a connection. Here's the information that you'll need:

  • A Site Name: Many people use the following naming scheme:
  • Connection Type: We suggest that you use SFTP/SSH to connect.
  • Server Address: This is the address to your FTP server.
  • User Name This is the login to your FTP server.
  • Password: If you'd like to be asked for a password each time you connect, you can leave this blank.

Once you've entered that information into the Connection Wizard, you need only to click the Finish button to connect. That's all there is to it.

Here's an example of the information you would enter into the Connection Wizard to connect to your ExaVault account:

  • Site Name:
  • Connection Type: SFTP/SSH
  • Server Address:
  • User Name: bobsmith
  • Password: (Bob is careful about posting this sort of thing online…)

Untrusted Key Messages

The WS_FTP prompt to trust a key when connecting to an SFTP site.

Note: When you connect to an SFTP site for the first time, you will see a message about an untrusted key.

  • This relates to how the SSH protocol works regarding site authentication.
  • If you select “Trust this key” (see image at right), then you will never see the message again.

The Quick Connect Toolbar

The WS_FTP Quick Connect toolbar.

After you've connected with the Connection Wizard, take a look at the top of the screen: the Quick Connect toolbar has been filled in for you. It's a bit like the address bar in a web browser: it shows the FTP site you are connected to.

If you'd like to use the Quick Connect toolbar to connect, you'll need the same information that you needed for the Connection Wizard.

1. Enter your server name into the Address box.

2. Enter your user name into the UserID box.

3. Enter your password into the Password box.

4. Click the Connect to URL button.

Specifying the Connection Protocol

Choosing a connection protocol in WS_FTP.

If you'd like to specify the connection protocol to use (for example, SFTP/SSH), you'll want to add the Connection Type button to the Quick Connect toolbar:

1. Click the ▼ button at the end of the Quick Connect toolbar.

2. Select Add or Remove Buttons > Quick Connect > Connection Type.
(It may read FTP or SSH Connection or FTP-SSL.)

Adding this button will enable you to pick the type of connection to use on the fly. If you don't know which one to use, we suggest that you use SFTP.


The WS_FTP disconnect button.

To disconnect from the FTP server, simply click the Disconnect button in the main toolbar.

Using the Connection Panes to Transfer Files

Transferring files with WS_FTP.

The Connection Panes are where you see files on your computer and on the server. WS_FTP follows the typical FTP client conventions for the layout of the Connection Panes:

  • The Local View is on the left-hand side of the window. This is your computer.
  • The Remote View is on the right-hand side of the window. This is your FTP server.

Transferring Files

Transferring files is a snap in WS_FTP:

1. Select the file(s) to transfer.

2. Execute the transfer. You can use either of these methods:

  • Drag the files from one side of the window to the other.
  • Click the arrow buttons.
Uploading Files

Uploading files involve moving files from your computer to the FTP server. To upload files you can use either method of executing a transfer:

  • Drag selected files from the Local View (left-hand side) to the Remote View (right-hand side).
  • Click the  button.
Downloading Files

Downloading files is like uploading – except in the opposite direction. Downloading transfers files from your FTP to your computer. Like uploading, you can use either method of transfer:

  • Drag selected files from the Remote View (right-hand side) to the Local View (left-hand side).
  • Click the  button.

Using the Folders Buttons

Using the folder trees in WS_FTP.

The folders button will pop open an explorer tree to the left of the file list. Simply click the [+] icons to expand folders and navigate through the folders.

  • Clicking the folders button in the Local Pane will allow you to navigate you through the folder tree on your computer.
  • Clicking the folders button in the Remote Pane will allow you to traverse the folder tree on the FTP server.

Advanced Topics and Questions

WS_FTP also offers:

WS_FTP supports the following protocols for connecting to your FTP server:

  • Secure FTP (Professional version)
  • FTP
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