How to install the FTP server on Windows XP

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Did you know that Windows XP Professional comes with a Web server and an FTP server? You can use the FTP server to share files with other computers on your home network, or you can make the FTP server available to people on the Internet. FTP is the file transfer protocol and anyone with an FTP client application (such as Internet Explorer, CuteFTP, WS-FTP and others) can connect to your FTP server. Here's how you install it:

  1. Log in as a member of the administrators group on your Windows XP computer.


  2. Click Start, then click Control Panel.


  3. With the Control Panel in category view, double click on the Add or Remove Programs icon.


  4. In the Add or Remove Programs dialog box, click on the Add/Remove Windows Components button on the left side of the dialog box.


  5. In the Windows Components dialog box, scroll down to find the Internet Information Servers (IIS) entry. Click on that entry and then click the Details button.


  6. Put a checkmark in the following check boxes:

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  1. Common Files
    File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Service
    Internet Information Services Snap-In
    SMTP Service


  2. Click OK, and then click Next in the Windows Component Wizard dialog box. The Wizard will complete the installation process.


  3. After the FTP Service is installed, click Start and point to All Programs.


  4. Point to Administrative Tools and click on Internet Information Services. This opens the Internet Information Services console.

To put files into your FTP directory, just open Windows Explorer and navigate to your InetPubftproot folder. Copy your files into the ftproot folder. Those files will then be available to users who connect to your FTP folder.

After you put files into your FTP folder, open Internet Explorer and type ftp://computername, where computername is the name of the computer that you installed the FTP onto. You'll see a list of files and folders in your FTP directory. (If you put your FTP server on the Internet, users will have to use an IP address instead of a computer name, since your home network computer names are not available to Internet users.)

This was first published in March 2003

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