GlobalSCAPE Knowledge Base

Troubleshooting CuteFTP Connection Problems



  • CuteFTP (All Versions)


(Note: Refer to KB article "Officially Supported Products and EOL Dates" for the currently supported version of CuteFTP. It is quite possible that an older version of CuteFTP will not be able to connect to your FTP server. Refer to the CuteFTP product page to download the latest version.)

Making one or more minor configuration changes to CuteFTP or CuteFTP Pro usually solves connection problems quite easily.

In the Connection Log window (if hidden, press [ALT] + 2 to display) there is a complete list of all communications and commands between CuteFTP and the FTP server you are trying to connect with. In that list there will be at least one ERROR message displayed in red. You will probably need to scroll up to see it. That error message should tell you the specific reason why you cannot connect. A list of error messages and their explanations can be found here.

1. The most common problem is that the Host Address, the User Name or the Password has been entered incorrectly. Make sure all three pieces of information exactly match what the administrator of the Server to which you are connecting provided you (GlobalSCAPE does not have this information).

2. Another common problem that usually results in an error such as Can't Establish Data Socket (or something similar) is that some FTP servers are configured to decline Passive (PASV) mode data connections. By default CuteFTP uses the more common and secure PASV mode (some other FTP clients do not). You may need to change from PASV mode to Port mode to connect to your site.

  • To make the switch in CuteFTP Home: Open the Site Manager and select the problem site in the list on the left side. On the right side, select the Type tab and change the Data Connection Type to Use Port.
  • To make the switch in CuteFTP Pro: In the Site Manager, right-click on the problem site and then click Site Properties. Click the Type tab and change the Data Connection Type to Use Port.

3. Another possibility is that ports 20 and 21 are being purposefully blocked, possibly by a personal firewall such as those made by Norton, McAfee, or even Microsoft Windows. If you are using a personal firewall software package, please configure it so that ports 20 and 21 are both open. It may also be necessary to grant specific permission for CuteFTP to access those ports. If you need help configuring your personal firewall software please consult the documentation or the support section of the manufacturers Web site. The following KB article has additional information about firewall configuration:

If none of the above helps, then the GlobalSCAPE Technical Support team can look at the connection log to see what's going on. You will need to submit a complete copy of the connection log to them and supply any other relevant details. Click here to submit a ticket to the Technical Support team.

Last Modified: 9 Years Ago
Last Modified By: kmarsh
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