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Can I use a Windows Command Prompt to send FTP Commands to a server?

Karla Marsh


  • EFT Server (All Versions)
  • Secure FTP Server (All Versions)
  • CuteFTP (All Versions)


Can I use a Windows Command Prompt to send FTP Commands to the Server?


Using CuteFTP, you can communicate with an FTP site on the lowest possible level. You can define an FTP site in the Site Manager, then simply double-click it to connect and log in. Using CuteFTP's Custom Commands dialog box, you can define command sequences for common tasks, and place shortcuts for the commands on the toolbar for reuse. CuteFTP makes FTP simple; however, if you prefer to use a Windows Command Prompt, the procedure and table below will help you with some of the more common FTP tasks.

To use FTP commands at Windows command prompt

  1. Open a command prompt and navigate to the folder containing the files that you want to transfer, then press ENTER. For example, type:

    cd "C:\Documents and Settings\marsha\My Documents\CaseStudies" (You need the quotes if you have spaces in your path.)

  2. At the C:\> prompt, type FTP. The C:\> prompt changes to ftp>.

  3. At the ftp> prompt, type open followed by the name of the remote FTP site, then press ENTER. For example, type:


  4. When prompted, type the username and password provided to you by the administrator of the FTP site, then press ENTER.

    If you get a 10061 error, it is likely the site is refusing to accept your connection because of security privileges or because it is not an FTP server. For a list of FTP error codes, refer to Knowledge Base article 10142, FTP Status and Error Codes.

  5. Type cd then the path to the remote server's directory in which you have permission to transfer files via FTP. For example, type:

    cd M:\InetPub\EFTRoot\MySite\Usr\jbug

You are now ready to transfer files between your local directory and the remote directory using FTP commands such as put and get.

DOS FTP commands are slightly different than regular FTP commands. The table below lists some of the more common FTP commands as you would enter them at a Windows Command prompt. (Certain DOS commands also work in UNIX, but UNIX directories use a forward slash ( / ); DOS directories use a back slash ( \ ).)

If you want to issue a command that is understood by a remote FTP server, but not by DOS, use the literal command in front of the FTP command. This command allows you to pass any request to the remote server without its being a valid DOS command.


DOS Command


Change user password on a site

Literal SITE PSWD oldpassword newpassword

"Literal" sends a command line to the remote FTP connection and executes the SITE PSWD command.

Connect to the specified FTP host on the specified port

open [host] [port]

For example, type:

open 21

Navigate to a different directory on remote machine

cd [directory]

For example, type:

cd M:\InetPub\EFTRoot\MySite\Usr\jbug

Change to parent directory


Same as cd ..\

Changes directory on local machine

lcd [path]

For example, type lcd c:\temp.

Displays a list of files and folders in the current remote directory

dir [path]

ls [directory] [localfile]

For example, type:

dir M:\InetPub\EFTRoot\MySite\Usr\jbug


ls M:\InetPub\EFTRoot\MySite\Usr\jbug C:\temp\contents.txt

Creates a directory on the remote file system

mkdir [name]

For example, to create a folder into which you will upload your graphics files, type:

mkdir images

Copies a file from the local to the remote computer

put [filename.ext]

To upload the file with a different name, use

put oldfilename.ext newfilename.ext

Copies multiple files from the local to the remote computer

mput [files]

Puts multiple files; *.* puts all files; *.txt puts all .txt files, my_*.* puts all files that start with my_ with any extension.

Copies a file from the remote to the local computer

get [filename.ext]

For example, type:

get dog.jpg

Copies multiple files from the remote to the local computer

mget [files]

Gets multiple files; *.* gets all files; *.txt gets all .txt files, my_*.* gets all files that start with my_ with any extension.

Deletes a file

delete [filename.ext]

For example, type:

delete dog.jpg

Renames a file

rename [filename] [filename]

For example, to rename a picture of your dog, Pooh Bear, type:

rename dog.jpg PoohBear.jpg

Removes a directory on the remote computer

rmdir [name]

For example, type:

rmdir olddogpics

List current working directory


Use when you forget which directory you are in or if you want to copy the path

Close connection

bye (or quit)

Disconnect from remove FTP server

List of available commands or help for a specific command


help [command]

? [command]

help by itself lists available FTP commands; help [command] or ? [command] provides help for the specific command

Change transfer mode to ASCII


Used for HTML and text files

Change transfer mode to binary


Used for graphics, compressed files, audio clips, etc.

Displays current transfer mode (ASCII or binary)


Query the status of files, transfers in process, and other system information. The STAT command implemented on some FTP servers could allow a remote attacker to obtain sensitive information; therefore, it is disabled on some servers.

Enable/disable prompts


Use this command if you do not want to be prompted for each file transfer when transferring multiple files.

Last Modified: 9 Years Ago
Last Modified By: kmarsh
Rated 2 stars based on 2230 votes.
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