How to Use FileZilla – A Beginner’s Guide

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Dani Nolan

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2019 February 12th at 3:04

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Transferring files can be difficult if you run a large website. While many hosting providers now offer in-house file transfer platforms, FileZilla (a completely free FTP software for file transfer) is available for pretty much all hosts and is a method of choice for plenty of site owners.

While FileZilla isn't overly complicated - but it can be a bit confusing for those unfamiliar with the platform. This FileZilla tutorial overviews everything you need to know before starting to use it.

Here is how to use FileZilla for transferring files:

  • Step 1: Download FileZilla
  • Step 2: Obtain FTP details
  • Step 3: Open FileZilla and enter details in the top bar
  • Step 4: Right-click on the file and select download
  • Step 5: Find successful transfers at the bottom of the interface

Step 1: Download FileZilla

Before we can upload files using FileZilla, we need to take a quick look at how to set up FileZilla. Head to https://filezilla-project.org/ and download the client by clicking the 'Download FileZilla Client' button.

If you're wondering how to use FileZilla on Mac, you should select the 'Download FileZilla Client' button on the left-hand side as well. This button works for all platforms. Don't be fooled by the 'Download FileZilla Server' button on the right, this will download a server that provides other people access to your files.

How to use FileZilla Download FileZilla

Once you download either client, follow the installation instructions to install FileZilla on your device. The specific instructions for each type of device or platform will vary depending on what you're using.

Step 2: Obtain FTP Details

Once FileZilla is installed, it's time to obtain your FTP details. You'll need these to connect your FileZilla client with your hosting account. For the purpose of this tutorial, we'll be looking at obtaining FTP details from Hostinger. Log onto your Hostinger dashboard and scroll down to find the 'FTP Accounts' folder.

How to Use FileZilla FTP Accounts

Click on 'FTP Accounts,' and you will be transferred to a page that contains the full details of your FTP login credentials. While this is a screenshot from Hostinger, all hosting providers will allow you to access your FTP credential via your homepage. Below is an image displaying the type of data you'll find when you open up your FTP accounts tab.

How to Use FileZilla FTP Login Data

Step 3: Open FileZilla and Enter Details in the Top Bar

After you have your FTP account page open, start FileZilla to begin the process of transferring files. At the top of the page, you'll need to enter the details from your FTP accounts page. If you can't remember your password, you can change it using your host's password recovery option. Make sure to enter all the necessary details listed at the top bar. These include host, username, password, and port. Next, click 'Quickconnect' to begin the connection process.

How to Use FileZilla Login Top Bar

If you connect FileZilla and your host correctly, files will appear on the left and right of the section below. Prior to connecting, the right-hand side of the interface will be blank. This is because there are no files to exhibit from your hosting provider. Once you're connected, it should look similar to the image provided below.

Step 4: Right-Click on the File and Select Upload

If you connect FileZilla and your host correctly, files will appear on the left and right of the section below. Prior to connecting, the right-hand side of the interface will be blank. This is because there are no files to exhibit from your hosting provider. Once you're connected, it should look similar to the image provided below.

How to Use FileZilla Connection Confirmation

Now it's time to upload the files you need in your hosting account. To begin the process, find the file you're looking for and right-click it. As you right-click the file, you'll be presented with a menu of options. Now click 'Upload.'

Remember, your selected file will upload to the file that you have selected on the right (the hosting side of the interface).

How to Use FileZilla Upload Files

Keep in mind, you can highlight multiple files at once if you would like to upload a number of different files. This feature is one of the primary reasons FileZilla is so popular with website owners.

Step 5: Find Successful Transfers at the Bottom

It should only take a few seconds to upload files if they're not too large. If you'd like to take a look at your successful file transfers, head to the bottom of the user interface on FileZilla. Here, you'll find a few different tabs.

Click 'Successful Transfers' to take a look at all of your previous file transfers.

How to Use FileZilla Successful Transfers

And you're done!

How to Use FileZilla to Download Files

Now that you understand how to use FileZilla for uploading files, it's time to take a look at how to download files using the same platform. The initial processes are exactly the same as in the first portion of this FileZilla tutorial.

If you're yet to set up and connect FileZilla to your hosting provider, follow the same steps as detailed from 1 to 4 in the section above.

Now that you've set up your FileZilla client, let's take a look at how to download files from your host to your computer.

1. Head to the Right-Hand Side of the Interface

On the right-hand side of the interface, you'll find a list of the files currently stored on your hosting provider's databases. You can search through this portion of the interface to find the files you're looking for.

2. Right-Click and Download File

As with uploading files, you simply need to right-click the file you wish to download from your hosting provider. These files are on the right-hand side of the FileZilla interface.

After right-clicking your desired file(s), click on the 'Download' button to begin the download process. It will download to the file that you have selected on the left-hand side of the page (the computer side of the interface).

How to Use FileZilla Download Files

3. Double-Check for Successful Transfers

As with step 6 in the first section of this tutorial, you can double-check that your files have successfully transferred by heading to the 'Successful Transfers' tab at the bottom of the interface. You can find both successful downloads and uploads in this tab.

Transfers are easy when you how to use FileZilla

At the end of the day, you may not have a need for FileZilla if your current hosting provider has a file transfer portal already in place.

But if you don't enjoy your current file transfer platform, FileZilla makes it extremely simple to connect your computer directly to your hosting platform. Best of all, FileZilla is open-source and completely free of charge.

Now that you know how to use FileZilla, it's time to decide if it's the right tool for your platform!

What's your experience with FileZilla? Maybe you prefer other file transfer methods? Comment down below.


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Dani Nolan

An experienced content professional with a creative mind. If I'm not writing, you can probably find me in the backyard playing with dogs or at some weird art show.


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