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What Is FileZilla ?

FileZilla is a utility for transferring files to or from a remote computer by a standard method known as FTP (File Transfer Protocol). FileZilla is open source software that is installed and runs on Windows and Linux computers in the college; a Mac OS version is available.

Why Should I Use It?

FTP is a quick, easy, and secure method of transferring files. You can use FTP to upload files to a web server or to get to files from a remote site such as your home directory (H:). Because you cannot map your home directory from a remote site, you can use FTP to transfer files to or from your home computer so you can work away from your campus office. FileZilla supports SFTP, secure file transfer protocol, which you musts use to transfer files into the Engineering network.

You can also use the Connect2 VPN to securely transfer files; Connect2 includes the ability to connect to your home directory, file shares, run Remote Desktop, and more.

How Do I Use FileZilla?
search, start filezilla on linux

From Windows, go to Start | All Programs | FileZilla FTP Client | FileZilla. From Linux, from the Start icon go to the Search area, type "filezilla", and select the option FTP and SFTP client as shown at right.

Use Quickconnect

Once you have started FileZilla, the quickest way to begin is to enter a server in Address field, login ID or account ID in User field, and the password for the account in the Password field, then click the Quickconnect button. In the illustration below, the connection is to the Engineering ftp server, which requires that you use SFTP.

filezilla start menu

When the connection is successful, the files on the local machine are displayed on the left and the files on the remote machine on the right. Navigate to the file to transfer on either the local or remote machine, and navigate to the folder to which to transfer the file. Then highlight the file to transfer and drag it to the desired location, or double click the file, which adds the file to the transfer queue and the transfer starts automatically. To create a queue for later transfer, right-click the file and select Add to Queue or drag the file into the queue. Click the Queue button on the toolbar or select Queue | Process Queue to transfer files in the queue.

End the session with File | Disconnect (to keep FileZilla running), click the Disconnect icon, or File | Exit.

If you have previously connected to a site, use the pull-down arrow to the right of the Quickconnect button and select the desired connection. FileZilla opens that connection.

filezilla main window

The Main Window

The main window includes the menu bar, the toolbar, and the Quickconnect bar. Once connected to an ftp site, the FileZilla window has the message log, local and remote tree view, local and remote site view, transfer queue, and status bar. Some of those areas are labeled in image shown.

Setting up a Site

Use the Site Manager to manage sites you connect to regularly.

  1. Click the Site Manager icon
    site manager icon
    filezilla site manager
    or go to File | Site Manager....
  2. Click New Site, and name the site; the default is "New FTP site."
  3. On the right side, enter the Host, which is the name or IP address of the ftp server. The Engineering host is named ftp.engineering.uiowa.edu
  4. Select the Server Type. To connect to Engineering, use SFTP - SSH File Transfer Protocol, from the pull-down list.
  5. Select the Logon Type. To connect to Engineering, use Normal or Ask for password.
  6. Enter your login or account ID in the User field. If you selected Ask for password above, FileZilla will prompt for your password when you connect.
  7. Click Connect or Save and Exit.


See the FileZilla help for details about the icons on the toolbar. Several of the icons toggle a view of the main window. There are also icons to refresh the local and remote list view, cancel an operation, and disconnect and reconnect to/from a server. Some of the toolbar buttons are labeled on the illustration at left.

Using FileZilla from Off Campus

If your computer is off campus and you want to use FileZilla to transfer files, you must first start the Connect2 VPN or just the Network Connect portion of the VPN, and then start FileZilla.

Where To Get FileZilla

Go to FileZilla Project to download FileZilla.


Read the on-line Quick Guide from the the FileZilla Project. For help setting up connections in FileZilla, please call the consultant at the Engineering Help Desk, 319-335-5055, 1253 SC.