[Tip] Use IE for FTP, even if it's no longer your default browser

[Update: There's a decent FTP client for Firefox now: FireFTP. I recommend that instead of this registry hack.]

IE's got a pretty good FTP browser - sure, it's not a full featured client, but it's handy for a quick drag and drop file up / down. It makes the Firefox FTP view look downright quaint (hello, Netscape 2.0).

So, after setting whatever browser as your new default, merge this reg file into your registry to associate only ftp:// links with IE. You'll probably need to right click / "save link as..." in Firefox.

Or if you'd rather do this manually (copy the blue text, paste into notepad, save as IE_FTP.reg, and double-click on the reg file), here it is:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

;This assumes IE is installed in its default location
;c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer

URL:File Transfer Protocol"
"Source Filter"="{E436EBB6-524F-11CE-9F53-0020AF0BA770}"
"URL Protocol"=""












  • While Frans' way of saying things might be a bit blunt, I have to agree with him. I can't count the number of times Internet Explorer froze while attempting to perform an FTP operation. I'll stick with WS_FTP LE.

  • I agree that IE's FTP view is more of a browser than a client. However, Firefox's FTP view is worthless by comparison. I like the option of a quick drag and drop for a file or two without firing up a client.

    I'm not recommending IE's FTP view as a full FTP client. I'm recommending modifying your browser mappings so in case you do browse to an ftp:// location, you'll get something circa 2001.

  • That was awesome, I've never done any kind of registry hacking before, this was so quick and easy and rewarding. Yes! I might get into this stuff now.

  • The following is pinched from another website, however it allows you to fix the problem, without installing any registry hacks.

    Tools | Folder Options | File Tyes | find the line near the top that says "URL: File transfer program" (the extension will be '(NONE)') | Advanced | edit the open action to call internet explorer.

    If you want, you can run IE, tell it to make itself the default browser again (under options somewhere) then go to the above location and note the setting for ftp: URLs. Then run Firefox and tell it to make itself the default browser (assuming you want this - if you don't just leave IE the default and you're done) and then go edit the ftp: URL action back to whatever it was.

  • Another idea: use IE Tab for Firefox, when you get to an FTP page just switch the rendering engine, VOLIA!

  • Faut bien méler agréable à l'utile, non ? =)

  • ca fait pas narcissique comme article ? :)

  • Cool ! Allez hop en favoris :)

  • Superb, what a weblog it is! This website gives useful information to us, keep it up.

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