FTP Site Setup

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008

IIS includes the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) service for publishing and managing files. This version of IIS includes Isolating FTP Users to help administrators (particularly Internet hosting providers) efficiently secure and commercialize FTP services for their customers.

The FTP service is not installed by default. To set up an FTP site, you must first install the FTP service through the Control Panel. Installing the FTP service creates a default FTP site, which you can then customize to your needs using IIS Manager.


To install the FTP service

  1. From the Start menu, click Control Panel, double-click Add or Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.

  2. From the Components list, click Application Server, and then click Details.

  3. From the Subcomponents of Application Server list, click Internet Information Services (IIS), and then click Details.

  4. From the Subcomponents of Internet Information Services (IIS) list, select the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) Service check box, and then click OK.

  5. Click Next. You might be prompted for the Windows ServerĀ 2003 product CD or the network install path.

  6. Click Finish.


Caution FTP sites or virtual directories that are configured to use Active Directory isolation or FTP load balancing should not be mapped to physical directories that are used for Web sites that use FrontPageĀ® Server Extensions from Microsoft. Doing so can allow users to view any files in that folder structure over the network.

When you install the FTP service, a default FTP directory is created at LocalDrive:\Inetpub\Ftproot.

Setting up the FTP service for the first time involves first setting global FTP settings, then settings for the default FTP site, and finally adding the content to the FTP site. IIS uses an inheritance model, which means that settings on higher levels are automatically inherited by lower levels. Settings at lower levels can be edited individually to override inherited settings from the next level up.

If you change a setting at a lower level, then later change a setting at a higher level that conflicts with the lower-level setting, you will be prompted to choose whether you want to change the lower-level setting to match the new higher-level setting.

Before setting up the FTP service, see Securing FTP Sites with IIS 6.0 for clarification on security issues associated with the FTP service.


You must be a member of the Administrators group on the local computer to perform the following procedure or procedures. As a security best practice, log on to your computer by using an account that is not in the Administrators group, and then use the runas command to run IIS Manager as an administrator. At a command prompt, type runas /User:Administrative_AccountName "mmc %systemroot%\system32\inetsrv\iis.msc".

To globally change FTP settings

  1. In IIS Manager, expand the local computer, right-click the FTP Sites folder, and click Properties.

  2. Change the default settings on the property pages as needed. The changes are inherited by all FTP sites on your computer. For information about individual settings, click Help.

To change settings for the default FTP site

  1. In IIS Manager, expand the local computer, expand the FTP Sites folder, right-click Default FTP site, and click Properties.

  2. Change the default settings on the property pages to replace any inherited settings as needed. For information about individual settings, click Help.

To publish content on your FTP site

  • Copy or move your content files into the default FTP publishing directory.


If your network has a name resolution system, for example, DNS, visitors can type ftp:// followed by your computer name in the address box of their browsers to reach your site. If your network does not have a name resolution system, visitors must type ftp://, followed by the numerical IP address of your computer.