MS-DOS Commands :: ftp


Warning: This command is for advanced users only!

FTP (file transfer program) to transfer files to/from server.

Tip: We recommend that you use a Windows-based FTP program rather than using the MS-DOS ftp command. Personally, we use CuteFTP Pro.


Type ftp to start the FTP program. The FTP command prompt will appear. You can then type the following commands.

Tip: When done, type bye (or quite) to exit the FTP program and return to the MS-DOS prompt.

Command Meaning
! Escape to the shell
? Prints list of available commands
append Append to a file
ascii Set ascii transfer type
bell Beep when command completed
binary Set binary transfer type
bye Terminate ftp session and exit
cd Change remote working directory
close Terminate ftp session
delete Delete remote file
debug Toggle debugging mode
dir List contents of remote directory
disconnect Terminate ftp session
get Receive file
glob Toggle metacharacter expansion of local file names
hash Toggle printing `#' for each buffer transferred
help Prints list of available commands
lcd Change local working directory
literal Send arbitrary ftp command
ls List contents of remote directory
mdelete Delete multiple files
mdir List contents of multiple remote directories
mget Get multiple files
mkdir Make directory on the remote machine
mls List contents of multiple remote directories
mput Send multiple files
open Connect to remote tftp
prompt Force interactive prompting on multiple commands
put Send one file
pwd Print working directory on remote machine
quit Terminate ftp session and exit
quote Send arbitrary ftp command
recv Receive file
remotehelp Get help from remote server
rename Rename file
rmdir Remove directory on the remote machine
send Send one file
status Show current status
trace Toggle packet tracing
type Set file transfer type
user Send user login information
verbose Toggle verbose mode


If you want to automate the downloading/uploading of a file or files, you can do that by creating a text file that contains the FTP commands to be performed. For example, to download a specific file, create a text file that has the following content:

open host
cd directory
get filename

For the parameters (shown above in yellow), type in the actual values. For example, if your FTP server is then type that in place of host. Similarly, subsitute in the values of the other parameters: username, password, directory (e.g.: /www), and filename.

Save the above "FTP script" and give it a filename such as getfile.txt (you can name it anything; the filename does not matter). To run ftp and make it use this FTP script, you would type ftp -i -s:getfile.txt which tells the ftp command to run in non-interactive mode (-i) and to read FTP commands from the specified file (-s:filename).

After you create the FTP script, you could also create a corresponding batch file that runs ftp with this FTP script. In the above example, the FTP script file was named getfile.txt, so create a text file named getfile.bat (this filename is just to be consistent; you can use any filename) with the following contents:

@echo off
ftp -i -s:getfile.txt

To run this batch file you would simply type getfile (or getfile.bat). The batch file will run, which will cause ftp to be run, and ftp will read the FTP script getfile.txt, which will cause your file to be downloaded.

ftp -help

Transfers files to and from a computer running an FTP server service
(sometimes called a daemon). Ftp can be used interactively.

FTP [-v] [-d] [-i] [-n] [-g] [-s:filename] [-a] [-w:windowsize] [-A] [host]

  -v             Suppresses display of remote server responses.
  -n             Suppresses auto-login upon initial connection.
  -i             Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file
  -d             Enables debugging.
  -g             Disables filename globbing (see GLOB command).
  -s:filename    Specifies a text file containing FTP commands; the
                 commands will automatically run after FTP starts.
  -a             Use any local interface when binding data connection.
  -A             login as anonymous.
  -w:buffersize  Overrides the default transfer buffer size of 4096.
  host           Specifies the host name or IP address of the remote
                 host to connect to.

  - mget and mput commands take y/n/q for yes/no/quit.
  - Use Control-C to abort commands.

(Enlarge: ftp -help)