In this article, we will discuss how to download a file from an FTP server using Command Prompt (CMD) on Windows 11 or 10. File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol used to transfer files from one host to another over the internet. CMD, a command-line interpreter application in Windows, allows users to perform various tasks, including file transfers, without relying on third-party software.
Before we begin, make sure you have the following information:
- FTP server address (e.g.,
- Username and password for the FTP server (if required)
- The exact path to the file you want to download (e.g.,
Step-by-Step guide to download an ftp file using command prompt
Follow these steps to download an FTP file using CMD in Windows 11 or 10:
- Open CMD: Press Win + X on your keyboard, and then select Windows Terminal (Windows 11) or Command Prompt (Windows 10) from the context menu.
- Access the FTP server: Enter the following command in CMD, replacing ftp.example.com with the actual FTP server address:
After successfully connecting to the server, you will see the FTP server’s welcome message.
- Log in to the FTP server (if required): If the FTP server requires authentication, it may ask for your username and password. Enter your user’s credentials to proceed.
For some cases, you may need to manually authenticate by entering the username and password using the following commands:
user your_username your_password
Replace your_username and your_password with the appropriate credentials. After successful authentication, you should see a confirmation message.
- List the directory content: To view the content of the current directory on the FTP server, enter the following command:
This command will display the list of files and directories in the current directory, helping you identify the exact path to the file you want to download.
- Switch to binary mode: To ensure that the file is transferred correctly, switch to binary mode by entering the following command:
- Navigate to the local directory: Choose the local directory where you want to save the downloaded file. Use the following command, replacing C:\destination_folder with the desired local path:
- Download the file: Use the get command to download the file from the FTP server. Replace /folder/subfolder/filename.extension with the actual file path on the server:
Once the file transfer is complete, you will see a confirmation message.
- Close the FTP connection: To close the FTP connection, enter the following commands:
Congratulations! You have successfully downloaded an FTP file using Command Prompt in Windows 11 or 10. With this method, you can download files without the need for third-party FTP clients, making the process more efficient and secure.
Useful tip: How to Run Batch File Without the CMD Window
Downloading an FTP file using a single command line
In addition to the step-by-step guide, you can also download an FTP file using only a single line of command in CMD. This method is more concise and straightforward, making it particularly useful for users who prefer a quick approach.
Here is the one-liner command to download an FTP file:
echo open WEBSITE >> ftp &echo user USERNAME PASSWORD >> ftp &echo binary >> ftp &echo get PATHTOFILE >> ftp &echo bye >> ftp &ftp -n -v -s:ftp &del ftp
Replace the following placeholders with the appropriate information:
WEBSITE: The FTP server address (e.g., ftp.example.com)
USERNAME: Your FTP server username
PASSWORD: Your FTP server password
PATHTOFILE: The exact path to the file on the server (e.g., /folder/subfolder/filename.extension)
This single command line performs the following actions:
- Connects to the FTP server
- Authenticates the user with the provided username and password
- Switches to binary mode for accurate file transfer
- Downloads the specified file
- Closes the FTP connection
- Deletes the temporary
ftpfile created during the process
By using this one-liner command, you can accomplish the same task as the step-by-step guide but in a more efficient manner. However, it is essential to remember that this method provides less visibility into the process, making it more suitable for experienced users or those who prefer a quicker approach.
Before using this command, ensure that you are in the directory where you want to download the file. If you need to change the directory in the CMD session, use the following command:
C:\destination_folder with the desired local path. Once you are in the correct directory, enter the one-liner command mentioned above to download the FTP file.
Related resource: Copy Folder Structure Without Files in Windows 11/10
The ability to download files from an FTP server using CMD in Windows 11 or 10 is a valuable skill that enables users to manage their file transfers without the need for additional software such as FileZilla. Understanding both the step-by-step method and the single command line approach empowers users to choose the most appropriate solution for their specific needs, taking into account their experience level and preferences.
Moreover, learning to use CMD for FTP file transfers is just the beginning. As users become more proficient with CMD, they can explore other advanced capabilities, such as automating tasks using batch scripts, scheduling file transfers, or even implementing error-handling routines. This, in turn, can lead to more efficient workflows and enhanced productivity.