Knowledge Base

How to manage FTP accounts and sessions in cPanel

This article describes how to add, modify, and delete FTP accounts for your web site, as well as how to manage active FTP sessions.

About the File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

The File Transfer Protocol (FTP) is a standard network protocol that is used to transfer files between computers. To download or upload files, a user uses an FTP client to connect to an FTP server.

There are many FTP clients available for all of the major operating systems. There are standalone FTP clients, such as FileZilla, and most web browsers have integrated FTP functionality. Generally, if you have a large amount of files to upload or download, using a dedicated FTP client is the easiest and preferred method.

Using cPanel, you can set up FTP accounts so that specific external users can access a restricted part of your web site.

By its very nature, FTP allows external users to modify files on your web site (although only in the directory or directories for which you have granted access). External users can upload, download, and delete files. Please keep this in mind when you set up an FTP account for a user.

Creating an FTP account

When you create an FTP account, cPanel creates a directory on your web site that allows external users (who know the username and password) to upload and download files to and from that location.

All users with the correct username and password will be able to add, edit, and delete files from the directory that you specify for the FTP account, as well as any subdirectories beneath it.

To create an FTP account on your web site, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click FTP Accounts.
  2. Under Add FTP Account, in the Login text box, type the username for the FTP account.
    FTP account usernames are in the format [email protected], where user represents the value you type in the Login text box, and example.com represents your domain name.
  3. In the Password text box, type the account password.
  4. In the Password (Again) text box, retype the account password.
    You can click Password Generator and cPanel generates a random, strong password for you.
  5. In the Directory text box, type the directory for which the FTP account will have access. By default, this directory is located under your public_html directory, and its name is the FTP account username.
    If you specify the top level of the web site by typing a slash (/), then all users who enter a valid username and password will be able to add, edit, and delete all files on your web site. We strongly advise you to limit an FTP account to a subdirectory on your web site.
  6. Specify the quota for the FTP account. By default, the quota is unlimited. To set a quota, type the number, in megabytes, for the maximum directory size.
  7. Click Create FTP Account.

Changing the password for an FTP account

It is a good security practice to regularly change FTP account passwords. You should always change an FTP account password if you suspect an unauthorized user has gained access to the account.

To change the password for an FTP account, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click FTP Accounts.
  2. Under FTP Accounts, locate the account password that you want to change, and then click Change Password.
  3. In the Password text box, type the new password.
  4. In the Password (Again) text box, retype the new password.
    You can click Password Generator and cPanel generates a random, strong password for you.
  5. Click Change Password.

Deleting an FTP account

To delete an FTP account, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click FTP Accounts.
  2. Under FTP Accounts, locate the account that you want to delete, and then click Delete.
  3. You can delete just the FTP account, or you can delete the FTP account and all of its associated files:
    • To delete just the FTP account, click Delete Account.
    • To delete the FTP account and all of the files in the account's directory, click Delete Account and Files.

Controlling FTP sessions on your web site

You can view and disconnect active FTP sessions by using the FTP Session Control feature in cPanel. This feature is useful for viewing general information about your FTP users, and for stopping any unwanted FTP activity on your web site.

To control and view FTP sessions, follow these steps:

  1. In the Files section of the cPanel home screen, click FTP Connections. All active FTP sessions are listed.
  2. To terminate a session, locate the session and then click Disconnect.
  3. Click Disconnect “User to confirm, where User is the name of the account that you want to disconnect.

More Information

For more information about FTP, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File_Transfer_Protocol.