Enable or Disable Passive FTP Mode in Internet Explorer

Passive FTP is less secure than active FTP

Internet Explorer 11 uses passive FTP by default. Passive FTP mode is used by some FTP servers to better work with firewalls. It is a less secure method of connecting than active FTP. Internet Explorer includes a way to deactivate and activate Passive FTP mode.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer version 6 and newer.

How to Activate and Deactivate Passive FTP Mode

You may need to either enable or disable this setting to allow Internet Explorer to work as an FTP client with a given FTP server.

  1. Press Win+R to open the Run dialog box, then enter inetcpl.cpl and select OK.

  2. In the Internet Properties dialog box, go to the Advanced tab.

    Internet Properties in Windows with the Advanced tab highlighted
  3. Find the setting called Enable FTP folder view (outside of Internet Explorer), which is located near the top of the list of settings. Passive FTP mode in Internet Explorer does not work unless this feature is disabled.

    Enable FTP folder view option in Internet Properties
  4. Locate the setting called Use Passive FTP (for firewall and DSL modem compatibility) approximately halfway down the list of settings. To disable the feature, clear the check box. When enabled, Internet Explorer uses Passive FTP.

    Use Passive FTP setting in Internet Properties
  5. Click OK or Apply to save the Passive FTP setting.

    Internet Properties with the OK button highlighted

It is not necessary to reboot your computer when you enable or disable passive FTP.