The FTP command in Windows Command Prompt is a tool used to transfer files between a client and a server over a network using the File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This command is beneficial for uploading or downloading files, managing filesystems remotely, and automating file transfers through scripts.


FTP [-v] [-d] [-i] [-n] [-g] [-s:filename] [-a] [-w:windowsize] [host]
  • host: Specifies the FTP server to which a connection is being attempted. It can be an IP address or a hostname.


  • -v: Suppresses verbose display of remote server responses.
  • -d: Enables debugging, displaying all FTP commands passed between the client and server.
  • -i: Turns off interactive prompting during multiple file transfers.
  • -n: Suppresses the automatic login upon initial connection.
  • -g: Disables filename globbing, which permits the use of wildcard characers in local file and path names.
  • -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.
  • -w:windowsize: Overrides the default transfer buffer size of 4096 bytes.


  • -v: Useful for operations requiring a clean log file without server responses.
  • -d: Important for troubleshooting or ensuring the correctness of FTP scripts.
  • -i: Best used when transferring multiple files, as it simplifies the process.
  • -n: Provides control over the login process, necessary in scripted sessions where credentials are handled differently.
  • -g: Critical for specifying precise file names in environments with varying file naming conventions.
  • -s: Employed in automating FTP uploads/downloads using batch scripts.
  • -a and -w: Useful in specific network configurations or when performance tuning is needed.


  1. Connecting to an FTP server:

  2. Downloading a single file:

    FTP -i -n -s:download.txt

    Where download.txt contains:

    user myusername mypassword
    get samplefile.txt
  3. Uploading files using a script:

    FTP -i -n -s:upload.txt

    Where upload.txt includes:

    user myusername mypassword
    mput *.txt

Common Issues

  • Timeouts and connection drops: Ensure stable network conditions. Use the -w option to adjust buffer sizes which might enhance stability.
  • Scripting errors when files are not found: Ensure the correct paths are used in scripts and that wildcard characters are managed correctly with the -g option.


The FTP command can be integrated with batch scripts to automate file transfers. Here’s an example that combines FTP with conditional checks:

@echo off
IF EXIST localfile.txt (
    FTP -i -n -s:upload.txt
) ELSE (
    echo localfile.txt not found
  • Telnet: Useful for another type of network interaction.
  • NSlookup: Governs domain name resolution diagnostics, which can assist in resolving FTP server hostnames.
  • PING: Verifies network connectivity, which is crucial for successful FTP operations.

Additional resources and documentation for FTP can be found at the official Microsoft documentation.