If you want to browse your favorite FTP server and not have to download extra software then this post is for you.

In Windows 7 open up a Windows Explorer and type in the address to the FTP server your trying to get to.  Provide the username and password if necessary – you can also select Anonymous Log in and Save Password at the bottom of that dialog box:


Once that data is entered and you press the Log On button you will see your FTP server as if it was part of your local drive:


You can click your way around the entire drive structure, perform all the same things you can do in Windows Explorer including drag and drop.  Of course that will also depend on your settings and permissions on the server.

Now this is nothing new in Windows – the functionality was there in Windows Vista as well.  However, I think Windows 7 does a much better job of advertising that functionality with this alert when you browse an FTP site in Internet Explorer:


So with that timely notice I headed to the Page menu in IE and way down at the bottom of that list is the entry to Open FTP Site in Windows Explorer.


If you click on this from an IE Windows where your currently browsing a FTP site the address will be carried over to the Log on As window (first one shown above).

Hope this proves handy to many of you who need this functionality for simple and easy access to FTP server files.  If you have the right permissions you can even CHMOD files and add or delete directories and files from within Windows Explorer as well.