Introduction to CuteFTP®

At home or at the office, industry-leading CuteFTP software lets you intelligently and securely move your important files across multiple locations over WAN or LAN. With CuteFTP you can publish web pages; download the latest music, images, and software; or transfer files between servers at home, your Internet Service Provider, the office—any server that you can access over the network.

CuteFTP is simple enough for a novice FTP user, yet powerful enough for experienced users.

  • The user-friendly interface allows you to easily update and maintain sophisticated websites.

  • You can safeguard transfers of mission-critical files with CuteFTP's security features.

  • You can even schedule and script transfers with minimal overhead using the Transfer Engine. You can use the Transfer Engine from within CuteFTP or with any COM-enabled scripting or programming language

  • An integrated, color-coded HTML editor allows you to create, open, and edit HTML documents on your computer or a remote server within CuteFTP.

  • Unicode support—CuteFTP supports Unicode file names.

File Transfer Security

  • Secure SSL Sessions—CuteFTP secures sessions with 128-bit SSL, the same secure technology used by Internet browsers and servers for authentication, message integrity, and data confidentiality. SSL Session Choices—When setting up your SSL connection, CuteFTP lets you choose between three common SSL implementations, including TLS (AUTH TLS)*, SSL Implicit** (direct connect over port 990) and SSL Explicit** (AUTH SSL) mode. Most FTP servers support at least one, while some (such as Globalscape EFT Server) support all three.

  • SSL Certificates—CuteFTP includes a full certificate management system, giving you the ability to accept or reject a server's certificate, store accepted certificates in a local database, import and export certificates in the local store, use Window's trusted certificate store for certificate approval, and the ability to create your own "strong" (4096-bit) self-signed certificate set, including a certificate request file (for signing by a Certificate Authority (CA) such as Verisign or Thawte).

  • HTTPS Sessions—Connect, browse directories, and transfer to/from HTTPS Sites using the same strong security (SSL) that web browsers use for secure e-commerce transactions. HTTPS Sites also rely on certificates to verify that the client is communicating with the desired HTTPS server.

  • Secure Shell (SSH2) Sessions—CuteFTP also supports the SSH2 protocol, specifically, SFTP.

  • SFTP Configuration Options—CuteFTP gives you vast control over you SFTP session, including choice of encryption ciphers, MAC (Message Authentication Code) types, compression, and authentication* mechanisms to use.

  • SFTP Identity Files—Use an identity file supplied by your host or create your own key-pair for authentication. When creating your own identity file, you can choose between RSA and DSS public key formats, key length (up to 4096 bits), and key storage location. Store trusted server identity files (certificates) in a local database. You can also import or export identity files from your local trusted store.

  • OpenPGP Encryption and Decryption—CuteFTP uses an open-source encryption (OpenPGP) technology to encrypt data before it is sent to a server or to decrypt data retrieved from a server. OpenPGP uses public keys and private keys. This allows you to give others your public key, which they can use to encrypt a file. Only you can decrypt the file with your private key. The OpenPGP functionality in CuteFTP lets you encrypt files before uploading or decrypt files after downloading; create OpenPGP keys, key sizes, and select RSA or DSS cryptosystems; and import and export OpenPGP keys.

  • Secure Login Using OTP—Some situations call for a secure login sequence, but not the securing of subsequent data and control channel transactions. For this case, CuteFTP offers One Time Password (OTP) authentication, a protocol based on Bell Lab's S/Key technology. OTP authentication is accepted by many UNIX and some Window's FTP hosts, including Globalscape EFT Server.

  • Password Manager—Encrypt your Site Manager contents using the powerful Blowfish cipher or completely disallow password saving, including URL and Quick Connect history, between application sessions. You can also change the default Site Manager and session-log storage locations. These policies and features help mitigate risks when running on a shared or physically unrestricted machine.

Connection Options

  • Connection Wizard—CuteFTP's Connection Wizard can guide you through setting up a new FTP connection. Once completed, CuteFTP will automatically connect to the new Site and store it in your Site Manager for subsequent connections.

  • Site Manager—Store commonly accessed Sites in the built-in address book, the Site Manager. The Site Manager allows you to set specific options per-Site, and you can export or import Site data, including address books from 3rd-party FTP clients or previous versions of CuteFTP. You can optionally password protect your Site Manager with strong encryption to protect your Site information (especially Site passwords).

  • Quick Connect—CuteFTP offers various other connection choices. Use the Quick Connect bar to enter Site connection information; use the Paste URL dialog to paste entire URLs from the clipboard, create a new Site, or launch an existing one directly from the main menu, or have CuteFTP automatically reconnect to the last visited Site on program startup.

  • Proxy / Socks / Firewall—CuteFTP allows you to connect via proxy, socks, or firewall, including socks 4 & 5, HTTP, or FTP proxy connection options. Manually configure proxy or firewall connection settings or have CuteFTP automatically detect Internet Explorer's proxy settings, including "proxy.pac" proxy script files.

  • NAT UPnP—CuteFTP will attempt to use the UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) NAT interface to provide proper port-mapping when connecting securely from behind a NAT/firewall using PORT mode (rather than PASV, due to the remote host also being behind a NAT/firewall). Without UPnP, you would need to manually set the port range in the client and also enable and forward them in the NAT/firewall device.

  • Smart Keep Alive—Stay connected to Sites that automatically disconnect you when no activity is detected over a certain period. Configure various commands to be sent at random intervals to simulate user activity. CuteFTP's keep alive feature differs from its competitors in that it offers completely customizable keep alive options, including time to start sending commands, random time intervals between commands, a customizable commands list, and auto-reconnect and redial options.

  • Multiple Connections—Connect, browse and navigate multiple Sites at the same time. Most FTP clients force you to disconnect from a Site when connecting to an alternate one. Each connection takes place in its own window. Connection windows can be tiled, cascaded or accessed by clicking on the corresponding tab.

  • Session Logs—Connection and transfer logs can be displayed, captured to the Windows clipboard, and recorded to file. Determine where logs are saved, how often they're updated or deleted and more. Smart Keep Alive commands are not recorded and time stamps are included by default, greatly improving usability.

  • Work Offline—Site caching allows you to minimize bandwidth while you browse. Browse previously visited Sites while offline, speeding up navigation while saving bandwidth and network resources. This benefits users in cases where they are charged for time connected and in cases where the host Site restricts access time.

  • Connection Options—Set timeout, retry and delay values, connection limits, data connection port range, on connect events, and other connection related settings globally or per-Site.

Transfer Options

  • Standard Transfers—CuteFTP supports multiple methods for transferring files and folders, including keyboard, mouse, menu, and toolbar. This simplest way to transfer is to "drag-and-drop" files into the Transfer queue.

  • Scheduled transfers—Schedule a file, folder, or queue entry to be transferred later. Specify whether the scheduled event should recur at specific intervals and even choose from certain events to take place once the transfer is completed.

  • Site-to-Site transfers (FXP)—Allows you to transfer files from one remote server to another, bypassing your computer altogether, thus decreasing the time necessary to complete the transfer. Site-to-Site transfers are made easy with a simple "drag 'n drop" between remote Site panes. While CuteFTP supports this feature, many servers block it due to "port theft" considerations.

  • Transfer resume—Transfer with confidence, even with slow connections or if you're using a lower performance FTP server. CuteFTP can detect a broken transfer and automatically resume it where it left off, rather than transfer the whole file over again.

  • Queue Transfers—Select files and folders spanning multiple remote Sites and queue them for future transfer. CuteFTP's robust queue management system allows you to manage the order (priority) of queue items, track the transfer status of queue items, schedule queue items, and modify a queue item's properties. You can also save a snapshot of the queue and then load and run it in the future.

  • Multi-part transfers—You can speed the transfer of large architectural, graphic, or engineering files with multi-part accelerated downloads. CuteFTP can split a single download file into multiple parts and later recombine them upon receipt. Combined with Globalscape EFT Server, it is the only client that can perform multi-part uploads.

  • Simultaneous Transfers; Concurrent transfers—Connect, browse and navigate multiple Sites at the same time. Each connection takes place in its own window. Connection windows can be tiled, cascaded, or accessed by clicking on the corresponding tab.

  • Compressed Transfers—Compress file and folders to .ZIP, .CAB, and Gzip/Tarball archives prior to uploading them, as well as, decompress downloaded archives of the same type.

  • Bandwidth throttling—Specify the number of kilobytes per second to throttle the bandwidth of all sessions on CuteFTP.

  • Transfer integrity—Verify the file integrity after a transfer has been completed. This feature relies on a proprietary command supported by Globalscape EFT Server.

  • Overwrite Rules—Configure CuteFTP to determine whether an existing file that matches one being transferred needs to be overwritten, renamed, or skipped based on date, size, and other criteria, or choose to be prompted each time a matching file is found.

  • Auto-Rename Transfers—Create rules to change a file's name, extension, or case during transfer. Specify the source and destination name, including wildcards, and whether to change the case of a transferred file.

  • Right-click shell integration—Transfer files from the Windows Desktop or Explorer.

  • Advanced Transfers—Other transfer options in CuteFTP include transfer mode (ASCII/Binary/Auto), data connection mode (PASV/PORT/Auto), after transfer events, time stamp handling, byte offset from which to restart broken transfers, and more.


  • Transfer Engine—Create sophisticated scripts or record sessions for automating FTP tasks using CuteFTP's Transfer Engine. The modular Transfer Engine uses an industry standard Component Object Model (COM) interface to expose most of CuteFTP's functions and properties. Choose between manually creating scripts using your favorite programming or scripting language or automatically creating scripts using the session record and playback tool.

  • Macro recording and playback—CuteFTP can record and playback entire sessions using the powerful macro record/playback tool. Sessions are recorded in Visual Basic Script and take advantage of CuteFTP's COM-exposed transfer engine (TE) interface.

  • Integrated HTML editor—This powerful text editor includes color-coded HTML and PERL tags, Site-wide find and replace, HTML code-completion, and integration with CuteFTP that lets you edit files on your FTP server without downloading them.

  • Synchronize folders—Mirror your local drive, remote Site, or both with just a couple of mouse clicks using CuteFTP's Folder Synchronization tool. Schedule recurring synchronization events for continuous mirroring of local and remote folder trees. You can monitor more than one folder or synchronize multiple Sites with the Folder Synchronization Wizard, which guides you through setup.

  • Folder Comparison—Compare folders before synchronizing them. Local and remote folder contents can be compared based on case, name, date, or size. Files that are different from each other are highlighted and can be selected and transferred for directory-wide changes.

  • Site Backup—Schedule a single or recurring backup of your entire Site in three easy steps with our Site Backup Wizard. CuteFTP will download the entire Site into a backup folder, compress it (.ZIP, .CAB, or GZIP compression), and then label the resulting archive with a time and date stamp.

  • Local Backup—Schedule a single or recurring backup of your local computer and safely store your data on a remote server. CuteFTP will upload the selected files and folders to an archive on a remote FTP server and will restore your data from the archive if your computer ever goes down.

  • Remote Backup—CuteFTP allows you to create copies of remote files and folders on your local computer regularly or at a scheduled time. CuteFTP also compresses the backup automatically.

  • "On exit" events—CuteFTP can be set to automatically exit, shutdown your computer, run a virus scan, or any number of other tasks after completing a transfer.

  • Folder monitoring—(AKA "Hot Drop"); Detect changed items in a specific local folder tree automatically. If changes are detected, the modified files or folders are uploaded to a predefined server. Works great for publishing Web site changes from a staging server to a live server.

  • Custom Commands—Create sets of commonly used command sequences and assign them a shortcut key for quick access. If needed, send FTP commands directly to the FTP server using the RAW FTP command feature for more granular control of the FTP session.

  • File Properties—View or change permissions (CHMOD) for multiple files without having to know their numerical values by simply selecting whether Read, Write, or Execute is allowed for each group. View file and folder size, date, owner values, and more.

  • Time Stamp Control—Preserve a server's time stamp for downloaded files. Choose to keep the locally defined time for uploaded files. Define the time offset for the server for greater efficiency in transfer and synchronization overwrite rules.

  • ViewandOpen—View the contents of remote text-based files quickly using Notepad or the built-in editor. You can also open files, which will download an item (if necessary) and run it using the associated program.

  • Event Triggers—Specify automatic events to occur upon program startup, upon connecting to a Site, and upon transfer success. Choose to play sounds for various events as they occur and execute commands (such as virus scans) on files after they are downloaded.


  • Advanced search—Find files and folders easily, by name, size, or creation/modification date, whether they are on your local computer or a remote server.

  • Lockstep Folder Navigation—Navigate simultaneously through local and remote folder directories that share the same structure. This makes it easier to compare the two when synchronizing content.

  • Folder Navigation—Navigate remote and local folders using the mouse, keyboard, and toolbar buttons as you would when navigating through folders on your Windows Desktop or Explorer.

  • Folder Management—Create new folders, rename existing ones, or delete unused folders. View a folder's properties and perform standard operations, such as cut, copy, and paste.

  • Default Download Folder—Specify a default folder for placing your downloads. You can also specify a default local and remote folder for each Site, so when you connect, CuteFTP will automatically switch to the chosen folders.

  • Folder Bookmarks—This feature is similar to the favorites or bookmark feature in your browser. You can bookmark one or more folder paths per Site, and later return to those paths by selecting the bookmark.

  • File and Folder Links—Navigate folder links with ease with the help of CuteFTP's various link configuration options. These options tell CuteFTP how to interpret links, how to navigate to and from links, and what to do with the resulting target.

  • Folder Listings—View folder listings for a variety of hosts, including UNIX, NT, VMS, MVS, AS/400, OS/2, Sterling CONNECT: Enterprise, Van Dyke SSH, and many more. Simple folder listing support (NLST), and raw folder listing options help display uncommon or proprietary folder listings not supported by CuteFTP.

  • Filtered listings—Configure include and exclude masks for displaying specific items within a folder. Use filtering to only display or download specific items or as a way of sending specific parameters to a server's LIST command program.

  • File and Folder Select—Use the various Group Select features along with wildcard masks to mark specific groups of items within a folder for transfer or deletion.

  • File and Folder Search—Search for files or folders contained within a folder. Search for exact or partial names, including wildcards.

  • Navigation Settings—CuteFTP has an enormous set of navigation features and options. Apart from those above, CuteFTP can lock a local folder to the active remote pane, configure folder index (table of contents) options, configure folder caching, auto-refresh folders after transfer and navigation events, set tolerance settings for problem servers, recursively delete across folders, delete to recycle bin, and much more.

Display Options

  • View thumbnails—Find local or remote pictures quickly using Thumbnail View.

  • Toolbar—Customize the toolbar in variety of ways.

  • Fonts and Colors—Set log, editor, and main window fonts and colors.

  • File and Folder size—Select whether to display file and folder sizes in kilobytes or let CuteFTP determine the best way to display them.

  • Sort—Sort local and remote listings just like you would in Windows. Also choose between a natural language sorting alternative to the traditional lexicographic sorting of alphanumeric sequences.

  • Panes—Choose which panes to show, whether to display Site and transfer logs, and whether gridlines should be displayed in each pane.

  • Prompts—Choose whether to display error and event prompts. CuteFTP will also display detailed error messages for a better understanding of connection related errors.

  • Sounds—Specify sounds for certain events, such as when a successful connection or transfer is made.

  • Focus—CuteFTP optionally highlights the active pane, helping you visually identify which pane has the focus. Use the tabs on each pane to toggle between active sessions, between the Site Manager and Local Drives tabs, and between the Queue Window and Log Windows.