Filezilla is my FTP client of choice. It is a free and open source FTP client that works on Windows, Linux and Mac it can be downloaded from here. Filezilla has many features, one of the nicest features is called “Site Manager” where it saves the server information along with your user name and password so that you can connect to it quickly. If your a webmaster with many websites and random passwords this is a definite time saver. If you are like me and a lot of other webmasters you have a regular computer and a laptop for the road. The tutorial will show you how to setup all your FTP accounts in Filezilla on one computer then copy the settings over to your other computer(s) so that you don’t have to reenter your details again.
Filezilla’s site explorer settings resides in your appdata folder on Windows, a hidden directory within your home directory on Linux, and your user’s library folder on OS X. This posts assumes your copying from settings Windows to another Windows machine as that’s what most people use. I will show you where the folder in on Ubuntu and OS X the file is the same on all platforms and can be copied between systems without issue.
UPDATE Sept 2016:
Starting a couple versions ago I noticed import/export functionality in Filezilla. Simply go to File > Export and select what you would like to export. The most important is the Site Manager entries. On the target computer simply do File > Import. You may get a warning stating the the export was created using a newer version of Filezilla (especially going from Windows to Ubuntu), from what I can tell it’s safe to ignore this warning. The rest of the article tutorial still works too.
First things first, Open Filezilla and click open the Site Manager. Site manager is the leftmost icon, I’ve highlighted it in the screenshot below.
This is the Site Manager. Click “New Site”, name it and put in your host, select “Logontype” normal from the drop down and input your user name and password. Repeat for the rest of your sites. Connect to each account to make sure it works then close Filezilla.
Now Windows navigate to your appdata folder. For instructions on how find your app data folder click here (new window). This is your app data folder, open the Filezilla folder.
This is your Filezilla’s app data folder. Now you want to copy the sitemanager file to a thumb drive or perhaps email it to yourself.
Keep this file secure! The passwords are stored in plain text anyone can open the file in any text editor and view all your account information. As of a few versions ago Filezilla hashes passwords. Alternatively you can copy the whole Filezilla folder to your thumb drive to save all the program’s settings.
Now you have the file and can place it in Filezilla’s app data folder on another Windows machine. Be sure to install and run Filezilla first on the second machine so that it create the Filezilla folder under appdata. Alternatively you can install Filezilla and don’t run it then if you copied the whole folder just drag and drop it to appdata.
Bingo! Your done. 🙂
Other operating systems:
UPDATE Sept 2016:
Starting with Ubuntu 16.04 it appears Filezilla’s settings are now stored in ~/.config/filezilla. All other directions remain the same.
You can install Filezilla by running ‘sudo apt-get install filezilla’ without the quotes from terminal or clicking here on your Ubuntu system.
In Ubuntu Filezilla’s settings are stored in ~/.filezilla. This is a hidden folder (click to learn how to show hidden files in Ubuntu) in your home directory. If you copied the whole folder just drag the folder off your thumb drive to your home folder and rename it to .filezilla then launch Filezilla and all your sites will be there. If you just copied the sitemanger.xml file. First launch Filezilla by going to Applications > Internet > Filezilla then close it. We launched it just to create the configuration folder. Copy sitemanager.xml to ~/.filezilla and relaunch all your sites will be there.
Mac OS X:
Show hidden files by following this tutorial then copy sitemanager.xml to .filezilla in your home directory. Alternatively you can copy the Window’s folder from your thumb drive and rename it to .filezilla then drop it into your home folder.
If you have any questions leave them in the comments please.
Edit 1/13: Here is a great post for learning how to sync your Filezilla profile across multiple computers: http://www.code-zen.net/2009/syncing-filezilla-sites-across-computers-with-dropbox
21 replies on “Copy Filezilla Settings From One Computer To Another”
Thanks, Dan. This is a great tutorial, and if I would have copied the settings over before my desktop’s HD was wiped, this would’ve come in handy.
Wow…! great Tut, thanks a lot.
Just an addon: If you’re using FileZilla 2, the config info is in C:\Program Files\FileZilla\FileZilla.xml (if you chose to save the config files in XML during installation). Might be good for those follks that needed to revert back to version 2 because of the trouble in keeping a connection alive in FileZilla v3.
Thanks for the tutorial though. It’s pages like this that are the only true fixes for computer problems. Thanks 🙂
Thanks for the v2 tip. 🙂 I wasn’t aware there were differences.
Thanks a lot
Once I put passwords in the file manager, I tend to lose them or forget them. And then when it’s time to move to a new computer (like now) I have to reconfigure dozens of them. Thanks so much!
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Just found this today, and it’s an absolute life saver! Also, for those of us on Mac/Linux, you can put the sitemanager in dropbox, and put a symlink to it in your .filezilla folder. Instant sync between computers (just make sure you don’t have FileZilla open on more than one computer at a time if you’re paranoid about potentially overwriting things).
I assume it would work with NTFS links as well, but I’m not as familiar with their usage so I couldn’t say for certain.
That’s a great idea! I didn’t even think of symlinks.
Thanks for this. worked a treat and done in 5 minutes,
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Nowadays you could just Export xml file of your Site Manager by selecting “File>Export” then select all (at your wish), then select a path to store the file. Copy that file on to the other machine. Now open Filezilla and then “File>Import” and the select the stored file. You are done!!!
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I’m a bit confused, the title says transferring files between computers but at the ‘second’ step you tell me to input my site details. What would that be? A little more detail for noobs would be helpful. Thanks.
Nevermind, now I see it says ‘Copy Filezilla Settings from one computer to another’, thanks Google >:/
Perfecto, running a Mac and seeing how to show the hidden files was a bonus to seeing how to get the xml settings for Filezilla.
In Fedora sitemanager.xml is in this folder:
Late to the party, but I just used this advice for repairing a misbehaving/crashing Filezilla.
After finding the .filezilla folder, I copied it to the desktop and renamed it to keep it visible, just in case. Then I deleted the original hidden folder and restarted Filezilla, which opened instantly.
I used the info in the sitemanager.xml file (opened in TextEdit) to open new connections (quicker than looking up that info somewhere). All good now.
I just went to File/Export in the program and followed the directions. It word perfectly for me.
Thanks Patrik. I didn’t realize FileZilla had an import/export option. D’Oh!
Godsend. You rock dude. Thank you.
Thanks for the tip about exporting FZ Site Manager settings. This worked for me in my Windows installation. However, FZ’s bookmarks did not transfer over, and so they are apparently not stored in the FileZilla.xml file that contains the Site Manager settings. I’ve searched other forums and don’t find any references for how to transfer bookmarks. Anyone have any experience with doing this?
I just poked around and found an answer to my own question. Here are steps for Windows 10:
On the source PC:
1. This step is optional, depending on your Windows settings. You need to be able to see the AppData folder, which is hidden by default,. To make it visible:
2. Locate this folder, where “xxx” is your own user folder:
3. Locate the file bookmarks.xml and copy it to a flash drive etc.
On the destination PC:
4. Close FileZilla if it is running.
5. Repeat step 1, if necessary, then locate the same folder described in step 2.
5. Copy bookmarks.xml from your flash drive into the folder.
6. Launch FileZilla. Your bookmarks are restored.
There are several other XML files in the same folder: filters.xml, layout.xml, trustedcerts.xml and others. I also copied the trustedcerts.xml file, which has all the FTP sites that you’ve told FZ are OK to communicate with. This will save you from navigating an extra dialog box when you connect with those sites again on your 2nd PC.
Transferring settings from one computer to another also transfers your saved FTP logins. I would be really cautious with doing that because all those logins could be easily decrypted with tools like SterJo FileZilla Decryptor
I would suggest to the FileZilla developer to individually hash those settings on sitemanager.xml with the user encryption so it could not be abused by anyone.