I have just found out that I can enter a built-in FTP client on my Mac by simply pressing ^ Ctrl + K. Great thing!

But after I have successfully connected to my server and a 'folder' with files located there appeared, it occurred that I can't upload files by simply drag & drop'ing them. When I checked the 'Get info' I saw that it is marked as 'You can only read', yet the ftp account itself is okay, because I could upload files there from dreamweaver (unfortunately I have only Windows licence for this app).

Why is it marked as 'You can only read' and how do I fix that?

Please help!

P.S. Could you explain it in an easy way? Because I'm new to Mac (just bought one few days ago).


7 Answers 7


The built-in ftp is read only since forever unfortunately. From Mavericks help:

Servers and shared computers that you can connect to

You can connect your Mac to the types of servers and other computers listed here.


  • FTP servers

With read-only access, you can copy files from the server, but to copy files to the server you may need another FTP app. Choose Apple menu > App Store to find FTP apps available for OS X.

Maybe try the free Cyberduck or (not free) Transmit.

  • 8
    Thanks :). Btw. Why would I need an FTP client that could only read files ;___;?
    – Fiodor
    Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:33
  • 2
    Well, it's Apple, maybe this way they don't have to work too much on this "feature". Also see osxfuse.github.io and macfusionapp.org Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 15:48
  • Ok, MacFusionApp doesn't work with Mavericks, even the updated 2.0.5 version made by someone else. :( Commented Feb 1, 2014 at 20:22
  • 1
    ok, so just another mac bug. Think different! Commented Feb 28, 2016 at 21:03

OS X builtin ftp client in Finder is read-only. I suggest you to use Filezilla.


The FTP feature of Finder only has Read-only access.

The possibilites you have :

  • The command line ftp from the terminal
  • Cyberduck, a Free App also available on the Mac App Store
  • Transmit, (my favourite) a 34$ FTP-App which has a nice feature : It can mount ftp servers like you can mount external drives.
  • Does macOS come with the ftp command? I get -bash: ftp: command not found.
    – styfle
    Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 12:56
  • It has been removed in the latest version (10.13) Commented Nov 22, 2017 at 16:52
  • @styfle: MacPorts and Homebrew allow for easy installation of command-line FTP clients, such as is included in GNU's inetutils.
    – outis
    Commented Jul 17, 2019 at 18:40

My suggestions are:

  • muCommander (open source, free, cross platform)
  • Forklift (Mac App store, feature rich, sometimes it discounted to 1-2 bucks)

I was able to get this to work by just entering the web address into the entry box and leaving off the "ftp://" portion. Logged in with the proper credentials and had read/write access.

  • 1
    I'm not sure what version of MacOS you are using, but on Yosemite a bare IP address is treated as a windows SMB share.
    – EpicVoyage
    Commented Sep 26, 2015 at 18:50
  • The domain the user was using likely supported both SMB and ftp Commented Sep 27, 2020 at 3:41

Had to send a file for support, just used my ftp command on MacBooks Terminal.

  1. Open Terminal

  2. Enter: ftp remote-ftp-address port (ie. ftp hpsupport.com 21 )

  3. Remote ftp server will ask you for credentials: Name first, then Password. In my case, credentials were: anonymous / anonymous

  4. On "Login successful", you may enter any commands on lowercase and press RETURN to send:

    ls (list directories / files on remote server)

    cd remote-folder (to change current folder on remote server to some valid folder)

    put local-file remote-file (put command is to send a file. Must specify your local filename -the one you need to send- and name to send it to remote server.

In my case, I sent a file support.zip saved on my Downloads folder:

put ~/Downloads/support.zip support.zip

(you may use Tab to complete filename just after specify few letters of filename).

HOW TO INSTALL FTP Just install tnftp with brew. In Terminal: $ brew Install tnftp

HOW TO INSTALL HOMEBREW (to use brew command) If you don't have installed Homebrew (brew command), you may install it on Terminal with:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)" 

Hope it helps

  • Which version of macOS are you running?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 6:34
  • Monterey 12.4, MacBook M1 Pro 2021
    – Danarman
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 18:37
  • How did you install the ftp binary?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 7, 2022 at 21:16
  • Just install tnftp with brew. In Terminal: $ brew Install tnftp
    – Danarman
    Commented Jul 8, 2022 at 23:11
  • 1
    A user finding your answer will be lost after getting an „ftp: command not found“ error in the shell. Editing the download instructions directly into the answer would increase its usefulness.
    – nohillside
    Commented Jul 9, 2022 at 12:57

Mac FTP Instructions:

1) From the Finder menu, click Go, and then click “Connect to Server…”.

2) In the resulting dialog box, type in the FTP address: ftp://webaddress.com

3) Enter the user name and password provided

4) Once connected, a Finder window will open showing the contents of your FTP site.

5) To upload files or folders, just drag-and-drop them from your computer into the space provided.

  • 1
    This is the exact thing that doesn't work. Commented Oct 12, 2019 at 8:34

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