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).


6 Answers 6


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
    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
    – biziclop
    Feb 1, 2014 at 15:48
  • Ok, MacFusionApp doesn't work with Mavericks, even the updated 2.0.5 version made by someone else. :(
    – biziclop
    Feb 1, 2014 at 20:22
  • 1
    ok, so just another mac bug. Think different! 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
    Nov 22, 2017 at 12:56
  • It has been removed in the latest version (10.13) 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
    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
    Sep 26, 2015 at 18:50
  • The domain the user was using likely supported both SMB and ftp Sep 27, 2020 at 3:41

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. Oct 12, 2019 at 8:34

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