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).


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.

  • 6
    Thanks :). Btw. Why would I need an FTP client that could only read files ;___;? – Fiodor Feb 1 '14 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 '14 at 15:48
  • Ok, MacFusionApp doesn't work with Mavericks, even the updated 2.0.5 version made by someone else. :( – biziclop Feb 1 '14 at 20:22
  • ok, so just another mac bug. Think different! – Nikodemus RIP Feb 28 '16 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 '17 at 12:56
  • It has been removed in the latest version (10.13) – Matthieu Riegler Nov 22 '17 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 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.

  • 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 '15 at 18:50

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.

We're looking for long answers that provide some explanation and context. Don't just give a one-line answer; explain why your answer is right, ideally with citations. Answers that don't include explanations may be removed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .