I haven't been able to connect to an FTP server from Finder, if I use other client there is no problem.

The username I am using to connect is in the form user@domain. The domain part in the user name is not related to the ftp server I am trying to connect to, is just that the user name contains an '@'.

I found a similar issue where the password contains '@', in my case it is in the username.

found that any password with an '@' symbol in it caused Finder to immediately display that error and not even try to send any traffic to the FTP server.

For real, is Finder unable to connect to FTP servers if there are '@' in the credentials?

Host is specified here

Host is specified here

Then credentials are specified here

enter image description here

It is a common and very simple use case, so it is hard to believe that Finder, the default file explorer doesn't support it.

  • What happens when you open terminal and use ftp to access the same site and credentials? It's not likely you have another connection issue, but it would be good to rule that out. If you post your credentials, I'm sure someone here would be happy to test - but be sure you don't mind the internet knowing the information.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 11:47
  • It works OK using lftp from the command line
    – user454322
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 1:29
  • Ouch - salt on the wound.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 2:35

1 Answer 1


I personally am not surprised this is broken, but then again, I have larger faults with Finder's ftp implementation than this problem. From someone that's used to ftp on the command line, it's second nature to think of the @ as reserved to delineate the user part of the string with the host name part of the string, so perhaps that's a bug that the author of the code introduced.

Just as you're finding it hard to believe this is broken, I find it hard to believe Apple hasn't removed ftp from finder entirely and just pointed people to the Mac App store for a ftp client of their choosing at this point. Here's to hoping they do that for 10.9.

Assuming you are in need of a solution today, here are suggestions to work around it:

  • Try using ftp from the command line
  • Try to escape the @ with \ or otherwise trick the finder into getting past it as a delimiter
  • Use another program like Transmit that has more robust handling of any valid strings.
  • Searching the Mac App store in April 2013 yields no less than 56 choices for FTP.
  • 1
    p.s. this is just one reason why ftp is horrible. Everything it does is from the time when software just sent everything as ASCII text and counting how far in your were from the start of the string determined if you were typing a comment or a user name. The concept of adding some characters to "delimit" the beginning or end of some variable length field (in this case user/password@host) were being explored when FTP was born.
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 24, 2013 at 12:59
  • Thanks for your answer. However I think that on this case '@' is not used to delineate the user and host, because the host is specified in the first window Connect to Server. Escaping the '@' doesn't help. Using an alternative, hmm... works but it is hard to believe that Finder doesn't support this
    – user454322
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 10:08
  • 2
    @bmike There is nothing in the FTP RFC which prevents '@' from being a valid character in a username (or password), see ch 5.3.2. So if the Finder has problems with this character I would consider this to be a bug.
    – nohillside
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 11:25
  • 1
    I'm not arguing that Apple is right here, I'm just saying I'm not at all surprised that parsing @ is broken. I would encourage all who feel this is a problem to file a bug with Apple. I've long ago stopped using Finder for ftp for more glaring faults than this piddly one. When I need to click a FTP link and Finder works, I do a little dance and am happy. When it doesn't work, I get another tool for the job. I'm just sharing what I personally do, so don't take it as anything "right" or correct for a general case :-)
    – bmike
    Commented Apr 25, 2013 at 11:36
  • Looks like a bug
    – user454322
    Commented Apr 26, 2013 at 1:31

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