On Windows 10 when I click on an ftp link in an email it asks "How do you want to open this?" and gives a list of choices: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, WinSCP and 'look for app in store'.

I have FileZilla installed but it's not offered as a choice. How do I register Filezilla as a client for Windows 10 to open ftp links?

Win10 ftp link handler query dialog


See Microsoft article Registering an Application for Use with Default Programs.

Or, seeing that you have WinSCP installed, check what WinSCP does to register itself as ftp:// handler:

@="WinSCP URL"
"URL Protocol"=""

@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\WinSCP\\WinSCP.exe\",0"



@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\WinSCP\\WinSCP.exe\" /Unsafe \"%1\""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Martin Prikryl\WinSCPCapabilities]
"ApplicationDescription"="WinSCP is a popular free SFTP and FTP client for Windows, a powerful file manager that will improve your productivity. It supports also Amazon S3, FTPS, SCP and WebDAV protocols. Power users can automate WinSCP using .NET assembly."

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Martin Prikryl\WinSCPCapabilities\UrlAssociations]

"WinSCP"="Software\\Martin Prikryl\\WinSCPCapabilities"

And do a similar thing for FileZilla.

For the above to work, you still need to have ftp protocol registered in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ftp. But you have that already.

Note that FileZilla does not support URLs pointing to a file. Only URLs pointing to a directory. WinSCP supports both.

  • command line arguments page indicates path is acceptable, filezilla [<FTP URL>] where url can be [protocol://][user[:pass]@]host[:port][/path]. It works from the command line in my tests. Using your template I created and registered Filezilla.URL gist), but there's no change in the dialog options – matt wilkie Oct 25 '18 at 19:06
  • FWIW, I'm going for Filezilla instead of WinSCP in this situation because it defaults to anonymous login, which means no prompts on launching. – matt wilkie Oct 25 '18 at 21:27
  • And did you add the other keys too? – Martin Prikryl Oct 26 '18 at 5:26

You need to register the protocol. Here is a link explaining how to make things such as "asdf://" or "ftp://" or "ssh://" open applications: Link

  • Thanks! With 3 major OSes covered that looks like a useful page but it's not quite on point. The "URL:ftp" protocol itself is already registered (that's how it knows to offer available apps). The Q is about how to add a client to the protocol handlers list. – matt wilkie Oct 24 '18 at 17:14
  • The linked article shows an old-style registration that is being suppressed in recent versions of Windows, as it does not allow multiple applications to be registered for the same protocol - What is particularly important for such a widely used protocol as ftp://. – Martin Prikryl Oct 24 '18 at 19:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.