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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

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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:

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinSCP.Url]
@="WinSCP URL"
"URL Protocol"=""
"EditFlags"=dword:00000002
"BrowserFlags"=dword:00000008

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinSCP.Url\DefaultIcon]
@="\"C:\\Program Files (x86)\\WinSCP\\WinSCP.exe\",0"

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinSCP.Url\shell]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinSCP.Url\shell\open]

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\WinSCP.Url\shell\open\command]
@="\"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]
"ftp"="WinSCP.Url"

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\RegisteredApplications]
"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
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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

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