How do I show hidden files on my FTP client?

Configuring your FTP client to show hidden files is a process that differs significantly between each FTP client. Instructions for doing so using many popular FTP clients are found below:

You should be using SFTP to connect (rather than FTP) since SFTP ensures a secure connection to your server.

If you are already connecting using SFTP, you may already be able to see hidden files. This depends on the client you're using.

Using FileZilla

  1. Click the Server tab at the top.
  2. Select Force showing hidden files.
    07 Filezilla.fw.png


Filezilla recently made the default encryption set to 'FTP over TLS if available'. As of June 2015 DreamHost does not support this option. So if you're attempting to log into your server using FTP and port 21 you may notice a login failure. To fix this, you must change the encryption type within Filezilla.

  1. In Filezilla, click the 'File' menu on the top left.
  2. From the dropdown select 'Site Manager'.
    Filezilla encryption settings.png
  3. In the left pane, click the button 'New Site' and add your website.
  4. In the right pane, add your login information.
  5. In the encryption dropdown, select 'Only use plain FTP (insecure).
  6. Save your changes and you will now be able to log into your server with an insecure FTP connection.

View the following forum post for further details:

Using CuteFTP 9.0

  1. Right-click within the server side window.
  2. Select the Filter… option
  3. Under Server side filtering select the Enable server side filtering (server applies filters) check box.
  4. Type -al in the Remote filter field box.
  5. Click Apply.
    08 CuteFTP.fw.png

Using FireFtp

Please see instructions here:

Using Fetch

  1. Upon opening Fetch, you will be presented with the following connection settings screen. Here is an example of connecting with a user named 'user' on the server charles-pickney:
    01 FTP Fetch Connection Info.png
  2. After you login, you'll see the content of your web server:
    02 FTP Fetch connected.png
  3. Enable hidden files by navigating to 'Fetch > 'Preferences':
    03 FTP Fetch preferences.png
  4. Select the 'Miscellaneous' tab.
    1. On this page make sure 'Omit hidden items whose names begin with a period' is UN-checked.
    2. Then check the box for 'Use 'LIST -al' command to reveal hidden items'.
    04 FTP Fetch preferences screen.png
  5. After making this change be sure to refresh your view by going to 'View > Refresh':
    05 FTP Fetch refresh view.png

Using Transmit

  1. When you open Transmit, to the right you'll see your connection settings. This is a screenshot using an FTP user named 'user' and a server named 'charles-pickney':
    FTP Transmit connection screen.png
  2. Once connected, you can enable hidden files by going to the menu at the top and selecting 'View > Show Invisible Files':
    FTP Transmit show hidden files.png

Using FTP Voyager

  1. Select the Site Profiles Manager option at the top left.
  2. Select Advanced Options on the window that comes up
  3. Select the Connection tab on the Site Profile Advanced Options window that opens.
  4. Under the General column, type the following next to the LIST Parameter field:
    [server]$ -la
  5. Click OK.
09 VoyagerHidden.fw.png

See also

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Article last updated PST.