How to Connect to an FTP Server from iPhone?

Generally speaking, you can use the file managers app to access files stored on file servers, such as File Explorer on Windows PC, Finder on Mac. On iPhone, we can use the stock Files app to connect file servers and external devices as well. The Files app can connect to file servers using protocols such as SMB (Server Message Block) for Windows shares and AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) for Mac shares. For example, you can refer to following tutorial to connect iPhone to Windows PC to access the shared folders and files on it. The specific server types and protocols supported by the Files app can vary with different iOS versions. Currently however it can’t help us connect to FTP / FTPS / SFTP from our iPhone or iPad. We wish Apple would upgrade this Files app on iOS device to be able to support FTP server setup and connection in future releases, like what they did to the Finder for Mac. Currently we need to use third-party FTP clients or apps for iPhone. Although iOS does not natively support connecting to FTP servers through the Files app. We can use third-party apps available on the App Store to connect to FTP servers from our iPhone or iPad.

Connect FTP server from iPhone

Documents by Readdle is a versatile app that combines a file manager, document viewer, and media player, and it allows users to connect to various online services, including FTP servers.

You can follow these quick steps to connect to an FTP server using Document app on iPhone.

If you haven’t already, download and install the Documents app from the App Store. Note that Readdle offers a free version with basic features, but there are additional features available through in-app purchases or subscriptions.

Launch the Documents app on your iPhone or iPad. We are using Documents version 8.10.2 which was updated on Dec 19, 2023 on iPhone in the demo below.

documents app readdle phone

Tap the + Add button at the bottom right corner, then tap on the Add Connection icon. Select FTP Server or SFTP Server from the available options.

Add connection to FTP server using Documents app iphone
Add connection to FTP server using Documents app version 8.10.2

Enter the details of your FTP server, including:

  • Title: give a name to the FTP server or connection.
  • Host: FTP server IPaddress
  • Login: FTP username. FTP servers can be configured to allow anonymous logins. When anonymous login is enabled, users can connect to the FTP server without providing a specific username and password.
  • Password: ftp user password
  • Port: port number. 21 is the default FTP server port, it is 22 for SFTP server. Make sure to input the correct FTP server port number here based on your server configuration.

After entering the server details, tap on Done button to save connection to the FTP server.

After that, you should be able to find the shortcut to the FTP server from the My Files tab in the Documents app. Simply tap on the FTP name to connect. Once connected, you can browse and manage files on the FTP server directly within the Documents app.

Please note that app interfaces and features can be updated, so it’s always a good idea to check the app’s documentation or support resources if you encounter any issues.

Create FTP server on iPhone

You can also configure your iPhone as a FTP server and use other devices or clients, such as Android phones, PC, to connect to your iPhone or the FTP server on it. Check out this guide to setup FTP server on iPhone and transfer files between iPhone and computer.

owlfiles file manager built-in servers on iphone

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