Mounting FTP Server on macOS Sierra

Accessing files on a remote FTP server is a pretty common task. There are many applications such as FileZilla or macOS command line tools for doing this. I’ll show two alternatives here that do not require installation of software or using shell commands. One option for mounting FTP servers on macOS is to use Finder and the other one is to use Safari. Both result in a remote FTP directory being mounted on the local file system, which you can then use like any other directory to download and upload files via FTP.

Using Finder for Mounting FTP Server on macOS

In Finder, from the main menu, select Go > Connect to Server… to open the Connect to Server dialog.

macOS Sierra - Finder main menu, select "Go" and "Connect to Server"
macOS Sierra – Finder main menu, select "Go" and "Connect to Server"

In the Server Address field, enter the URL of the remote FTP server. Here I am using a public anonymous FTP server with the hostname speedtest.tele2.net. Make sure to prefix the hostname with the protocol, here: ftp://, then click on Connect.

macOS Sierra - Finder, Connect to Server and enter FTP Server URL
macOS Sierra – Finder, Connect to Server and enter FTP Server URL

The connection to the remote FTP server will be established. Select Guest in the authentication dialog or enter the username and password if you are trying to connect to a FTP server that requires authentication.

macOS Sierra - Finder FTP Server access as guest (anonymous)
macOS Sierra – Finder FTP Server access as guest (anonymous)

Once connected, the contents of the FTP server’s root directory are shown in a new Finder window. After that, you can download and upload files by dragging and dropping them from- and to the mounted FTP folder.

macOS Sierra - view FTP server root directory contents with Finder
macOS Sierra – view FTP server root directory contents with Finder

In addition, macOS will create a new icon on the desktop for the mounted FTP server URL.

macOS Sierra - Mounted FTP server desktop icon
macOS Sierra – Mounted FTP server desktop icon

Using Safari for Mounting FTP Server on macOS

In Safari, enter the server’s FTP URL in the address bar.

macOS Sierra - Enter FTP server URL in Safari address bar
macOS Sierra – Enter FTP server URL in Safari address bar

When prompted whether to allow Safari to use Finder, click on Allow.

macOS Sierra - Allow Safari to use Finder to connect to FTP server
macOS Sierra – Allow Safari to use Finder to connect to FTP server

The remaining steps are the same as before and macOS again will open the FTP server’s root directory in a new Finder window and create an icon on the desktop.

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