[Guide] How to Setup FTP Server on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

Do you want to configure your Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 computer as a FTP server?, this guide will be useful to set it up easily with built-in Microsoft features. You can make any computers as FTP servers by installing third party applications like Filezilla FTP server, which is quite easy too. But following step by step guide shows how to setup FTP server on Windows 8 or 8.1 without installing any third party software or tools.

Having a FTP server on internal or external network is always easy and faster to share and access files over the network.  Windows 8 and 8.1 come with built-in FTP server feature under Internet Information Service features which needs to be installed before use.

You can give access to your FTP site by restricting users with user name/password or anonymous access. It depends the purpose of FTP server on your internal or external network.

Setup FTP Server on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1

1) Open Programs and Features in Control panel. Click on Turn Windows features on or off’ as shown below (1).

If IIS was not installed earlier on particular Windows 8 or 8.1 computer, you need to install other features of IIS too ( as shown by arrow marks). See the below screenshot for the actual requirements to run FTP server on Windows 8/8.1 (All features which are ticked need to be installed).

install ftp server

Press OK to install the selected features.

2) After installation is completed, open ‘Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager’ in ‘Administrative Tools’ – Control Panel.

Expand the sites, right click on it and ‘Add FTP Site’.

add ftp site

Recommended Readings:

How to enable telnet on Windows 8
How to enable ping response in Windows 8

3) Give a name for FTP site and browse the local folder which you need to give access to others through FTP server. (I already created a folder called ‘FTP Share’ on C drive before reaching this step)

site name

4) In next screen you need to select the local computer’s IP address from drop down box. I hope you have already set up static IP for the computer.

Under SSL option, select No SSL to make the connection without SSL certificate. In production environment for professional FTP server setup, you may need to enable SSL which requires a certificate.

select SSL

How to Set Up FTP Access Permission on Windows 8 or 8.1

5) In next screen you can set the permission for users to access the FTP site. Here you need to decide how others will be accessing the FTP share and who will be having Read-only or Read & Write access.

Let’s assume this scenario, you want specific users to have read and write access, so obviously they must type an user name and password for it. Other users can access the FTP site without any username or password to view the content only, it’s called anonymous users access.

You will find several ways to do this, but here is the simple way which worked for me.

Firstly, create a group on Windows 8 local computer (if you are not using active directory environment) and add the users who will be having read and write access on FTP site. In this example I have created ‘ftpusers’ group and added required users inside it.

ftpusers group

You must give ‘Modify’ access (Windows permission) for this group to specific folder which is linked to FTP site. ‘FTP share’ is the one in this example.

folder permissions

Now, let’s continue the FTP site settings. In next screen to give the permission, select ‘Basic’ which will be prompting for user name and password, select Specified  roles or groups option from drop down and type the correct group name. Set Read and Write permission for the group.


Press Finish to complete the setup.

By default Basic Authentication is enabled on Windows 8 or 8.1, but you can cross check it. Open ‘FTP Authentication’ settings of the site and make sure Basic Authentication is enabled as shown below.

enabled basic auth

Now, lets set up the anonymous users access with read only permission.

Open ‘FTP Authorization Rules’ for the FTP site you created. Create an ‘Add Allow Rule’ and set the permissions as below.

anonymous access

Make sure that second rule also listed.

added rules

You need to enable anonymous access under FTP Authentication settings of the site.

enabled ano access

Check the Firewall ! It should allow FTP traffic.

We are almost done and completed the all necessary steps. Now, you need to either disable the firewall or allow FTP inbound and outbound traffic on Windows 8 or 8.1 computer. I hope you can do it easily.

Now, I could use any FTP clients and connect with a user name and password with write access, or anonymous user with read only access.

connected site

I’m sure this step by step guide will be helpful on how to setup FTP server on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.

You can refer this video for more information on setting up FTP server on Windows 8 with WAN connection.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

5 thoughts on “[Guide] How to Setup FTP Server on Windows 8 or Windows 8.1”

  1. Moron!

    There is NO SUCH THING as ‘Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager’ in ‘Administrative Tools’ – Control Panel”
    And that picture makes no sense at all.

  2. Thanks, your tutorial is easy to follow. My only problem is , I don’t know how to allow FTP inbound and outbound traffic in Windows Firewall. I have allowed FTP server in Windows Firewall settings, but it seems Windows Firewall still block the FTP connection, so in the end I disable the firewall which is not very recommended.

Comments are closed.