How To Retrieve Saved Passwords in Filezilla on Windows

When it comes to transferring files through FTP, FileZilla is my favorite tool. I love it and use it almost everyday. I also have it installed on all my computers and always wish FileZilla can have a feature that syncs all my connections data automatically, e.g. host, port, and credentials.

But until then, here is a quick tip I always use to transfer my FTP connections from one computer to the other.

Basically on Windows, FileZilla saves both Site Manager data and Quickconnect data in your local user profile in XML format. When you have a new computer installed and don’t want to re-enter all connections again, you can simply back up the following folder on one computer that has all the data, and copy it into the same folder on your new computer.

%appdata%\FileZilla

Note that I used an environment variable to quickly get access to the user profile roaming folder. Check out this post for details if you are interested in knowing more how it works.

2014-11-02 21_00_01-FileZilla

Copying the whole folder gets you not only the connections saved in both Site Manager and Quickconnect but also the settings you have set before. Normally you see 5 different files in this folder. The recentservers.xml file stores all active quick connections data, which is the last 10 different connections you have used. And the sitemanager.xml file stores all connections you configured in Site Manager.

Opening either of the XML file reveals all connection data in plain text, including the credentials. Yes, all passwords you typed in the connections will appear right in front of you in plain ASCII format.

2014-11-02 21_11_17-_C__Users_Kent_AppData_Roaming_FileZilla_recentservers.xml - Notepad++

If you are very serious about security and consider this a very sensitive data, make sure to set a very complicated password on your user account and encrypt the entire hard drive if you are using a laptop.

As a bonus tip, if you are using FileZilla on a Linux machine, all FileZilla data is saved in the following location:

/home/username/.filezilla

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 11/02/2014

Posted in: Tips & Tricks
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