FTP and Internet Explorer… What to do, what to do.

Hi everyone!

As many of you know, with the release of Internet Explorer 7, Microsoft made some changes to how IE7 uses FTP.  It’s outlined in this KB article, Separation of Internet Explorer 7 from the Windows shell (KB928675).  Since then, I’ve seen “mixed results” about the changes. 

Recently, an IE Support Engineer was helping a customer with an issue resulting from these changes.  In the end, a solution was provided to the customer forcing Windows Explorer to be the default handler for FTP.  Some subtle manipulation of the registry was all it took and it seems to have satisfied the customer:

BEFORE (32bit)


@="\"C:\\Program Files\\Internet Explorer\\iexplore.exe\" %1"



AFTER (32bit)


@="C:\\Windows\\explorer.exe %1"



With these changes in place, Windows Explorer is set as the default handler for FTP, removing the need to go through IE7 for FTP requests.  Now, we haven’t run this through any kind of regression testing.  We are simply offering this as an alternate solution if you are seeing issue when using FTP with IE7 or later.

If you plan to cut/paste FTP URL strings into IE7 (or later) address bar, you may still need to have this registry key set to enabled:



The IE Support Team