Learn How To Configure An FTP Server On Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacentre Or Enterprise Edition.

In todays hybrid IT environment where by many organizations have private on-premise and cloud based IT systems and data spread across a single or multiple locations having an FTP server is one of the most important components that make it possible to send and receive data between end points effectively and efficiently. An FTP server can even be used for data backup and disaster recovery management where by backups and computer images can be stored on it. In the event of a disaster recovery operation the FTP server can be used to transfer backups over a network connection to the endpoint. Continue reading this tutorial to learn how to configure an FTP server on Windows Server 2012 R2 datacentre or enterprise edition.


In order to complete this tutorial successfully the following items are required. Please ensure to have these items available before taking implementation action on this tutorial:
1) A physical or virtual machine running Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacentre or Enterprise Edition
2) A windows user account with permission to add / install windows features
3) A desktop or laptop with a network connection to the FTP server
4) Software such as the solarwinds FTP voyager or Filezilla for testing  the FTP server


1) Open the Windows Server control panel and install the IIS and FTP Server features
2) Open the IIS manager and add a new FTP site. Set a folder for the FTP site and configure communication and authentication settings
3) Add permissions in the Windows Firewall for FTP connections
4) Test out the FTP SERVER using the Windows file explorer, Finder and a web browser
5) Install the solarwinds FTP voyager or Filezilla and upload / download files.

Step One: Open The WS Control Panel And Install IIS And The FTP Server.

1) Login into Windows server 2012 and click on “START > CONTROL PANEL” if you do no see the CONTROL PANEL tile press the WINDOWS KEY + R and type the word “CONTROL” and press enter.

Once the control panel is open click on “PROGRAMS > TURN WINDOWS FEATURES ON OR OFF”.  This will open the SERVER MANAGER and the ADD ROLES OR FEATURES wizard.

2) Click “NEXT” on the “BEFORE YOU BEGIN” page then on the SELECT INSTALLATION TYPE page click on the “ROLE BASED OR FEATURE BASED” radio button and click on “NEXT”

3) In Windows Server 2012 it is possible to install roles and features on remote physical or virtual servers or even on virtual hard disks. On the SELECT DESTINATION SERVER page click on the “SELECT A SERVER FROM THE SERVER POOL” radio button and ensure that your windows server is highlighted and click on NEXT

4)On the SELECT SERVER roles section scroll down and click on the WEB SERVER IIS check box. A pop up window will be displayed and prompt you to also install features that are required for WEB SERVER IIS to work. Click on the ADD FEATURES button (ensure that the INCLUDE MANAGEMENT TOOLS check box is checked)

Click on NEXT to proceed

5) On the SELECT FEATURES page its possible to install features such as the .NET framework, bitlocker, failover clustering. Since we’re just setting up an FTP SERVER proceed by click on NEXT.

6) A WEB SERVER ROLE IIS welcome page will be displayed which explains what a web server is and also informs you on important information such as the Windows Resource Manager WRS and IIS security information. Click on NEXT to proceed.

7) On the SELECT ROLE SERVICES page click on all the check boxes and be sure to tick the FTP SERVER and MANAGER TOOLS checkboxes. Proceed by clicking on NEXT.

8) On the CONFIRM INSTALL SELECTIONS page a full overview of roles, role services and features to be installed will be displayed verify that you have FTP SERVER, FTP EXTENSIBILITY, FTP SERVICE and MANAGEMENT TOOLS. If so click on INSTALL.

Step Two: Create The FTP Site Using IIS Manager.

9) To start using the FTP SERVER start by creating an FTP SITE using the IIS MANAGER.

To open IIS MANAGER Click on START and open the APPS menu, Click on the INTERNET INFORMATION SERVICE shortcut.

10) In the IIS MANAGER expand the server treE, right click on SITES and select ADD FTP SITE. This will open the ADD FTP SITE wizard.

11) Start by typing in a descriptive name for the FTP site on the FTP SITE NAME text box and on the PHYSICAL PATH folder selection choose a folder on the windows server that will be used to save files transfered using FTP

12) On the BINDING AND SSL SETTINGS section type in the IP ADDRESS of the Windows Server . It is recommended to set a static IP address for Windows Server so as to make it easy when connecting to the FTP SERVER and not have to check for the IP address each time you want to connect to the FTP SERVER. 

Set the PORT to 21, click on the START FTP SITE AUTOMATICALLY checkbox and select NO SSL under SSL options. Click on NEXT to proceed.

13) On the AUTHENTICATION AND AUTHORIZATION INFORMATION section under AUTHENTICATION click on the BASIC check box and under AUTHORIZATION set the ALLOW ACCESS TO drop down menu to ALL USERS. Under PERMISSIONS click on the READ and WRITE check box’s then click on FINISH.

Once you click on FINISH the FTP SITE will be created and will be listed under SITES in the IIS MANAGER.

Step Three: Add Firewall Permissions For FTP Connections To The Windows Server

14) By default Windows Server blocks networks connections made on port 21 among many others however FTP uses port 21 for transferring files over a network connection. So the next step is add firewall permissions for FTP connections.


On the ALL APPS TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH WINDOWS FIREWALL list click on the FTP SERVER check box and also click on the PRIVATE and PUBLIC checkboxes

Click on OK to apply changes.

Step Four: Test The FTP Server

15) The are many ways of connecting and transferring data to and from an FTP server and one of the most basic and commonly used ways is through a web browser. Open a new web browser tab and type the following in the browser address bar


You will be prompted to enter a username and password, and once authenticated the web browser will load a directory listing of the files and folders in the FTP server.

16) Windows file explorer 

Step Five: Upload Or Download Files To The FTP Server Using Applications Such As Solarwinds FTP Voyager Or Filezilla.

17) Uploading or downloading files and folders to an ftp server is a simple process. There are many free open source and proprietary FTP client applications that are available today and examples are the SOLARWINDS FTP VOYAGER app and the FILEZILLA app.