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How to Connect To Your Minecraft Server With FTP

Last modified on Feb 27, 2023 in control panel

mc head By ApexHosting


As you play on a server, chances are you will need to access your files at some point. Whether it’s to add mods, adjust configurations, or just to work with your backups, having this access is vital to run a server. This brings users to use FTP, otherwise known as a File Transfer Protocol. This allows a server owner to upload, download, edit, and make further changes to the server’s files. There are two ways to access this, with one being through the online panel and the other using an external client. While both are equally important, each have their own unique uses. With this in mind, we have created this Apex Hosting tutorial to show you how to connect with and use each FTP method.

What is FTP?

An FTP (File Transfer Protocol) service is designed for transferring files over the internet from one system to another, often between a user and a server. This allows the user to download, upload, move, rename, and make similar modifications to files and folders, usually with a 3rd party application. When hosting a server through Apex, our panel includes a built-in FTP which can be used to quickly adjust your data and even zip/unzip files online.

Introduction to Panel FTP


The first and most popular method of using FTP is to use the Apex panel’s built-in functionality. This can be accessed at any time through the left-hand menu and is used for all quick modifications to files already present on your server, in addition to small uploads or downloads. Larger file transfers may be incompatible through this Panel FTP and will require an external client to be used.

Entering the FTP File Access

  1. Navigate to your Apex server panel, then log in.
  2. Before proceeding, it is recommended to stop the server.
  3. Afterwards, enter the FTP File Access section from the left-hand menu.
  4. Enter your panel login password, then press Login.


Folder Navigation


Now that you are in the FTP File Access, you can begin navigating throughout the various folders and files. To navigate, clicking a folder name will allow you to enter that directory and view any folders or files within it. Similarly, pressing the Up button will return you to the previous directory. Finally, clicking a small file’s name or the download button will prompt you to download it to your computer.


File Management Tools

Included in the Panel FTP is a variety of file management tools to adjust your various files and folders. Some of these require you to use the checkbox next to each item, while others can be used anywhere.


New Folder – Creates a new folder in the current directory.
New File – Creates a new file in the current directory.
Upload – Allows you to upload a file to the current directory.


Select All – Selects all files in the current directory.
Move – Moves any selected items to the desired area.
Delete – Deletes any selected items from the server.
Copy – Copies the select items to the desired directory.
Rename – Changes the name of the selected items.
Wget – Allows you to download a file to your server through a URL or FTP.


Zip – Compresses selected items into a .zip or similar format.
Unzip – Unzips selected .zip files into a desired directory.


Editing Files


In addition to the above tools, you can also press Edit to the far-right of a compatible file to edit the contents directly. This is often used when editing configuration files for plugins, mods, or any other text-based file. After you have made your changes, pressing Save is necessary to ensure they will appear on the server.

Common Issues

FTP login failed, please check your password:

This error will occur when you are entering an incorrect password during the FTP File Access login step. Ensure that you are using the password used for your panel, rather than your billing account. Additionally, check that you are typing the password correctly and the caps-lock is not accidentally enabled.

Unable to download or upload large files:

As mentioned previously, the Apex panel FTP is primarily used for managing your server files, rather than larger downloads or uploads. If an upload is taking too long or a file does not have the option to be downloaded, it is likely too large. In this case, you will need to use an external FTP client as detailed below.

Introduction to External FTP Clients


The second method of managing your server files is through an external FTP application. While some believe it to be more tedious, it excels in uploading or downloading large files that the Panel FTP cannot handle. Additionally, the click + drag functionality can easily relocate entire files and folders into a different directory faster than the panel. For directly editing files or to unzip, the PanelFTP will provide a better experience.

How to Connect with an FTP Client

  1. On the Apex panel, enter the FTP File Access and stay on the login page.
  2. Download and launch your desired external FTP client.
  3. Within the program, enter your connection details from the login page.

    Address/Host – The connection address for the FTP to reach the server.
    Port – The FTP port (21), separate from your server port.
    Username – Your listed FTP username, separate from your panel username.
    Password – The password used to log into the panel.

  4. If a message prompt appears, press Ok or Accept.
  5. You should now have access to your server files.


Accessing Server Profiles

If enabled, you may be greeted by a few folders after logging in with an external FTP program. These are your server profiles, which hold the files for your various game installations. If you are attempting to modify files for a certain game, ensure you are using the correct profile folder.



Using the FTP Client

Unlike the Panel FTP, an FTP client is usually much more straightforward for uploading/downloading files. While each program may slightly differ, most will have the same abilities:

  • Uploading large files directly to the server, often in a zipped format.
  • Downloading large files or folders to your computer.
  • Click + dragging items to upload, download, and move locations.
  • Renaming or deleting server files and folders.


Common Issues

Authentication failed error when trying to connect:

When this occurs, it often means that either your username or password has been entered incorrectly. It is important to enter the username seen on the FTP login screen, as it differs from your normal panel login. Your password, however, will be the one used on the panel normally. If issues persist, ensure you are manually typing in the password, case-sensitive, and that the caps-lock is not accidentally enabled.

Critical error when connecting to the server:

If a critical error appears separately from an authentication error, this often means the information entered in either the host or port is wrong and the server cannot be reached. Like before, make sure you are using the address/host from the login page as well as the FTP port (21). Using any other information will not allow you to connect properly.

Large folders are having difficulty uploading:

When uploading a large folder, such as a world or modpack, we highly recommend zipping it first using a program like WinRAR or 7-ZIP. This should improve both speed and stability as the server is uploading one large file, rather than many smaller files. Once a .zip is uploaded, you can then unzip it through the panel FTP as mentioned above.

Helpful Links

Top 5 FTP Clients
How to Edit Minecraft Server Files
How to Use Server Profiles

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