[powershell] PowerShell Connect to FTP server and get files

$ftpServer = "ftp.example.com"
$username ="validUser"
$password ="myPassword"
$localToFTPPath = "C:\ToFTP"
$localFromFTPPath = "C:\FromFTP"
$remotePickupDir = "/Inbox"
$remoteDropDir = "/Outbox"
$SSLMode = [AlexPilotti.FTPS.Client.ESSLSupportMode]::ClearText
$ftp = new-object "AlexPilotti.FTPS.Client.FTPSClient"
$cred = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($username,$password)
$ftp.Connect($ftpServer,$cred,$SSLMode) #Connect
$ftp.GetFiles($localFromFTPPath, $false) #Get Files

This is the script I got for importing files from an FTP server.
However I am not sure what is the remotePickupDir and is this script correct?

This question is related to powershell ftp

The answer is

Based on Why does FtpWebRequest download files from the root directory? Can this cause a 553 error?, I wrote a PowerShell script that enabled to download a file from a FTP-Server via explicit FTP over TLS:

# Config
$Username = "USERNAME"
$Password = "PASSWORD"
#e.g. "C:\temp\somefile.txt"
$RemoteFile = "ftp://PATH_TO_REMOTE_FILE"
#e.g. "ftp://ftp.server.com/home/some/path/somefile.txt"

    # Create a FTPWebRequest
    $FTPRequest = [System.Net.FtpWebRequest]::Create($RemoteFile)
    $FTPRequest.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($Username,$Password)
    $FTPRequest.Method = [System.Net.WebRequestMethods+Ftp]::DownloadFile
    $FTPRequest.UseBinary = $true
    $FTPRequest.KeepAlive = $false
    $FTPRequest.EnableSsl  = $true
    # Send the ftp request
    $FTPResponse = $FTPRequest.GetResponse()
    # Get a download stream from the server response
    $ResponseStream = $FTPResponse.GetResponseStream()
    # Create the target file on the local system and the download buffer
    $LocalFileFile = New-Object IO.FileStream ($LocalFile,[IO.FileMode]::Create)
    [byte[]]$ReadBuffer = New-Object byte[] 1024
    # Loop through the download

    do {
        $ReadLength = $ResponseStream.Read($ReadBuffer,0,1024)
    while ($ReadLength -ne 0)
}catch [Exception]
    $Request = $_.Exception
    Write-host "Exception caught: $Request"

For retrieving files /folder from FTP via powerShell I wrote some functions, you can get even hidden stuff from FTP.

Example for getting all files which are not hidden in a specific folder:

Get-FtpChildItem -ftpFolderPath "ftp://myHost.com/root/leaf/" -userName "User" -password "pw" -hidden $false -File

Example for getting all folders(also hidden) in a specific folder:

Get-FtpChildItem -ftpFolderPath"ftp://myHost.com/root/leaf/" -userName "User" -password "pw" -Directory

You can just copy the functions from the following module without needing and 3rd library installing: https://github.com/AstralisSomnium/PowerShell-No-Library-Just-Functions/blob/master/FTPModule.ps1

Here is the full working code to download all files (with wildcard or file extension) from the FTP site to local directory. Set the variable values.

    #FTP Server Information - SET VARIABLES
    $ftp = "ftp://XXX.com/" 
    $user = 'UserName' 
    $pass = 'Password'
    $folder = 'FTP_Folder'
    $target = "C:\Folder\Folder1\"

    $credentials = new-object System.Net.NetworkCredential($user, $pass)

    function Get-FtpDir ($url,$credentials) {
        $request = [Net.WebRequest]::Create($url)
        $request.Method = [System.Net.WebRequestMethods+FTP]::ListDirectory
        if ($credentials) { $request.Credentials = $credentials }
        $response = $request.GetResponse()
        $reader = New-Object IO.StreamReader $response.GetResponseStream() 
        while(-not $reader.EndOfStream) {

    $folderPath= $ftp + "/" + $folder + "/"

    $files = Get-FTPDir -url $folderPath -credentials $credentials


    $webclient = New-Object System.Net.WebClient 
    $webclient.Credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential($user,$pass) 
    $counter = 0
    foreach ($file in ($files | where {$_ -like "*.txt"})){
        $source=$folderPath + $file  
        $destination = $target + $file 
        $webclient.DownloadFile($source, $target+$file)


The AlexFTPS library used in the question seems to be dead (was not updated since 2011).

With no external libraries

You can try to implement this without any external library. But unfortunately, neither the .NET Framework nor PowerShell have any explicit support for downloading all files in a directory (let only recursive file downloads).

You have to implement that yourself:

  • List the remote directory
  • Iterate the entries, downloading files (and optionally recursing into subdirectories - listing them again, etc.)

Tricky part is to identify files from subdirectories. There's no way to do that in a portable way with the .NET framework (FtpWebRequest or WebClient). The .NET framework unfortunately does not support the MLSD command, which is the only portable way to retrieve directory listing with file attributes in FTP protocol. See also Checking if object on FTP server is file or directory.

Your options are:

  • If you know that the directory does not contain any subdirectories, use the ListDirectory method (NLST FTP command) and simply download all the "names" as files.
  • Do an operation on a file name that is certain to fail for file and succeeds for directories (or vice versa). I.e. you can try to download the "name".
  • You may be lucky and in your specific case, you can tell a file from a directory by a file name (i.e. all your files have an extension, while subdirectories do not)
  • You use a long directory listing (LIST command = ListDirectoryDetails method) and try to parse a server-specific listing. Many FTP servers use *nix-style listing, where you identify a directory by the d at the very beginning of the entry. But many servers use a different format. The following example uses this approach (assuming the *nix format)
function DownloadFtpDirectory($url, $credentials, $localPath)
    $listRequest = [Net.WebRequest]::Create($url)
    $listRequest.Method = [System.Net.WebRequestMethods+Ftp]::ListDirectoryDetails
    $listRequest.Credentials = $credentials

    $lines = New-Object System.Collections.ArrayList

    $listResponse = $listRequest.GetResponse()
    $listStream = $listResponse.GetResponseStream()
    $listReader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader($listStream)
    while (!$listReader.EndOfStream)
        $line = $listReader.ReadLine()
        $lines.Add($line) | Out-Null

    foreach ($line in $lines)
        $tokens = $line.Split(" ", 9, [StringSplitOptions]::RemoveEmptyEntries)
        $name = $tokens[8]
        $permissions = $tokens[0]

        $localFilePath = Join-Path $localPath $name
        $fileUrl = ($url + $name)

        if ($permissions[0] -eq 'd')
            if (!(Test-Path $localFilePath -PathType container))
                Write-Host "Creating directory $localFilePath"
                New-Item $localFilePath -Type directory | Out-Null

            DownloadFtpDirectory ($fileUrl + "/") $credentials $localFilePath
            Write-Host "Downloading $fileUrl to $localFilePath"

            $downloadRequest = [Net.WebRequest]::Create($fileUrl)
            $downloadRequest.Method = [System.Net.WebRequestMethods+Ftp]::DownloadFile
            $downloadRequest.Credentials = $credentials

            $downloadResponse = $downloadRequest.GetResponse()
            $sourceStream = $downloadResponse.GetResponseStream()
            $targetStream = [System.IO.File]::Create($localFilePath)
            $buffer = New-Object byte[] 10240
            while (($read = $sourceStream.Read($buffer, 0, $buffer.Length)) -gt 0)
                $targetStream.Write($buffer, 0, $read);

Use the function like:

$credentials = New-Object System.Net.NetworkCredential("user", "mypassword") 
$url = "ftp://ftp.example.com/directory/to/download/"
DownloadFtpDirectory $url $credentials "C:\target\directory"

The code is translated from my C# example in C# Download all files and subdirectories through FTP.

Using 3rd party library

If you want to avoid troubles with parsing the server-specific directory listing formats, use a 3rd party library that supports the MLSD command and/or parsing various LIST listing formats. And ideally with a support for downloading all files from a directory or even recursive downloads.

For example with WinSCP .NET assembly you can download whole directory with a single call to Session.GetFiles:

# Load WinSCP .NET assembly
Add-Type -Path "WinSCPnet.dll"

# Setup session options
$sessionOptions = New-Object WinSCP.SessionOptions -Property @{
    Protocol = [WinSCP.Protocol]::Ftp
    HostName = "ftp.example.com"
    UserName = "user"
    Password = "mypassword"

$session = New-Object WinSCP.Session

    # Connect

    # Download files
    $session.GetFiles("/directory/to/download/*", "C:\target\directory\*").Check()
    # Disconnect, clean up

Internally, WinSCP uses the MLSD command, if supported by the server. If not, it uses the LIST command and supports dozens of different listing formats.

The Session.GetFiles method is recursive by default.

(I'm the author of WinSCP)

Invoke-WebRequest can download HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP links.

$source = 'ftp://Blah.com/somefile.txt'
$target = 'C:\Users\someuser\Desktop\BlahFiles\somefile.txt'
$password = Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\ConvertTo-SecureString -String 'mypassword' -AsPlainText -Force
$credential = New-Object -TypeName System.Management.Automation.PSCredential -ArgumentList myuserid, $password

# Download
Invoke-WebRequest -Uri $source -OutFile $target -Credential $credential -UseBasicParsing

Since the cmdlet uses IE parsing you may need the -UseBasicParsing switch. Test to make sure.

The remotePickupDir would be the folder you want to go to on the ftp server. As far as "is this script correct", well, does it work? If it works then it's correct. If it does not work, then tell us what error message or unexpected behaviour you're getting and we'll be better able to help you.