How to Backup FileZilla Settings

Backing up your FileZilla files is easy to do and needs to be done periodically to avoid problems if your PC decides to crash.

The current versions of FileZilla have made the backup and restore of FileZilla settings very easy. A backup is something that should be done at least every time the FileZilla settings are changed or whenever you add new accounts to the Site Manager. If you forget to do this and your hard drive crashes, you will have to set up FileZilla again from scratch. I frequently backup my FileZilla settings by exporting them to a directory that is backed up several times every month.

How you perform a backup depends upon which version of FileZilla you installed and how the installation was configured. Older versions installed on Windows automatically create a file called filezilla.xml in the FileZilla program directory. Some newer versions of FileZilla may have asked you during the installation whether you want the settings stored in an XML file or the registry. The newest version that I recently installed never asked for my preference. It simply stored the settings in an XML files called sitemanager.xml, which can be found in C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\FileZilla\. If you set up a default administrator account, substitute that name for “Administrator” in the file path.

If you have an older version of FileZilla, you can use the Windows search function to look for a file named filezilla.xml. However, newer versions added import and export functions to FileZilla, which makes backups and restores a breeze.

FileZilla file menu selections

FileZilla file menu selectionsLook for the Export selection in the File menu. It may be under the Edit menu in some versions (I wish the development team would stop moving things around). When you select Export, a small dialog box will appear. Check off both Export Site Manager Entries and Export Settings. If you have set up a transfer queue, you will want to check Export Queue, as well. When you click OK, FileZilla will create the filezilla.xml file and allow you to save it anywhere you wish.

How Do I Restore FileZilla Settings?

This is just as easy. Simply select Import from the File menu and select the location of the filezilla.xml file.

Security Alert!!!
Be aware that FileZilla stores user names and passwords in plain text. It is therefore not a good idea to store FTP passwords in FileZilla until they rectify this problem. There is a hacker exploit that is stealing this information, which gives the crooks direct access to your web site. For more information about this threat, see our article about the FileZilla Hacker Threat.


  1. Greg Quinn says

    The latest FileZilla now has an .xml file in the program folder that contains all the settings and users etc.
    Simply copy that file to the new servers program file folder and overwrite the existing one. Then restart the filezilla service and you’re good to go :)