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Accessing FTP Sites in Pocket Internet Explorer


Applies To

  • Windows CE 2.0
  • Windows CE 2.11 (HPC Pro)
  • Windows CE 3.0 (HPC 2000)


A less well known feature of Pocket Internet Explorer is it's ability to access FTP sites. This article describes how to access both secure and non-secure FTP sites using Pocket Internet Explorer 2.0 or above.

How-to Guide

Pocket Internet Explorer supports connections to FTP servers on TCP/IP standard Port # 21. Pocket Internet Explorer acts as an interface to enable you to download from a FTP server. Uploading to a remote FTP server is no supported.
If you require FTP Upload facilities there are several FTP Clients available for the Handheld PC.

Pocket Internet Explorer supports:

  • Port 21 FTP Requests
  • Windows & Unix FTP server directory lists
  • File downloading
  • Real time processing of Registered MIME types (e.g. opening .txt files without user intervention)
  • Plain text User Name / Password authentication

Pocket Internet Explorer does not support:

  • FTP Servers operating on ports other than 21
  • Windows NT Domain credential log-in
  • Encrypted FTP log-in (e.g. SSH)

To access a Public FTP Server:

  1. Open Pocket Internet Explorer
  2. Tap the Address Bar
  3. You must type the ISO FTP prefix FTP:// before the server address. Unlike Microsoft Internet Explorer, Pocket Internet Explorer will not intelligently attempt to check for the presence of a FTP server.

Type FTP:// proceeded by the address of the server that you are trying to access

Address bar

e.g. if you were trying to access HPC:Factor.com's FTP server then you would type:
You may also encounter URL's which contain domain prefixes
e.g. www.<address>.suffix (www.hpcfactor.com) or ftp.<Address>Suffix (ftp.hpcfactor.com).
These should all be placed after FTP:// (ftp://ftp.hpcfactor.com/).

To access a Private FTP Server:

  1. Open Pocket Internet Explorer
  2. Tap the Address Bar
  3. Type the ISO FTP prefix FTP://
  4. Type the user name you use to access the remote server followed by ':' followed by the password
  5. Enter an @ symbol at the end of the password followed by the server's URL and a trailing /


Address with username and password

Using Pocket Internet Explorer in FTP Mode:

Once logged into a FTP server in Pocket Internet Explorer you will be presented with the server's file list

PIE FTP mode

Pocket Internet Explorer in FTP Mode

Navigating around a FTP server under Windows CE is exactly the same as on a Main stream system. The main difference is that files will be organised strictly by file name, irrespective of whether they are files or directories. Unlike in Windows FTP servers do not list Directory's above files.
Directory's (Folders) are marked with <DIR>

You can treat a FTP resources the same as any ordinary web page viewed in Internet Explorer. Bookmarking FTP resources into the 'Favorites' is just like bookmarking any web site.

NB: HPC:Factor does not recommend nor encourage the bookmarking of Private FTP resources as the user name and password is stored with the URL