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12/10/2014 – cPanel and Anonymous FTP

Posted by Jamison on 10 12 2014.

Anonymous FTP allows anyone to access your public_ftp folder, allowing them to download and also upload files on your website.


Anonymous FTP is named such because you don’t have to identify yourself before accessing any file. With Anonymous FTP you can just enter the word “anonymous” or “ftp” when the host prompts you for a username. You can also enter anything to substitute as a password when you are prompted.


In some cases, when you access an anonymous FTP site, you won’t even receive a prompt for your name and password.


The sole purpose of Anonymous FTP is for the distribution of large files to the public, without them having to go through the usual process, and saving file sources the trouble of assigning login and password combinations to allow the public access.


Anonymous FTP is disabled by default. You must have a business hosting plan or better to be able to activate anonymous FTP.


It is recommended that you create FTP accounts that require a user name and password for someone to be able upload and download files on your website; however, if you still want to proceed, you can set up anonymous FTP access by following the process below:


How to set up Anonymous FTP


  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Go to the Files section and click the Anonymous FTP icon.
  3. Under Anonymous FTP Controls, select the check boxes for actions you want to allow through anonymous FTP, check both check boxes to enable uploads.
  4. Click Save Settings.


How to log into Anonymous FTP


There are two ways to log into anonymous FTP; as Truly Anonymous or as an Anonymous User.


The Truly Anonymous login requires you to have a dedicated IP address. With Truly Anonymous login will require the username “anonymous” and any password that contains one or more characters. After logging, anyone can now have access to your public_ftp folder.


For cPanel Business and Reseller plans, this type of anonymous FTP will allow users to view and download files only. For VPS and Dedicated plans, this will allow users to view, edit, download and upload files.


Anonymous User


The anonymous user names created by default by this login type are and Both usernames accept any password that consists of one or more characters.


An anonymous user is allowed access to the public_ftp folder and can also upload files to the public_ftp/incoming folder. Unlike Truly Anonymous this type of anonymous FTP does not require a dedicated IP.


How to disable Anonymous FTP


As mentioned above, using anonymous FTP is normally not recommended as it allows any person to access FTP without identifying themselves.


To disable anonymous FTP:


  1. Log into cPanel.
  2. Go to the Files section and click the Anonymous FTP icon.
  3. Under Anonymous FTP Controls, uncheck both boxes for Allow anonymous access and Allow anonymous uploads.
  4. Click Save Settings.


You should still see and listed in your cPanel FTP accounts after completing these steps. Don’t worry, they are no longer enabled.


Also remember that if you are connecting to FTP and you see a pub folder, this doesn’t mean that Anonymous FTP is enabled. That folder is on the server, not on your account.


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