cPanel File Manager

Your cPanel File Manager can be used to upload your website files, however, you will probably still wish to use an FTP Account to upload your website.

So why would you use the built-in file manager? There are several occasions where the file manager is more convenient than logging into your FTP client.

The cPanel File Manager is great for doing minor edits or updates to your websites using the HTML editor, provided that your website is built in html. It is also a good tool to use to create a compressed back up file your website files and download then to your local computer.

Here is a guide on how to use your cPanel File Manager.

Accessing the cPanel File Manager

To access the File Manager, first you will need to log into your cPanel. You can find a guide on how to access your cPanel here.

Once you are logged into your cPanel, scroll down to the Files section and click on the File Manager.

The cPanel File Manager contains a lot of information regarding your files, as well as several tools. To help explain what you can do with the File Manager, we will divide it up into three sections.

Menu Bar

File Manager Menu Bar

At the top, you will see the main title bar. In the top right-hand corner, you will see a search box, as well as the Settings.

The Preferences section will allow you to customize a few parts of your File Manager.

The top part will allow you to choose the default folder for the File Manager

  • this is the home directory
  • the primary domain document root
  • the public ftp folder
  • if you have several domains, you can choose which domains document root to open with

The bottom part will have check boxes for additional options.

  • hidden files are not shown by default
  • check here to show them
  • disable the warning you see when opening files for editing

Below the Title bar, you will see the main menu bar. This contains most of the advanced tools for your File Manager.

  • add an new file in the current folder
  • create a new subfolder
  • copy the selected files
  • you can select multiple files by either shift-clicking or control-clicking on them to highlight them
  • will open a dialogue box where you can fill in the target folder
  • move the selected files
  • upload new files to the current folder
  • download selected files to your local computer
  • used to recover deleted files
  • delete the selected files
  • cPanel File Manager comes equipped with a trash folder
  • rename your selected file
  • this is a basic tool you can use to edit HTML (website) files
  • allows you to edit the current file
  • only enabled if you have an text based file selected (txt, html, php…)
  • set your file access permissions for your website files
  • this is an advanced feature and should be left alone
  • use this to view the contents of a file
  • works for images and text files
  • you cannot edit text in this tool
  • use this tool to decompress an zip or tar files
  • most site back ups will be either zip or tar files
  • you can use this tool to compress all of your website files into a tar or zip file
  • that not only saves disk space, it allows you to download your entire site as one file

Folder View

The folder view is just that, the directory tree. You can use this folder tree to navigate your through your directory structure.

There is a search box at the top where you can access your folder directly by typing it in. Enter in the name of the folder and click “Go” to open the folder in the File View.

You can also use the tree below to navigate your file structure. Click on the “+” icon to the left any folder to expand it and view their sub-folders. Clicking on the folder will open it in the File View.

Clicking on the Collapse All button will close all of the expanded folders.

File View

File Manager File View

The File View is the main part of your cPanel File Manager, where you can manage all of your website files. From here you can move, copy and delete files, or even create archives or zips of your files. You can manage your file permissions, view and even edit your text based files.

Navigation Menu

File Manager Navigation Menu

At the top of the File View, you will find the Navigation bar. Here you have several option here for managing your files. You will also see the View Trash and Empty Trash buttons that functions like the recycle bin on your computer. Any files deleted are moved here so you can recover them if necessary.

  • return the the home directory
  • go back one level in the structure tree
  • go back to the previous directory
  • return to a directory after using the Back button
  • reload the File Manager
  • select all of the files in the current directory
  • unselect all files
  • view the files in your Trash folder
  • permanently delete all of the files in your Trash folder


In this view, you can see the files in the currently selected folder. You can see the files Name, Size, when it was Last Modified, file Type and the current Permissions settings. You can select folders using the Folder View to the left, or you can open folders in the File View by double-clicking on them, just as you would in any file manager.

In this manager, you can also select files like you would in most file managers:

  • you can click on any file to select it
  • you can select many files by left-clicking and dragging over the files
  • you can add to the selection holding Shift or Control and clicking on files
    • Shift will select all files between clicks
    • Control will toggle individual files

Right-click Menu

You can also right-click on any file to get a context menu for the file. This menu will vary depending on the type of file, but there is an example for a common text file.

File Manager Right-click menu
  • download the file to your local machine
  • shown on text based files (txt, php, html, etc)
  • view the text without the ability to edit
  • shown on text based files (txt, php, html, etc)
  • allows you to edit the text of the file
  • shown only on HTML files
  • opens the cPanel HTML editor, a visual website editor
  • move the file (or files) to another folder
  • copy the file (or files) to another folder
  • rename the current file
  • edit the current permissions for the file
  • NOTE: if you are not familiar with file permissions, it is best to not make changes as it can break your site
  • delete the currently selected file or files
  • files deleted will be moved to your Trash folder by default
  • you can recover your deleted files by clicking on the Trash folder and recovering them from there
  • extract the files of an archive
  • only shown on archive files (tar, zip, etc.)
  • create an archive of the selected files (tar or zip)
  • useful for creating an archive of your site files for back up

If you are still having issues, and need further support, please reach out to our support team using any of these methods.

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