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All About the File Manager (and what you can do with it)

What is File Manager?

The File Manager allows you to manage your site through HTML, rather than an FTP tool or other third-party application, while logged into your cPanel account. You can upload, create or delete files, organize files in folders, and change file permissions. While not as sophisticated as most FTP tools, File Manager is free and gives you all the basic functionality necessary to manage your site.

Note: the directions in this article assume you are already in cPanel's File Manager.

To open and navigate within File Manager:

  1. Click File Manager from your cPanel dashboard.

  2. Navigate by using the following:

  3. Open a folder by clicking on the folder icon.

    • Go up a level by clicking on the Up one level link

    • Use the path links at the top of the window to move up and down the path

    • Select a folder, so as to view or modify its properties, by clicking on the folder name link

Delete a File or Folder

cPanel includes a Trash folder, which operates the same way as a computer's recycle bin. All deleted files are automatically placed in the Trash folder and can be restored to their original positions by a simple click. However, once you empty the Trash folder, the files are permanently deleted.

To delete a file or folder:

  1. Navigate to the file(s) or folder(s) that you want to delete.

  2. Click the name of the file or folder to display the item's properties in the top-right corner of your window.

  3. Click the Delete File link.

  4. The deleted file or folder is now displayed in the Trash area.

Edit a File

Editing a pre-existing file through File Manager allows you to make immediate changes to your website, without having to upload a new version of the file. This is useful for small changes, but would be inefficient for large alterations.

To edit a file:

  1. Navigate to the folder where the file is located.

  2. Click on the name of the file.

  3. Click on the Edit File link in the top-right corner of your window to open a new window with the contents of the file displayed.
    Note: clicking on the Show File link will display the contents of the file. However, you will not be able to make any changes to the file.

  4. Alter the text of the file as you wish.

  5. Click on the Save button when you have finished altering the file.

The file has been saved and any changes will take effect from now on.

Rename a File or Folder

You can quickly rename a file or folder if you originally labeled a file or folder with the wrong name, or if the name needs to be updated. This is useful if a small number of files need to be changed, since you do not need to upload any files for the changes to take effect, but inefficient if you needed to rename your entire site.

To rename a file or folder:

  1. Navigate to the file or folder.

  2. Click on the Rename File link in the top right corner of your window.

  3. Enter the new name for the file or folder in the text field; you need to enter an extension if it is a file, such as .html for HTML files.

  4. Click the Rename button.

The file name has now been changed and the display updated to show the modified file.

Upload Files

You can use File Manager to upload files to your web site, up to 12 files in one go. A third-party FTP client has many more features and does not limit you to the number of files you can upload at one time.

To upload files in File Manager:

  1. Navigate to the folder where you want to upload your files.

  2. Click the Upload file(s) link.

  3. Click the Browse... button next to one of the top fields.

  4. Search for and double-click on the first file to upload.

  5. Repeat the above steps for each file you want to upload.

  6. Click on the Overwrite existing files tick box if you want to overwrite existing files of the same name.

  7. Click on the Upload button when you have finished selecting files.

    The status of the upload will appear in the top-right corner of your window. The contents of the folder is displayed in the main area, including your uploaded files.

Copy or Move Files

  1. Log into cPanel.

  2. Click File Manager from within the Files section.
    cPanel - File Manager

  3. From the ensuing popup window tick the Web Root option, and the Show Hidden Files option below.

  4. Click Go.

  5. In the window that opens, from the main pane with a list of files, locate and select each file you want to move/copy.

  6. With the files selected that you want to take action on, click either the Copy or Move option from the top menu bar options.

    A popup confirming the location of your Copy or Move will appear. The default destination will be set to the folder you are currently in.

  7. Replace the destination, in the text field adjacent to the house icon, with the correct file destination.

  8. Click the Move Files, or Copy Files button.

    Note: the Copy and Move tools act very similarly. While the Move tool will remove the files from the directory (folder) they are currently in and place them in the new directory, the Copy tool will copy the files so that they exist in both the original and new directories.

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