Create Add Root FTP Account in cPanel

When you get a new hosting account you get an account user. These user details can be used to log into cPanel if you have it, but can also be used to connect via an ftp client to upload your sites files.

This always puts me on edge though. If someone gets your details they can’t just access your ftp but can also log in and make any changes that they want to your site.

For this reason I generally set up a new ftp account just to use for ftp access.

Until now I’ve never worked out how to access the root of a site with an ftp account. Generally I just accept access to the public_html folder and leave it at that. But today I finally worked out how to give an ftp account root access to a hosting accounts files.

When setting up your new account you have to choose a folder to give access to. Leaving the field blank is not valid, but strangely putting just a single forward slash is, IF you can work out how. Generally no matter how hard you try cPanel chooses a folder it thinks you’re trying to type and fills the field with it. Grrrrr, annoying. But…

If you focus the folder field, type / and then reverse tab you can exit the field leaving just a / there. If you’re wondering what a reverse tab is, it’s done with shift-tab and tabs back up the form.

Behold, a new ftp account with root site access to the file structure.

As an added tip, I always end ftp accounts with -ftp so they are obviously not email addresses and generally start them with the name of the person who needs access:

If it’s access to a specific area then I add that too:

Happy ftping!