How to fix failed to retrieve directory listing error in FileZilla FTP

When using FileZilla to connect to your FTP if you encounter an error like this:

Status: Resolving address of ftp.website.com
Status: Connecting to 11.22.33.44:21...
Status: Connection established, waiting for welcome message...
Status: Initializing TLS...
Status: Verifying certificate...
Status: TLS connection established.
Status: Server does not support non-ASCII characters.
Status: Connected
Status: Retrieving directory listing...
Command: PWD
Response: 257 "/" is your current location
Command: TYPE I
Response: 200 TYPE is now 8-bit binary
Command: PASV
Response: 227 Entering Passive Mode (11,22,33,44,167,111)
Command: MLSD
Error: Connection timed out
Error: Failed to retrieve directory listing

You can easily fix this error by going into the site manager and adjusting your connection details to use plain FTP. Follow these steps to fix the problem:

  1. In FileZilla, click on “File” menu and choose “Site Manager”
  2. Add the site or server you want to connect to if it’s not already in site manager.
    1. Add hostname
    2. change encryption to “only use plain FTP”
    3. Change logon type "Normal"
    4. Enter username/password.
    5. Ok/Connect to continue

If the problem still persists, please disable your firewall then try once more! If it still fails,  here is what you need to do:

  • Open Filezilla, go to Edit -> Settings
  • Click on Connection -> FTP: Choose Active
  • Click on Connection -> FTP -> Active Mode: Select "Ask your operating system for the external IP address"
  • Click on Connection -> FTP -> Passive Mode: Choose Fall Back to Active Mode
  • Press OK.

Try connecting to your FTP again!

Please note: In some cases, and for reasons unknown, Filezilla just won't work. coreFTP is a nice alternative FTP client that is free for Windows and includes the FTP client features you need such as SFTP (SSH), SSL, TLS, IDN, browser integration, site to site transfers, FTP transfer resume, drag & drop support, file viewing & editing, firewall support, custom commands, FTP URL parsing, command line transfers, filters, and much, much more! 

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