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How to Fix FileZilla Failed to Retrieve Directory Listing

FileZilla failed to retrieve directory listing – connection error. This post was updated with steps you can follow to fix the error other than just downgrading FileZilla. You can still use version 3.10.0.1 and above if you’re still having the “FileZilla failed to retrieve directory listing” error. See update in the second section below.

Back in January 12, 2015 – FileZilla Client 3.10.0.1 was released. Good news right? Well not so good as you may have encountered issues with the new “FileZilla Bug Version” as I called it.

My Experience With this FileZilla Update

In my own case, FileZilla was working fine like a charm until I decided to go new. I love updates! I love to know that I’m up to date with everything especially applications running in my computer. So, I updated my FileZilla to the new version 3.10.0.1.

This update rewarded me with the FileZilla failed to retrieve directory listing error. When I tried to connect, I got the error; “Failed to retrieve directory listing” as you can see in the image below.

filezilla failed to retrieve directory listing

I wasted precious time reading FileZilla’s documentation on almost everything that has to do with connection and configuration, NO SUCCESS AT ALL! 🙁

To fix the FileZilla Failed to retrieve directory listing error, this is what I did:

I downgraded to FileZilla version 3.9.0.6. I simply uninstalled version 3.10.0.1 and reinstalled version 3.9.0.6 and that’s it, all was working again like charm as you can see in the image below.

failed to retrieve directory listing

So, if you too have encountered the same “FileZilla failed to retrieve directory listing problem, which I think is the reason why you’re reading this how-to article, simply reinstall or downgrade to version 3.9.0.6. During the installation, ensure you select “Add/Remove/Re-installed components” in the installation screen/dialog box as shown in the image below. All your previous setting will remain the same. They did in my case.

filezilla failed to retrieve directory listing

If you don’t have the setup file for FileZilla version 3.9.0.6, you can download it here.

UPDATE: – Still want to use FileZilla v3.10.0.1 and above?
See steps below.

This update is based on John’s comment:

“The new version of FileZilla uses FTP encryption via TLS by default now, which some sites (in my case, GoDaddy) aren’t set up to support. You can go into the site manager and adjust your connection details to use plain FTP and it will work.”

To do what John said, follow these steps: (see also image below). You should also note that this is an insecure encryption type (at least FileZilla says so).

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.

3. a. Add hostname, b. change encryption to “only use plain FTP”, c. Change logon type, d. Enter username/password.

4. Connect and you should be good.

retrieve directory listing

The image below shows my own success after following the steps above.

retrieve directory listing

In Conclusion

Well, there you have it. That’s how you fix the annoying FileZilla failed to retrieve directory listing error.

I hope this will help we “the FileZilla enthusiasts”, until FileZilla bug version 3.10.0.1 is fixed or a new bug free version is release.

Was this article helpful to you? If so, buy me and “John” a cup of coffee by leaving a comment below and share this post. Thank You.. 🙂

26 thoughts on “How to Fix FileZilla Failed to Retrieve Directory Listing”

  1. Same problem, and your solution worked. However, I manage several websites, and the funny thing is that the ones on godaddy gave that error with the new version of Filezilla. The ones hosted on 1and1 were fine. Reverted to the earlier version of Filezilla and they all worked again. Maybe some kind of incompatibility between the new Filezilla and GoDaddy?

    Reply
    • Yes I think you have a point Tom. I’m noticing the same pattern especially with shared hosting.

      I tested with a shared hosting on Bluehost and got the same error. However, when I updated on a VPS with the same Bluehost, no problem. First FileZilla requested verification of the server’s certificate on both the shared and VPS. Certificates were verified but only the VPS that worked. For shared hosting, I had to revert to the previous FileZilla version.

      So, I think I’ll agree with you that there’s some kind of compatibility or configurations issues with the new version of FileZilla. Hopefully, FileZilla and the hosting companies can figure this out.

      Reply
  2. The new version of FileZilla uses FTP encryption via TLS by default now, which some sites (in my case, GoDaddy) aren’t set up to support. You can go into the site manager and adjust your connection details to use plain FTP and it will work.

    Reply
    • Thanks John.

      That let you use the current version without downgrading. Though it’s an “insecure” encryption type, it fixed the problem.

      I’ve made an update to the post by adding that method.

      Thanks again and get some coffee. 🙂

      Reply
  3. I was having the same problem too. Both solutions worked for me. Currently using the plain ftp connection setting. Thx.

    Reply
  4. I had the same problem… your solution worked like a charm. Thanks. I spent hours debugging, talking to Go-Daddy support, but nothing worked. Good that Google listed your response at the top.
    Thanks a ton !!!

    Reply
    • Aljuga – I’ll suggest that you follow the steps above to connect via “Only use plain FTP” and ensure that you have the correct host name and login info for your host/server. “Only use plain FTP” works with V3.10.1.1. I’ve tested it. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. I have one question. If I uninstall my current Filezilla, do I will lost the “Connection Environment” after I reinstall it?

    Reply
    • Hi Pachak – I’m not sure if I understand your question very well. However, you will need to reinstall Filezilla client to use it if you uninstall.

      If you didn’t clear your connection history before uninstalling, you should still have all previous connection settings intact after reinstalling and should be able to connect without re-entering connection info. I have done this many times. This is because Filezilla stores your sites and settings on your computer. “On most systems, sites and settings are stored in the ~/.config/filezilla directory. The odd exception is Windows, where the settings are stored in the %APPDATA%/FileZilla directory.”From FileZilla Client FAQ. Question 3: Where does FileZilla store all its sites and settings? https://wiki.filezilla-project.org/FAQ

      However, if you cleared your connection history before uninstalling or at any time, you will need to re-enter connection credentials again (host name, user name, password,etc.)

      Hope this help. If not, let me know what further assistance you need.

      Reply
  6. Hi, This did not work for me. Everything was working fine. I was attempting to download all my ftp files because I am moving hosting companies. I started the process but ran out of room on my local disk and filezilla gave me the cooresponding error message. To make it stop, I selected all the files in the transfer queue and ccidentally selected stop and remove all. I am getting this error 45 message every since. I tried to fix the issue with several fixes. I first changed some of the setting. and the first folder appeared to work (says successful transfers in the transfer queue at the bottom of the window but i cannot find them on my local disk anywhere. Each folder I’ve tried to download since gives me the error 45 message and goes to the failed transfer list. Please help!

    Reply
    • Hi Larry,

      Your comment was filtered as a spamming comment. So we did not notice it until now. For a few months now, our blog posts have been targeted by spammers. So we have an aggressive filtering system in place.

      Sorry that this did not work for you. This post was written in 2015 more than 7 years ago. So it is possible that what worked then may not work now.

      Let us know if you still need help with this issue. We can try to help.

      Reply

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