How to use file manager


cPanel, the control panel for web hosting, offers a robust File Manager that allows you to manage your website files and directories efficiently. In this guide, we will walk you through the basic functionalities of cPanel File Manager, including accessing hidden files and adjusting file and directory permissions.

Accessing File Manager

To access cPanel File Manager, follow these steps:

  • Log in to your cPanel account.
  • Navigate to “Files” and select “File Manager.”



File Manager serves as a convenient tool for various tasks, such as uploading single files or directories, setting permissions, and more. For more substantial tasks, like uploading an entire website, consider using an FTP (File Transfer Protocol) client.

File Manager Interface

Upon opening File Manager, you’ll encounter the following interface:

  • Toolbar: Located at the top, the toolbar provides quick access to essential functions, such as adding files or folders, copying, moving, uploading, downloading, deleting, restoring, renaming, editing, and managing permissions.
  • Directory View: The left pane displays the directory structure, with your current location highlighted for easy navigation.
  • Contents View: The right pane shows the files and folders within the selected directory.


You can change your current directory by single-clicking on a directory in the left pane or double-clicking on a directory in the right pane. Be cautious when double-clicking a file or directory in the right pane, as it allows you to rename it.

The toolbar above the right-hand pane also offers navigation options and provides access to the trash, allowing you to view and empty it.

Deleting Files or Directories and Managing the Trash

When you delete a file or directory in File Manager, it doesn’t get permanently removed immediately. Instead, it’s moved to the Trash by default. To permanently delete or restore files from the Trash, follow these steps:

  • Select the file(s) or directory(ies) you want to manage.
  • Click the “Delete” button.
  • To restore items, click “View Trash,” select the files/directories, and click “Restore.”

If you chose to skip the Trash during deletion, you won’t be able to restore the files using this method. Depending on how long the files were in place, you might need to retrieve them from a backup or recreate/upload them.

Viewing Hidden Files

To view hidden files (files starting with a dot, like .htaccess), follow these steps:

  • Click on “Settings” in the top-right corner of the toolbar.
  • Check the “Show Hidden Files (dotfiles)” checkbox.



If you still can’t see the files you expect, verify that the correct default directory is set, typically your Home Directory, where you’ll find files for your primary domain, addon domains, and subdomains.

Setting File and Directory Permissions

To modify file or directory permissions in File Manager, use one of these methods:

  • Select the file or directory, then click “Permissions” on the toolbar.
  • Right-click the file or directory, and select “Change Permissions” from the menu.



In the Permissions interface, you can adjust permissions by ticking or unticking checkboxes or entering numeric values. For a deeper understanding of file and directory permissions, refer to our separate article on the topic.

By mastering cPanel File Manager, you’ll gain better control over your website’s files and directories, making it easier to manage your web hosting resources effectively.