Two possible solutions to the error “The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user” when connection via FTP

Published in IT Solutions

Two possible solutions to the error The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user

When accessing a server for the firs time using FileZilla or some other form of FTP program it’s surprising how often people get and error “The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user”.

I’ve found there isn’t just one solution and if you find only one and it happens to be the one that doesn’t solve it for you, then you might still be left scraping your head.

So, here are Two possible solutions to the error “The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user” when connection via FTP

Note, the steps are designed for FileZilla but the core solution should work no matter what FTP client you use, just adapt the step to suit.

Solution one:

Set the Encryption to insecure.

Filezilla screenshot plain FTP

  1. Open Filezilla
  2. Under the file menu choose Site Manager
  3. Setup the host address, username and password according to your instructions and in the Encryption set to “only use plain FTP (insecure)
  4. Next time you connect you will hopefully no longer get the error ““The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user”


If the error ““The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user” still persists:

Solution two:

Change the protocol to SFTP.

Filezilla screenshot SFTP SSH

  1. Open Filezilla
  2. Under the file menu choose Site Manager
  3. Setup the host address, username and password according to your instructions and under protocol, set it to SFTP (sometimes you won’t have received instruction that you need to connect using SFTP instead of FTP)
  4. Next time you connect you will hopefully no longer get the error ““The data connection could not be established. ETIMEDOUT attempt timed out Directory listing aborted by user”

I hope one of those solutions helped, there is nothing worse than trying to connect via FTP to do some work and not be able to because of and error.