Allow file directory listing using .htaccess

The other day a client was unable to access video files through any of our usual methods of file sharing:

The files we needed to share were examples of the animations we would be including into their site build. We could have uploaded them to Vimeo/YouTube and shared the link, but that seemed like more work than was needed (especially seeing as their were 30 files and they needed privacy settings).

I decided to create a folder on our web server and upload all the files to there for the client to download. These days, however, directory listings are turned off by default by many hosting companies which means I would either need to create a HTML file with the links to the 30 files, or I could switch on Directory Listing for that folder.

There was no immediate access to Apache to do the work so I used a .htaccess file to provide folder level updates. To do this there are a few steps:

  1. FTP/connect to your server and create a new folder.
  2. Inside that folder create a new file and name it .htaccess (you may need to turn on ‘view hidden files’ if you can’t see this after you’ve created it)
  3. Inside that file add Options +Indexes

That’s it. Now that you’ve added that you will be able to see the contents of that folder, and the client can now download all of the files to see the animations.

An excerpt from Allow file directory listing using .htaccess

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