How-to use WebDAV on Windows Vista and Windows 7

Windows is supposed to have a built-in client. However, it doesn’t ever seem to have been especially robust and certainly since a lot of people (myself included) have found that it simply doesn’t work on many supposedly WebDAV enabled sites.

Thankfully there are a couple of free (and some not free) options that, while not as nicely integrated into Windows Explorer, do enable you to transfer files back and forth.

The two that I found were:

I’ve tried the first of these two and it seems to work OK. It’s not polished but it gets the job done. There is also an online version using a Java plugin if you don’t want to install the client.

It seems that the second option is no longer in active development. Don’t be fooled by the web site though, they have changed the license to freeware.

Now, at last, I can once again load multiple files to our corporate intranet on WebEx without having to switch to a Linux desktop!

UPDATE 2012-06-20: Further research shows that Windows 7 (and Vista) can be made to work.

The trick is to use digest authentication instead of basic authentication on the WebDAV server. The problem then being that it may no longer work with pre-Vista clients. It is possible that you would need to set up two virtual links to the same folders, on with basic authentication for pre-Vista clients and one with digest authentication for Vista/ clients.

It is also worth noting that http://support.microsoft.com/kb/907306 is supposed to fix this issue for Vista but shouldn’t be applied to Windows 7.

Anyspeak.org has some additional information on making Windows 7 recognise WebDAV servers that only have basic authentication available. However, this requires admin access on the client PC.

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