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IPFS Desktop

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IPFS Desktop gives you all the power of IPFS in a convenient desktop app: a complete IPFS node, plus handy OS menubar/taskbar shortcuts and an all-in-one file manager, peer map, and content explorer.

Use IPFS Desktop to get acquainted with IPFS without needing to touch the terminal β€” or, if you're already experienced, use the powerful menubar/taskbar shortcuts alongside the command line to make your IPFS workflow faster.

Status screen of IPFS Desktop

Files screen Explore screen Peers screen Settings screen Menubar/taskbar
Screenshot of the Files screen Screenshot of the Explore screen Screenshot of the Peers screen Screenshot of the Settings screen Screenshot of Mac/Windows menus

Quick-install shortcuts

When in doubt, pick one of package formats with built-in automatic update mechanism:

Table of Contents


IPFS Desktop combines a complete IPFS node (running kubo) and the IPFS Web UI into a single, convenient desktop app β€” plus adds a menu to your OS menubar/system tray for easy access to a variety of common IPFS tasks.

If you already have an IPFS node on your computer, IPFS Desktop will act as a control panel and file browser for that node. If you don't have a node, it'll install one for you. And either way, IPFS Desktop will automatically check for updates.

Start your node at system startup and control it from your OS

IPFS Desktop enables you to stop or restart your node straight from the IPFS logo menu in your OS menubar/system tray. For Mac and Windows users, IPFS Desktop can also be set to launch at system startup, ensuring that your node is running whenever your computer is on.

Quickly import files, folders, and screenshots to IPFS

Import files and folders to your IPFS node in a variety of convenient ways:

  • Drag and drop items onto IPFS Desktop's Files screen
  • Click the Import button on the Files screen to add items from your computer or an IPFS content ID (CID)
  • (Windows) Right-click a file/folder's icon to add it to IPFS from the pop-up menu
  • (Mac) Drag and drop a file/folder onto the IPFS logo in your menubar

Plus, you can use the Take Screenshot command under the IPFS logo menu to take a screenshot, import it to your node, and copy a shareable link to your clipboard with one click.

Easily manage the contents of your node

IPFS Desktop's Files screen gives you an easy, familiar interface for working with the contents of your node:

  • Easily rename, move, or remove files and folders
  • Preview many common file formats directly in IPFS Desktop
  • Copy a file/folder's IPFS content ID (CID) or a shareable link to your clipboard
  • "Pin" files to your IPFS node or (coming soon!) to a third-party pinning service

Visualize your IPFS peers worldwide

Visit the Peers screen to see what nodes you're connected to, where they are, the connections they're using, and more.

Explore the "Merkle Forest" of IPFS files

Use the Explore screen to explore some example datasets β€” or your own files β€” and see firsthand how items stored on IPFS are broken down into content-addressed pieces.

IPFS Desktop enables most operating systems (Mac, Windows and some Linux flavors) to support protocols including ipfs:// and ipns://. This means that if an app on your computer tries to open a link starting with one of those protocol identifiers (for example, if your web browser encounters a link to ipns://, it'll automatically open in IPFS Desktop.

For an even better experience with ipfs://, and ipns:// addresses, we also recommend installing IPFS Companion to add support in your favorite browser!

Learn IPFS commands as you go

If you're interested in learning how to use IPFS from the command line, IPFS Desktop's CLI Tutor Mode can show you common IPFS commands as you go. Just check the CLI Tutor Mode box on the Settings screen to switch on this feature.


Release notes and older versions of IPFS Desktop can be found on the releases page.

Don't see your favorite package manager? Visit our package managers page and help us add support for it!



  • Installer: IPFS-Desktop-Setup-0.30.2.exe
  • Chocolatey (community-maintained): choco install ipfs-desktop
  • Scoop (community-maintained): scoop bucket add extras; scoop install extras/ipfs-desktop
  • WinGet (community-maintained): winget install IPFS.IPFS-Desktop


Additional third-party packages exist, but have the built-in auto-update mechanism disabled. Instead, update cycle is maintained by respective communities:

Packaging status

Install from source

To install and run IPFS Desktop from source, you'll also need:

Then, follow the steps below to clone the source code, install dependencies, and run the app.

git clone
cd ipfs-desktop
npm ci
npm run build
npm start


We welcome all contributions to IPFS Desktop! The best way to get started is to check the current open issues (or drill down specifically for issues labeled "help wanted") and find something interesting. All issues are categorized by the standard label taxonomy used across the IPFS project, so you can also drill by topic (for example, UX-related issues).

No matter how you contribute, please be sure you read and follow the IPFS Contributing Guidelines and the IPFS Community Code of Conduct.


Contributing translations in your language is particularly valuable! We use Transifex to manage internationalization, which means you don't need to change a single line of code to add your translations β€” just sign up for a Transifex account.

Because IPFS Desktop app includes text from IPFS Web UI and IPLD Explorer, you'll want to join all three Transifex projects in order to see all the text:

Note for developers: We use English as our source of truth. This means that if you add any new text, make those additions in ./assets/locales/en.json and they will automatically propagate in Transifex for other languages.

Developer notes

For more detailed information about hacking on IPFS Desktop, including a release checklist, please see the full developer notes.

FAQ & Troubleshooting

Why am I missing the system tray menu on Linux?

IPFS Desktop is built using Electron, and unfortunately, poor system tray support has been a longstanding problem with Electron apps.

You may wish to try troubleshooting according to the Electron v9.3.0 docs:

  • On Linux, the app indicator will be used if it is supported; otherwise GtkStatusIcon will be used
  • On Linux distributions that only have app indicator support, you must install libappindicator1 to make the tray icon work

If you've noticed that the old system tray is back in IPFS Desktop v0.13, this is because the Electron team removed support for StatusNotifier and restored the old tray interface on Linux called XEmbed.

Why can't I install IPFS Desktop under Debian 11?

Debian package depends on libappindicator3-1 which does not exist in Debian 11 anymore.

You need to install this missing dependency on your own, or use .AppImage instead.

Why can't I start IPFS Desktop under Debian 10?

Some Linux users may see one of the following errors when trying to launch IPFS Desktop:

When launching by double-clicking the app icon:

The SUID sandbox helper binary was found, but is not configured correctly. Rather than run without sandboxing I'm aborting now. You need to make sure that chrome-sandbox is owned by root and has mode 4755.

When launching from the terminal:

$ ipfs-desktop
$Trace/breakpoint trap

This is a known issue with Electron/Chrome and some hardened kernels. More details can be found here, but a fix is to start IPFS Desktop from the terminal with the following additional parameter:

$ ipfs-desktop --no-sandbox

Where are my IPFS configuration and log files?

You can open these files from the IPFS logo menu by selecting Open Logs Directory or Open Configuration File from the Advanced submenu. Or, find them in your OS as follows:

  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/IPFS Desktop/
  • Windows: %appdata%/IPFS Desktop/
  • Linux: ~/.config/IPFS Desktop/

How does IPFS Desktop select the IPFS repo location?

IPFS Desktop uses ipfsd-ctl, which, by default, checks the IPFS_PATH environment variable. If that isn't set, it falls back to $HOME/.ipfs. As soon as the first run has succeeded, repository location info is saved in the configuration file, which becomes the source of truth.

To open your repo directory from the IPFS logo menu, select Open Repository Directory from the Advanced submenu.

Which version of IPFS does IPFS Desktop use?

IPFS Desktop includes its own embedded binary of Kubo (kubo version defined in package.json); this is the latest version of Kubo that has passed QA for IPFS Desktop use.

You can check which version of IPFS you're running from the IPFS logo menu by looking in the About submenu.

Which flags does IPFS Desktop boot with?

By default, IPFS Desktop starts the IPFS daemon with the flags --migrate=true --enable-gc=true.

You can change this in the IPFS Desktop config file by selecting Open Configuration File from the Advanced submenu.

I got a repo.lock error. How do I resolve this?

In general, this means that a previous process was unable to remove the repository lock (indicator that file is in use) from the repository directory. This is supposed to be handled automatically, but sometimes it isn't. If you get this error, you can generally safely delete this file after shutting down any running IPFS daemon's or applications. Simple process is as follows:

  1. Stop ipfs processes;
  2. Manually delete lock file, located within the repository;
  3. Attempt to start ipfs desktop (or other process that received the repo.lock error) again.

I got a network error (e.g. Error fetching). What should I do?

When upgrading, IPFS may need to perform migrations and for that we need a stable connection to download the required information for the migrations. Sometimes, the Internet connection may fail or be blocked by firewalls or antiviruses, and then you will run into a network error. Before submitting an issue, please try the following:

  1. Check if you are connected to the Internet;
  2. Make sure your firewall or antivirus is not blocking requests, such as P2P traffic;
  3. Try again, by restarting IPFS Desktop.

I need more help!

If you need help with using IPFS Desktop, the quickest way to get answers is to post them in the official IPFS forums.

If you think you've found a bug or other issue with IPFS Desktop itself, please open an issue.


MIT β€” Protocol Labs, Inc.