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Connect to IT Web Hosting Servers via SFTP with WinSCP (Windows)

WinSCP is an SFTP application. It is used to transfer files between a local computer and a server. WinSCP encrypts all data passed over the network, making your personal account information more secure.

Obtain & Install WinSCP

  1. WinSCP is available at no cost from the WinSCP Web site.
  2. On the WinSCP :: Download page, download the installation package for the latest WinSCP version. Follow the prompts of the installation wizard.
  3. In the Select Components window, select Full Installation from the drop-down menu and check all three components: WinSCP2 application, PuTTYgen (key generator), and Pageant (SSH authentication agent).
  4. In the Initial User Settings window, choose either a Norton Commander or an Explorer-like interface.
  5. Click Install to finish.

Connect to IT'S Web Hosting Server

  1. If you are off-campus, dial in to UMass to establish a connection. Otherwise, make sure your connection to the UMass network is working.
  2. Go to Start > All Programs > WinSCP.
  3. On the Login screen:
    • The Host name is
    • The User Name is your NetID (IT Account user name).
    • The Password is your IT Account password.
    • Leave the Port number at 22 and the Private Key File empty. Note: If you use RSA keys to log on, then you should enter the path to your private key on your computer.
    • Under Protocol, select SFTP.
    • Switch between Norton Commander and Explorer-like interfaces by clicking Preferences (left side of the screen).
  4. The first time you log in, a one-time screen, warning you about a potential security breach may appear. Click Yes.
  5. WinSCP will attempt to connect to the server. If successful, it will open a WinSCP window with the Local System panel on the left (i.e. the files on your computer) and the Remote System panel on the right (i.e., your files on the IT Web hosting server).

Transfer Files

  1. In the Local/ Remote System panels, find and select the file you want to download/upload.
  2. Using the command keys at the bottom of the WinSCP window, you can either Copy (F5) or Move (F6) files from one panel to another.

    Note: By choosing to move a file (F6), WinSCP will not leave a copy in the initial panel. It will leave one only if you choose to copy the file (F5).

  3. A Copy/ Move Confirmation screen will appear. Click More to see all confirmation options.
    • Under Filename Modification, select Lower case. The IT Web hosting server is case sensitive; always use lower case when naming files and directories.
    • Keep the remaining defaults intact.
    • Select Use same settings next time (bottom left corner), then click Copy/ Move.
  4. You're done! To exit, click Quit (F10) on the WinSCP window (bottom right).