WinSCP is a free SFTP and FTP client for Windows, and a multi-functional tool that improves your productivity. WinSCP copies files between and remote computers using multiple protocols: FTP, FTPS, SCP, SFTP, or WebDAV. And WinSCP offers an intuitive interface. You can also automate WinSCP functionality using .NET assembly or simple batch file scripting. Use WinSCP for common operations with files and edit files directly from WinSCP using WinSCP internal text editor, or by integrating with an external text editor. WinSCP operations are not limited to individual files; WinSCP offers several ways to synchronize your remote and local directories. After connecting to a site, store site information for easy access. WinSCP integrates with Pageant (PuTTY authentication agent) for full support of public key authentication with SSH. Admins love WinSCP support for portable operation using a configuration file instead of registry entries, suitable for operation from removable media.


  • Graphical user interface
  • Translated into many languages
  • Integration with Windows
  • File transfer protocol options
  • Batch file scripting and command-line interface
  • Directory synchronization
  • Integrated text editor
  • PuTTY support
  • Support public key authentication
  • Authentication options
  • Additional options

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Editor's Review

To understand how WinSCP fits into the FTP landscape, recall that when FTP technology was in its infancy, folks used to transfer files across the Web indiscriminately. Today, however, data security is crucial. In this regard, WinSCP commands attention because it offers an open-source solution that transfers files between PCs, along with the security of SSH, while supporting SFTP and legacy SCP, plus old school FTP. WinSCP’s interface has a couple of options. For example, there’s a simple Windows-based display of the remote server, or a Norton Commander-based view that displays both local and remote directories, along with WinSCP’s complete feature set.

WinSCP at a Glance

WinSCP is easy to download and use so long as you have access to a SSH server with SFTP/SCP support. In tests using FTP and SFTP, both WinSCP interfaces perform file transfers with ease. WinSCP lets you move files on your remote server, create new directories, or delete them. You also edit a file directly from WinSCP by using its internal text editor, or even by integrating WinSCP with your favorite external text editor. If you need to multi-task, WinSCP can connect to more than one server at a time. For those with advanced needs, WinSCP has transfer presets, shell integration, custom commands and more. If you want to explore these additional features, visit the WinSCP documentation for details.

Product Details

Here is a detailed breakdown of WinSCP’s features:

  • Graphical user interface—WinSCP offers Explorer and Commander interfaces, each with extensive configuration options.
  • Translated into many languages—WinSCP defaults to English but can be switched to many other languages.
  • Integration with Windows—Configure WinSCP during installation or from the application (includes drag and drop, URL, shortcut icons, jump list, and more).
  • File transfer protocol options—WinSCP supports SFTP and SCP protocols over SSH, and FTP and WebDAV protocols.
  • Batch file scripting and command-line interface—WinSCP offers scripting/console interface with many commands and .NET assembly for advanced programming tasks.
  • Directory synchronization—WinSCP offers options to synchronize your remote and local directories.
  • Integrated text editor—WinSCP lets you edit remote or local text files.
  • Integrated text editor—WinSCP is based on source code of this popular SSH client and shares site settings with it.
  • PuTTY support—WinSCP uses Pageant, a PuTTY authentication agent, for full support of public key authentication with SSH.
  • Authentication options—WinSCP supports password, keyboard-interactive, public key, and Kerberos (GSS) authentication.
  • Additional options—WinSCP protects stored site information with an optional master password, and it supports portable operations using a configuration file in place of registry entries.



WinSCP is the perfect FTP client and file manager. It is highly customizable, lightweight, and fast. And, for those who need it, WinSCP has extensive documentation. With two great interfaces to choose from during setup, we would have liked to toggle between these modes without modifying the WinSCP preferences.

Quick Specs

  • Version: 5.5.6
  • Date added: October 16, 2014
  • Operating systems: Windows
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How to Use WinSCP

WinSCP (Windows Secure Copy) is an open source SFTP client, FTP client, WebDAV client and SCP client for Windows. Its main function is transferring files between a local and a remote computer. WinSCP supports SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol) for secure file transfers and legacy SCP (Secure Copy Protocol). You can use WinSCP to transfer files both manually and automatically.

WinSCP Installation Program

WinSCP installs effortlessly through its installation program, which lets you select defaults or customize WinSCP to your liking. For example, you can choose a Norton-Commander interface or an Explorer-like interface. The Norton commander interface provides both local and remote directory panels, while the Explorer-like interface provides only a remote panel.

WinSCP Login Screen

To configure your session, start WinSCP. The Login dialog opens, where you enter your settings. (The Login dialog can be invoked later to open additional sessions.) The program will ask you for your login information. In most cases, you will only need to select the server’s protocol, and enter the host name, user name, plus password and click Login.

Main Window (Commander Interface)

The Commander Interface is based on Norton Commander (and similar file managers). A local folder is displayed in the left panel and a remote folder in the right panel. Files are usually transferred between these two folders, though it is possible to transfer files into a different folder. This kind of user interface is also known as an Orthodox File Manager.

Main Window (Explorer Interface)

The Explorer interface WinSCP looks similar to a normal Microsoft Windows folder (Windows Explorer) but, unlike with Commander Interface, only the remote directory is shown. To transfer the files you typically use drag and drop between WinSCP and Windows Explorer.

To access additional operations, right-click any object to select an operation from the context menu. You can also right-click a file or a directory to drag it to another location. If you want to explore additional features, visit the WinSCP FAQ for details.

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User Reviews

  • Great piece of software. Simple, fast, and feature extensive.

  • Good graphical tool when scp client is required and you are not familiar with command line.

    1 user found this review helpful.
  • Essential tool

  • Switched to this from FireFTP. Fantastic! Thanks.

  • The best program for ftp, with many functions beyond the conventional.

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