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WinSCP Quickstart (Windows)
This article explains how to use the WinSCP client to transfer files via the SFTP protocol.
WinSCP is a Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) client; SFTP is a secure replacement for FTP (File Transfer Protocol). You can use it to upload or download files from a computer running SFTP server software. For example, it can transfer web pages to a personal or departmental website. SFTP clients let you securely distribute backups of important files
One of the most useful functions of an SFTP client is to save extra copies of important documents in an additional location. home.uchicago.edu, our personal home page service, allows you to store up to 50 megabytes of files in your own private directory.
To launch WinSCP SFTP, go to Start > Programs > WinSCP3 > WinSCP.
WinSCP SFTP in three quick steps
- When WinSCP starts, you are presented with a WinSCP Login window. If this is your first time connecting to home.uchicago.edu, create a new profile by clicking "New" on the right. Enter webspace.uchicago.edu as "Host name". Leave "Port number" as 22. "User name" and "Password" are your CNetID and password. Under Protocol, select SFTP and check the "Allow SCP fallback" box. If this is your first time connecting to webspace from this computer, or if the server has made some changes, you will be asked to accept its host key. To connect, you'll need to click Yes. Click save to save the session setting for subsequent login.
- If you have saved the session profile, you can open a new session to webspace by double-clicking on"webspace.uchicago.edu" in the right-hand pane on subsequent login.
- Upload and download files by dragging them from one side of the screen to the other (the left window is your machine, the right is the server). Make sure the files use valid naming conventions (letters, numbers, underscores, hyphens, and periods only; capitalization counts; no spaces!).
Other WinSCP SFTP Features
To move files from your local machine to the server, just drag files from one side of the screen to the other. The left hand side of the screen is your system, the right the server. The rest of the commands are similar to using Windows Explorer: hitting the delete key deletes files (although for safety reasons you can't delete full directories); double-clicking folders opens them up; right clicking opens a context menu with a number of additional options.
SFTP has an easily customizable interface. Every time you connect to a new server, you can add it as a new profile. Advanced profile settings can be set by clicking on the options in the left-hand pane of the WinSCP Login window; you can change settings for a specific profile (and not others) by clicking once on the profile name, clicking Load, making any necessary changes, and clicking Save. Generally speaking, however, you shouldn't need to modify any of these settings.