Using SSH/SCP on Windows

Unlike Mac OS X, Windows doesn’t come with the necessary software. There are lots of implementations of ssh and ssh-based programs for logging in and doing file transfers; if you already know how to use one, go ahead and use that. Below are instructions for installing PuTTY (remote login), WinSCP (file transfer), and Notepad++ (file editing) on your Windows machine.

Installing software

Install PuTTY

PuTTY is a free program that lets you log into remote computers using ssh.

Download putty from here:

It’s a standalone file that doesn’t require any installation, so you can just put it on your desktop.

Install WinSCP

Download WinSCP from here:

You probably want the “Installation package”.

(You don’t need to install the Bing toolbar...)

Logging in and transferring files

Using PuTTY

Double-click on the PuTTY application.


Enter ‘’ as the host, and leave everything else as a default.

Click ‘connect’. If it’s your first time running this, you’ll get a security warning; click “yes”.


And... now you’re logged in! Congrats!


One last thing. Type

%% mkdir $directory

where you replace ‘$directory’ with something unique (like your last name). (Note: case matters; usually I make everything lowercase by default, so I don’t have to remember what case I used.)

This will give you a directory (folder) into which you can put things on lyorn. Since you’re all using the same account on lyorn, if you don’t do this you will step on each other’s files.

We won’t be using lyorn too much, though, so this is just for this tutorial.

Now you can go back to the UNIX, ssh, and scp tutorial, or continue on to Use Notepad++ to create a file and Using WinSCP.

Use Notepad++ to create a file

Install the Notepad++ text editor

First, you’ll need to install Notepad++, available here:

You’ll probably want to use the Installer (npp.5.6.8.Installer.exe).

Notepad++ is a text editor that lets you edit text files.

Actually editing a file

Here, we’re going to create a file so that we can transfer it over to lyorn (just to demo file transfer).

Start Notepad++.

In the blank file that comes up by default, enter “hello, world” (or really any random set of words).

Save as a file called ‘a-file.txt’ on your Desktop.

Close Notepad++.

Using WinSCP

Start up WinSCP.

Enter ‘’ in as the host name, ‘ngs’ as the user name, and the super-secret password as the password. Leave everything else as default and click ‘connect’.


You should now see a window with two panes. The pane on the left shows files and directories on your local hard drive. The pane on the right shows files and directories on the remote computer ‘’.


Create a new directory named with your last name on the right pane, by clicking the “new folder” icon.


Navigate to the desktop, and find ‘a-file.txt’ (the file you created with Notepad++). Select it and drag it to the right pane, into the directory you just created.


Congratulations! You’ve just copied a file from your laptop to the remote computer ‘’, all the way over at MSU!

LICENSE: This documentation and all textual/graphic site content is licensed under the Creative Commons - 0 License (CC0) -- fork @ github. Presentations (PPT/PDF) and PDFs are the property of their respective owners and are under the terms indicated within the presentation.
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