An Introduction to WinSCP

An Introduction to WinSCP

WinSCP is a open-source FTP client for Microsoft Windows. Development began in 2000, and it is maintained by Martin Prikryl. In addition to its GUI interface, WinSCP offers batch file scripting and a command-line interface.

Visit the WinSCP website »

WinSCP offers you everything you need to connect and transfer files to your FTP server:

  • Command-line options.
  • Support for synchronizing files between folders on different systems.
  • Transfer resume options for interrupted file transfers.
  • Advanced filtering options to only see the files you need.

Downloading and Installing WinSCP

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Installing WinSCP on Microsoft Windows

The WinSCP FTP client can be downloaded from the WinSCP website.

If you've installed programs on Windows before, then there will be no surprises when you install WinSCP.

Installation:

  1. Click the Installation package to download the installation files to your default download directory.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file to open the installation package.
  3. Accept the license agreement and default installation option.
  4. Click the Finish button at the end of the installation and WinSCP will launch automatically.

Connecting and Transferring Files with WinSCP

WinSCP has made it simple to connect to your FTP server. To get started, you need only to master two things:

  • The Site Manager
  • The File Manager

The Site Manager

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Using the Site Manager to connect to your ExaVault FTP server in WinSCP

The Site Manager window appears when you first open WinSCP.

You'll need to add connection information to the Site Manager to connect to your FTP server:

  • The protocol you want to use to connect. ExaVault supports both FTP and SFTP connections. ExaVault does not support SCP or WebDav connections.
  • Your ExaVault FTP server (host) name.
  • Use port 22 to use Secure FTP.
  • Your user name.
  • Your password.

Here is what the connection to your ExaVault account might look like:

  • Protocol: SFTP
  • Address: bobsmith.exavault.com
  • Username: bobsmith
  • Password: * (be careful about handing these out!)
  • Port: 22

When you are all done, you can either click the Save button to save the connection information for future connections, or click Login to get connected immediately to your server.

Confirming Your Host Key

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Accepting the host key when connecting to your ExaVault FTP server in WinSCP

When you first connect to your FTP server, WinSCP will prompt you to accept the provided host key. Accept this key by clicking the Yes button to confirm to WinSCP that the connection is expected and add the key to the list of known hosts.

Disconnecting

You disconnect from your FTP server by selecting Disconnect from the Session menu. WinSCP will also disconnect your session if you close the application.

The File Manager

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Using the File Manager lists in WinSCP

The File Manager is what transfers files. Like most FTP clients, the layout of the File Manager window in WinSCP has two sections:

  • Local List
  • Remote List
Local List

The Local List is on the left-hand side of the screen.

  • This is a view of the files on your computer.
  • The current directory is shown in the title bar just above the files and folders in that directory.
Remote List

The Remote List is on the right-hand side of the screen.

  • This is a view of the files on your FTP server.
  • The current directory is shown in the title bar just above the files and folders in that directory.

Transferring Files

Transferring files is easy: just drag them from one side of the window to the other.

Uploading

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Transferring files to and from your FTP server in WinSCP

To upload files:

  1. Select the file(s) that you want to upload in the local list.
  2. Drag them to the remote list.
Downloading

To download files:

  1. Select the file(s) that you want to download in the remote list.
  2. Drag them to the local list.

WinSCP Special Features

WinSCP includes some extra utilities that can assist in managing your files.

Advanced Filters

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Filtering files and folders using WinSCP

WinSCP allows you to set filters to hide files and/or directories that you don't need to review regularly.

To apply filters:

  1. Click the filter icon button for either the local or remote connection.
  2. Write out the mask that should be applied or click the Edit button to open the advanced filtering options.
  3. Add filters for files and/or directories.
  4. Click the OK button when all filters are set.

WinSCP supports filters for both including and excluding files and directories from the display.

Folder Synchronization

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Synchronizing files and folders using WinSCP

WinSCP includes a tool that allows you to synchronize the files between folders on two separate systems. Using this tool, you can quickly update and match up files between your local computer and your ExaVault account.

To synchronize files:

  1. Navigate and open the folder you want to synchronize on the left-hand panel of the file manager.
  2. Navigate and open the folder you want to synchronize on the right-hand panel of the file manager.
  3. Click the Synchronize button to bring up the Synchronize Options screen.
  4. Verify the Local and Remote directory selections
  5. Select the options you want to use in your synchronization.
  6. Click the OK button to complete the sync process.

Automating File Transfers

WinSCP offers a scripting interface that you can use to automate many operations that it supports, including file transfers, synchronization and other operations

For more information on automating file transfers using WinSCP, visit the WinSCP Guide to Scripting/Automation.

Supported Connection Types

WinSCP supports the following protocols for connecting to your ExaVault account:

  • SFTP
  • FTP

ExaVault does not support the following connection protocols:

  • SCP
  • WebDav
ftp-clients/winscp/00-introduction.txt · Last modified 2019/07/11 11:50 (external edit)