WinSCP can store its configuration both to Windows registry and INI file. When installed, the configuration is stored by default into the registry. Portable versions use by default an INI file (if possible). To switch the storage see Storage page of Preferences window.
Note that configuration of restrictions and enforcements by administrator, is always stored in Windows registry.
- Removing Configuration
- Exporting/Backing up the Configuration
- Importing/Restoring Configuration
- Transferring the Configuration
- Registry Key
- INI File Location
- Auto-selecting Storage
- Checking What Store Is in Use
- Portable Configuration
- Pre-configuring WinSCP
You can clean up all configuration data stored on your machine.
To export/back up your configuration, go to Tools > Export/Backup configuration on Login dialog.
In older versions of WinSCP, use Export button on Preferences dialog.
To import/restore the configuration, go to Tools > Import/Restore configuration on Login dialog.
If you use registry as configuration storage, the configuration is stored under following key.
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Martin Prikryl\WinSCP 2]
When loading configuration, WinSCP first looks for an INI file in the directory, where WinSCP executable is stored in. The INI file needs to have an
.ini extension and the same name as the executable (i.e.
WinSCP.ini). If INI file in not found there, WinSCP looks to application data directory of your user profile, i.e. to
When you opt to use INI file for the first time, WinSCP tries to write it to directory, where WinSCP executable is stored in. If the directory is not writable, INI file is stored to application data directory of your user profile.
Particularly when using shared INI file, you can set read-only attribute to the INI file to prevent WinSCP from overwriting the file.
When INI file directory or the file itself is not writable (for example when the INI file is in
Program Files folder or when it is explicitly set read-only), WinSCP does not preserve its state when exiting. No error message is displayed. Only when you explicitly change configuration (such as when you save site, or submit Preferences dialog), an error is shown. You can make WinSCP overwrite a read-only INI file by holding
Shift key, while closing or submitting Preferences dialog.
On startup, WinSCP first looks for an INI file in the directory, where WinSCP executable is stored in;1 and then in the user profile directory. If it does not find INI file in either location, it looks for presence of its key in registry (The key is created by installer, so installed WinSCP uses registry by default). If it does not find that either, it creates an empty INI file in the directory, where WinSCP executable is stored in. If that directory is not writable, it creates an empty INI file in user profile directory.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------- WinSCP Version 5.15.3 (Build 9730) (OS 10.0.18362 - Windows 10 Enterprise) Configuration: HKCU\Software\Martin Prikryl\WinSCP 2\ Log level: Normal Local account: INTRANET\martin
Configuration shows either
HKCU Windows registry key or a path to an INI file. When Windows registry configuration storage is in use, it is also important under what Windows account is WinSCP running, to know what account the
HKCU refers to. For that refer to
Local account tag.
Learn how to configure WinSCP for portable use.
Learn how to distribute pre-configured version of WinSCP.