Executables winscp.exe and winscp.com

WinSCP has two executables:

  • winscp.exe: Main executable, supports both GUI and console operation;
  • winscp.com: Console interface tool, supports console operation only, allows input/output redirection.


This follows two basic executable types of Windows operation system, GUI and console.

Both executables are part of the installation package. Both are as well available for portable use.


The winscp.exe executable is the main one.

What you can do with it:

  • When run, it starts by default in GUI mode, showing the Login dialog;
  • Using the command-line options, it can be started in console mode;
  • It can be used to execute scripts without showing any window (by omitting /console parameter).


The winscp.com executable is a simple tool that internally runs winscp.exe and provides console interface for it. Its primary purpose is scripting.

What you can do with it:

  • Supports console mode only, but allows input/output redirection;
  • When run from another console application (such as standard Windows console/command-line window, i.e. cmd.exe), it inherits its console.1

The .com executable needs the .exe one to operate. It looks for it in the same directory where it is located itself. The .exe must have exactly the same name.

As WinSCP is an Unicode application, you should use a TrueType console font with a full Unicode support, like “Consolas” or “Lucida Console”.


Input/Output Redirection

For input/output redirection use standard operators:

  • > for output redirection;
  • < for input redirection;
  • | for piping.

You can not only redirect normal scripting output and input, but even actual file contents. For that use /stdout and /stdin command-line switches.

You can also use input/output redirection when running winscp.com from another application. For example see Guide to SFTP transfers in .NET. Though for this purpose, consider using WinSCP .NET assembly instead.

  1. winscp.exe /console would pop up in new console window.Back

Last modified: by martin