Apart from various contributions, WinSCP is mostly a one-man project. The man is me, Martin Prikryl.
The following is a list of project milestones. See also version history.
I started the first work on the project in about March 2000, while I was working in the IT department of University of Economics in Prague. The temporary name “WinSCP” (Windows Secure CoPy) was chosen until a nicer name was thought of (which never actually happened).
WinSCP was probably the first GUI file transfer client for SSH ever (at least on Microsoft Windows platform).
Original idea came from Jan Havlicek. In fact he wanted the tool a great deal. And he bothered me for weeks until I finally decided to implement it for him, without actually needing it myself beforehand. He was also the first one who spread the word about WinSCP on the Internet, before the project pages were set up.
During late 2000 distribution of the first releases of WinSCP 1.0 was started. The first WinSCP site was set up in October 2000. It was designed by Kateřina Šrámková.
Version 1.0 supported the SCP protocol over SSH-1 only. There were several publicly available builds of the 1.0 release. Beside this there was never another release of the 1.x series.
In addition to the English version, there was also a Czech one. It made 1.0 the only localized version for years.
See screenshots and original release announcement on cz.comp.linux (in Czech).
As version 1.0 was my first application of the kind, it was terribly designed, and consequently it was not worth extending. So eventually, after a break, when I decided to continue with the project, I needed to start from scratch. The results of my work were released in October 2001 as version 2.0 beta.
This version introduced SSH-2, public key authentication, alternative Explorer interface and many other features.
It took me more than one year before I felt 2.x series mature enough to release the first non-beta version, 2.2, in January 2003.
See original release announcement on cz.comp.linux (in Czech).
In June 2003 version 3.0 was released, introducing support for the alternative to SCP, the SFTP protocol. Over time it evolved from the alternative to the primary protocol. Despite this, the well-established name “WinSCP” was preserved.
After leaving the University, I have decided to move WinSCP project from the University server to SourceForge.
While WinSCP was in general an open-source project since its beginning, it was only with its migration to SourceForge that it turned into a true open-source by adopting the GPL license.
Since September 2003, WinSCP was also available as a plugin to the FAR file manager (discontinued).
Version 3.4 released in September 2003 was the first localized version since 1.0. There were Czech, Japanese, Russian and Spanish translations. Many other translations were introduced in later versions.
New Site Design
Thanks to Brandon Blackmoor WinSCP site got new design in December 2004. It was in use for 13 years, until January 2018.
In March 2005 the WinSCP site moved the second time. The new address is
winscp.net and the site is partly hosted on TeamForge. File downloads and other features are still hosted on SourceForge.
After several unsuccessful attempts to find someone to write down some documentation for WinSCP, I have decided to go Wiki-way. With some help from the community, I finished it in May 2005.
In April 2007 version 4.0 was released, introducing support for the old insecure FTP protocol to finally cover all file transfer needs of WinSCP users. FTP over TLS/SSL support was added in February 2009 in version 4.2.
Altap Salamander Plugin
After few years of preparations, WinSCP is also available as a plugin to the Altap Salamander file manager.
Version 5.0 turned WinSCP into fully Unicode application allowing management of remote sites of unlimited languages.
Starting with versions 5.2/5.5, WinSCP’s look was gradually updated, including brand new toolbar icons.
The next addition to collection of supported protocols, WebDAV, was introduced in version 5.6.
The latest addition to collection of supported protocols, S3, was introduced in version 5.12.
New Site Design
WinSCP site got new responsive design.
Since 6.0, WinSCP can serve as two-panel local file manager, in addition to still being able to manage remote files.
In this version, WinSCP also got new graphics.