To ease assembling the URL, you can have WinSCP generate it for you.
<protocol> :// [ <username> [ : <password> ] [ ; <advanced> ] @ ] <host> [ : <port> ] /
The only mandatory part is
host. The host can either be a host name (such as
example.com), an IPv4 address (such as
127.0.0.1) or an IPv6 address surrounded by square brackets (such as
You should also always explicitly specify a protocol (
s3, for FTP over implicit TLS/SSL use
ftps, for FTP over explicit TLS/SSL use
ftpes, for WebDAV use
http, for WebDAV over TLS/SSL use
https).1 For all protocols WinSCP-specific alternative is supported, with
Most URL’s will include also
port needs to be specified only, when it differs from the default port for the protocol (22 for
scp, 21 for
ftpes, 990 for implicit
ftps, 80 for
http and 443 for
A session URL can optionally set any advanced session settings using a syntax based on raw site settings.
Providing advanced settings in the session URL is mainly useful, if you need to provide all session settings using URL only, such as using a hyperlink on a web page; or when you want to serialize all session settings into a single “connection string”, such as when passing the current setting settings to a WinSCP extension.
A syntax to serialize raw site settings is
;x-name1=value1;x-name2=value2 (inserted after username and password).
For example to use an HTTP proxy server
proxy, use the following URL:
To have WinSCP generate a session URL with the advanced settings, check Advanced settings on Generate session URL/code dialog. To serialize all session settings for a WinSCP extension, use
There’s a special syntax to include an expected SSH host key fingerprint in SFTP/SCP URL among advanced site settings:
For security reasons, fingerprint provided in session URL does not override any fingerprint already cached on the machine. This for instance differs from behavior, when fingerprint is provided using
-hostkey switch of
open command in scripting.
Format of the fingerprint for URL2 somewhat differs from format used in other WinSCP features (
-hostkey switch of
open command in scripting for instance). To convert WinSCP fingerprint format to URL format:
- Drop bit count part (the number after
- Replace remaining space and all colons (
:) with a dash sign (
For example WinSCP fingerprint
ssh-rsa 2048 ee:f3:c1:59:4d:b4:e2:c5:da:22:3a:6e:97:a0:28:29 converts to
Special characters (like
@ in username, see example below) have to be encoded using
%XX syntax, where
XX is hexadecimal UTF-8 code.3
Common special characters are:
Note that when specifying session URL on command-line, you cannot use characters that have special meaning on Windows command-line, just as with any other command-line argument. Such characters include
< (less-than sign),
> (greater-than sign),
" (double-quote). To escape these characters, you can wrap whole session URL to double-quotes (
") or encode the characters as shown above.
Further, in Windows batch files,
% (percent sign) needs to be doubled to be used correctly, even when the sign is itself used to encode other special characters. For example, to use
@ in a username, specify
You can have WinSCP generate correct URL for all kinds of uses (command-line, script or batch file).
sftp://martin:firstname.lastname@example.org/ sftp://email@example.com:2222/ ftp://127.0.0.1:2121/ ftp://[2001:db8:85a3:8d3:1319:8a2e:370:7348]:2121/ sftp://martin;firstname.lastname@example.org/ http://email@example.com/dav/
You can use custom command pattern
!S to pass a session URL to other processes.