General Hints

When facing an issue with WinSCP, following resources and hints may help you to resolve the issue yourself:

  • Try to find solution in F.A.Q, in our numerous guides or in this documentation. Use Search box on the top right.
  • If you are getting an error message, check the list of common error messages.
  • Try to find a solution in tens of thousands answered questions on WinSCP support forum. Again, use the Search box on the top right, but navigate to the forum before you do so. – Alternatively, select “Support forum” in the search results.
  • There are hundreds of WinSCP questions answered on Stack Overflow and Super User sites.
  • Make sure you are using the latest version of WinSCP.
  • If some feature of WinSCP is not working as you expect, check the documentation of the respective dialog box (use Help button). You may be missing a configuration option or may not understand what the feature actually does.
  • If you wonder why some feature of WinSCP is or not available (is disabled/grayed), check the documentation of the respective dialog box (use Help button).

Troubleshooting Connection Issues

When you are not able to connect to the server:

  • Make sure you use protocol that the server supports.
  • Read guide for connecting to FTP/SFTP server.
  • Try if you can connect with other clients using the same protocol.
  • Check other F.A.Q. on connection.
  • If you are getting an error message, check the list of common error messages.
  • If the server refuses to accept your connection or drops the connection suddenly, you should better check the server (e.g. its log file) first to find out the reason. Contact the server administrator if you cannot check the server yourself.


Troubleshooting Scripting/Automation Issues

When you are facing issue with scripting/automation:

Troubleshooting Timestamp Issues

When the file timestamps you see in file panels are not what you expect them to be; or synchronization does not work:

When inspecting the session log, look for following entries:

  • Directory listing, including UTC file modification timestamps:
..;D;0;2013-04-24T08:43:23.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1                                
.htaccess;-;33;2004-11-10T20:46:46.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;3                        
commandline.txt;-;9390;2013-04-15T09:01:52.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1                
config.txt;-;4490;2013-04-17T06:31:36.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1                     
contributions.txt;-;1865;2012-08-24T07:08:58.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1              
directory_cache.txt;-;1892;2011-07-30T18:24:52.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1            
dragext.txt;-;4329;2013-04-09T11:50:48.000Z;"" [0];"" [0];rw-rw-rw-;1                    
  • Modification timestamp being set on target file after file transfer (SFTP):
Preserving timestamp [2009-02-26T21:15:50.000Z]


  • Timestamp comparing during synchronization:
Local file 'D:\Documents\wiki\config.txt' [2013-04-24T09:41:04.922Z] [4546] is modified 
comparing to remote file '/home/martinp/httpdocs/wiki/config.txt' [2013-04-17T06:31:36.000Z] [4490]

If this does not help you, and you decide to seek support, make sure you include a complete session log in your report, showing the above entries. Also mention a specific file that demonstrates the problem, what timestamp and behavior do you see; and what did you expect and why.

When you are not able to help yourself

Learn what support you may get to WinSCP.

  1. A winscp.exe always creates a new console that closes when WinSCP finishes.Back
  2. For FTP this is specifically mandated for MLSD command. With obsoleted LIST command, behavior is undefined.Back

Last modified: by martin