WinSCP streamlines the process of copying, sharing, and managing files between your PC and a remote server. It’s a Windows-based application that supports FTP and SFTP transfer protocols. It has an intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) that simplifies the process of sharing your files. The software is compatible with extensions to improve the functionality and add different commands.

Follow the instructions below, and I’ll show you how to download WinSCP for free on PC.

How to Download WinSCP on PC for Free

  1. Press the Download button on the sidebar, and the official WinSCP download page will open.
  2. Press the Download WinSCP button, and the setup file for the latest version will instantly download to your computer.
  3. Open the file when the download is complete, and the setup wizard will appear.
  4. Choose the option to Install for Users (recommended) or Install for Me Only. The recommended option is ideal if you’re on a connected network so you can move files between multiple computers. Note that this option requires admin access.
  5. Once you have made your choice, accept the License Agreement.
  6. Choose your preferred setup type. I recommend the Typical Installation, but you also have the option to customize the components and features you want to include. After you make your choice, press the Next button.
    WinSCP setup Type
  7. Select an interface style. The options are Commander, which has one panel for the local directory and one panel for the remote directory, keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop capabilities between the two panels. The second option is Explorer, which only has the remote directory, basic keyboard shortcuts, and drag-and-drop capabilities. Make your choice and press Next.
  8. Press the Install button, and WinSCP will install on your computer.
  9. When the process is done, press the Finish button, and WinSPC will launch on your computer.

How to Uninstall WinSCP from a PC

If you finished transferring files or WinSCP isn’t the right FTP and SFTP for your needs, it can be uninstalled in a few easy steps.

  1. Type Add or Remove Programs in the Windows search bar and press the Enter key.
  2. Locate WinSCP in the list of installed programs and press Uninstall.
    uninstall WinSCP
  3. Confirm that you want to delete the program, and the Windows uninstallation tool will remove it from your PC.

If you’re still looking for FTP and SFTP software to move files to a remote server, check out the free alternatives below.

WinSCP Overview

WinSCP, which stands for Windows Secure Copy Protocol, is an open-source platform for transferring files from a Windows computer to a remote server. While the main function is to transfer files using FTP, it also supports SFTP, WebDAV, Amazon S3, and SCP protocols.

WinSCP Protocol options

Choose your preferred file protocol type

There are two interface options:

  1. Explorer: This view shows the files on the remote server. You can drag and drop files from your PC to the server panel to begin a transfer.
  2. Commander: You’ll get a more comprehensive view of the files on both your PC and the remote server. You can drag files from one panel to the other to begin a transfer.

The Explorer view is better for new users as it’s easier to use and most of the advanced options are out of sight in drop-down menus. The Commander view is more suited for network administrators or people that are frequently moving files back and forth. It also has a wider range of keyboard shortcuts than the Explorer view.

WinSCP Single Panel

The Explorer single panel interface

I used both interfaces, and they were easy to use. The transfer speeds were good, and I didn’t have any connection issues that affected the transfer.

WinSCP Features

WinSCP has multiple options for securing the transfer between the two computers. The main option is a Secure Shell Protocol (SSH), although you can opt for SCP or an SFTP if you prefer.

Editing Access to the Remote Server

WinSCP has a text editor that gives you access to text files on both the local and remote servers. You can also get basic control of the remote console, so you can delete programs, make changes to the settings, and view files.

Automate the Transfer

You can upload scripts to automate certain actions. Some of the options include scheduling transfers, converting scripts from one transfer protocol to another, creating bandwidth or size limits to restrict future transfers.

Sync Changes Between Devices

To ensure that the files are synchronized between the remote server and your local desktop, it is important to keep them updated. When you make modifications to a file on the remote server, WinSCP will automatically apply those changes to the corresponding file on your PC.

Third-Party Integrations

You can expand the power of WinSCP by integrating it with other tools. Some of the most popular options are:

  • PuTTY: An open-source terminal emulator that encrypts and secures file transfers.
  • External Editor: There are multiple text editors that are compatible with WinSCP, including Adobe Dreamweaver, Visual Studio Code, Atom, Notepad++, and more.
  • Password Manager: You can integrate your password manager, such as Dashlane and 1Password with WinSCP to manage your passwords and login details on both your local and remote servers.

Free Alternatives to WinSCP

  • FileZilla: The open-source FTP client works with multiple protocols for seamless transfers between local and remote servers. It has an intuitive interface that makes it easy to view and transfer files on both devices.
  • CrossFTP: Transfer files quickly and securely with FTP, FTPS, and SFTP protocols. The software allows for site-to-site sharing, sync browsers between devices, and multi-tab navigation.


Is WinSCP free?

Yes! WinSCP is an open-source software licensed with the free GNU General Public License. Follow the instructions above and I’ll show you how to safely download it to your computer.

Is WinSCP secure?

As an open-source software, WinSCP is clean of all viruses, Trojans, malware, and other malicious software. All transfers are secured with SSH or FTP protocols to ensure that no one can view or steal your files while in transit.

However, it’s important to note that it doesn’t have a virus and malware checker. So if your local computer has a virus, it can transfer through the secure portal and infect the remote server.

Does WinSCP work with scripts?

Yes, there are several customization options that make it easy to work with WinSCP. You can add scripts to automate the transfer process. This includes setting a schedule, adding file size limits, changing transfer protocols, and more. 
Download WinSCP now!