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Is there a program available for Vista, that allows me to set up a folder as an SFTP connection to a remote server?

The use case is to have a folder on my desktop, where I can drag/drop/edit files and have my remote location be updated automatically.

I've googled this to no avail. Thanks!

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See also "Keep ftp folder sync’d with windows folder" at… – Arjan Oct 31 '09 at 13:05
win-sshfs is decent, but doesn't automatically reconnect when the connection is broken. – endolith Mar 11 '14 at 13:49
up vote 5 down vote accepted

ExpanDrive will let you do this. It has a 30-day trial, but requires a purchase ($39.95) after the 30 days.

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This is just what I was looking for. Thanks. – bigmattyh Oct 17 '09 at 20:21

NetDrive is free for home use and fulfills all your requirements. See its review in lifehacker.

  • Mounts remote storage as a local hard disk on your PC
  • Data transfer by drag and drop files in windows explorer
  • Able to run files (video, audio and any other .exe files)
  • Mounts drive automatically when Windows starts.
  • Operating System : Windows 2000, XP, Vista, 7, 2003/2008 (32/64bit)


Open Source alternative:

win-sshfs is a new open-source project that mounts SSHFS/SFTP as a network drive :

SSH(SFTP) filesystem made using Dokan and SSH.NET library. It allows you to mount remote computers via SFTP protocol like windows network drives.

Commercial alternatives:

For example, WebDrive ($59.95), reviewed here:

WebDrive integrates FTP, WebDAV, SFTP or FrontPage servers into the Windows desktop by making your web server appear as a network drive.


Another option is ExpanDrive ($39.95) :

With ExpanDrive, you can securely access any remote file server directly from Explorer, or even the command line. No need to open a separate SFTP client just for file transfer. ExpanDrive extends the way all applications on your PC can access data.


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"except for sftp" I think SFTP was kinda the whole point. – Joel Coehoorn Oct 15 '09 at 19:20
According to LifeHacker, NetDrive does SFTP: – Snark Oct 15 '09 at 21:35
Excellent news for the OP (but isn't mentioned on the netdrive website). I've therefore edited my answer. – harrymc Oct 16 '09 at 6:08
I'm going to check this out after my trial of ExpanDrive expires. Thanks! – bigmattyh Oct 17 '09 at 20:22
NetDrive is not compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows. – endolith May 25 '10 at 19:25

JFYI: we have made SFTP Net Drive free application available. It lets you mount the remote SFTP folder as a local disk with a drive letter.

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Haven't used it (I'm not on Windows), but looks nice. – Arjan May 3 '11 at 11:53
I have been using this solution for several weeks now... it is exactly what I think a lot of people are looking for. – Russell S. Pierce Jul 14 '12 at 5:54
Unfortunately Windows 7 does not remember my thumbnails for these drives, so it spends lots of time and bandwidth generating them every time I visit any folder. Is there a way to fix this? What effect do the "fixed" and "removable" options have? – endolith Dec 7 '13 at 1:51
There's no way to "fix" it because this is not a bug. Explorer reads thumbnails by design and so far nobody knows how to stop it from doing so. Network drive type should reduce the number of reads. – Eugene Mayevski 'EldoS Dec 7 '13 at 9:57

I thought FUSE would be helpful, but the Windows section claims:

Is it really true that there are no FUSE port for Windows? If anyone knows of one add it to this list, please.

So, if anyone here knows about it: edit that page!

However, that very same Windows section does list other options, some of which apparently "fall back to implementing a FUSE compatibility layer on top of FIFS which implements a SMB server to provide access to other filesystems". I doubt it's useful, but if all else fails then looking at that list might help. It seems that Dokan might be a good FUSE-like alternative for Windows, especially for SSH/SFTP.

(And, when really taking things to extremes, one could even use DeleGate as a FTP-to-SFTP gateway, just in case one finds something that only supports FTP...)

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There is a new open source project named "win-sshfs" that uses Dokan as backend. works pretty well for me: .. cannot add this as an answer yet. – Kaii Jul 7 '12 at 21:45

I might be mistaking it for FTPS (I always confuse the two), but I believe this capability is built into windows explorer. Just open a folder window and type an ftp url (including secure items) into an address bar. Something like this:


You should be able to make a normal windows folder shortcut to that location as well. If you leave off the username and password it should prompt you.

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DirectNet Drive is free for home use.

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protected by nhinkle Apr 26 '11 at 2:34

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