I require one of my client to connect to a SFTP server using Windows File Explorer.

The Explorer has an option to connect to a FTP server but not a SFTP server. In the Add new network connection wizard, typing sftp:// followed by the IP returns an alert that the URL format is not correct. However, I can type in ftp://. That works but is not correct for the scenario.

After doing some research, I found in Windows Firewall you can set a new rule to allow connections to port 22, which is for SFTP. But that didn't work either.

I know I can use third party software but the client's computer have some strict Infosec policies, which can involve a lot of pointy heads. That's a no-no.

Anyway I can help the client to connect to the server using the Explorer itself?

EDIT - The clients computer is on Windows 10

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    While one might assume by the names that FTP and SFTP are similar, they are actually very different. Microsoft only recently added OpenSSH as an optional feature. It does include sftp.exe , but I expect it only works in Powershell or command prompt. Apr 16, 2020 at 1:37

5 Answers 5


SFTP is supported on the command-line only via the Win32-OpenSSH sftp.exe, which is built-in on Windows 10 version 1803 or newer.

sftp.exe user@example.com

But the GUI File Explorer does not support it. A thirdparty software like my WinSCP is currently the only way.

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    I was able to get started with this.
    – arjun
    Apr 23, 2020 at 7:13
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    Went ahead and donated because this just saved me probably about an hour :) Jan 23 at 18:41

Using WinFsp and SSHFS-Win together you can map network drives over shtp to windows explorer.

Additionally you can use sshfs-win-manager, a GUI tool to manage your connections

Hope that helps.

File Explorer... File Explorer

sshfs-win-manager sshfs-win-manager


You can use WinSCP(it's free and open source) . It allows graphical navigation in an explorer like view. https://winscp.net/eng/download.php


You can use "SFTP Drive"! It's very easy and it supports Windows File Explorer https://www.nsoftware.com/sftp/drive/download.aspx

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    While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. - From Review Jan 25 at 14:37

In addition to WINSCP, there was an alpha from quite a few years back which seems to work well, SWISH: http://www.swish-sftp.org/

It is free, however it seems to not be very active on github etc, so if anyone wants to contrib, it does have potential as it does integrate with the Windows Explorer.

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