How do I tell if Putty already knows about and has cached credentials for specific ssh servers?

Another way to ask this question is what is the Windows/Putty equivalent of a unix/ssh known_hosts file?


3 Answers 3


Putty stores known hosts under a registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SoftWare\SimonTatham\PuTTY\SshHostKeys.

  • 4
    In my case, the path was different. However, just search for the registry key(s) "SshHostKeys" Aug 13, 2019 at 8:10

So in windows known_hosts for PuTTY is SshHostKeys.

that is stored at the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\SshHostKeys location. To reach that location, the Registry Editor supposed to be used.

  • go to start - look for regedit
  • then you will see all the directories on the left pane under computer
  • just like this image says go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\SshHostKeys location - location
  • then you can modify like you wish Known host options
  • If needed you can check the content in the SshHostKeys file using this command REG QUERY HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\SshHostKeys in PowerShell

And then the cache will be cleared. Will be everything new again for that particular entry


As was mentioned before Putty stores SSH host keys in registry [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\SshHostKeys].

I've written about how to copy SSH host keys between different users/machines here http://isbyr.com/copy-putty-ssh-hosts-keys-different-usersmachines-windows/

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