How to Install PuTTY SSH for Windows

For security reasons, PuTTY has replaced Secure Shell SSH for Windows as the supported method of remote access. PuTTY is a free implementation of SSH and Telnet for Windows and Unix platforms, along with an xterm terminal emulator.

Extract and Configure PuTTY

Step 1

Open the Windows Explorer (right-click on the Windows logo in the bottom left corner), navigate to the Downloads directory (or wherever you saved the installer), and double-click on the .zip file name. Then double-click on the .exe file contained inside.

Note: The installation has to be performed with Administrator rights (either using the Administrator account on your personal account must have Administrator permissions).

Step 2

When the installer starts, it shows the welcome screen. Click Next.

PuTTY Welcome Screen
PuTTY Welcome Screen

Step 3

The installer then asks for the Destination folder in which to install the software. Almost always, it is best to use the default value. Click Next.

Putty Destination location
Putty Destination location

Step 4

Then, the installer asks to select product features to install. You may want to add a shortcut on the desktop if you expect to use the software frequently. All the other options generally should be enabled. When ready, click Install.

PuTTY options
PuTTY options

Step 5

When the installation has completed successfully, it should show a Completed screen. Click Finish to exit the installer.

PuTTY Finish Screen
PuTTY Finish Screen

Run PuTTY

Once installation is successfully completed, you should test to make sure that PuTTY runs correctly and you can find the program. If you installed a shortcut on your desktop, you should be able to find the icon for PuTTY. Try (double-)clicking on the icon. It should start the software.

Otherwise, you should be able to find the software from the Windows Start menu in the bottom left corner of the screen. The menu looks different in each version of Windows. On Windows 10, scroll down until you see PuTTY. Open the group and select PuTTY.

When the software starts, a window titled PuTTY Configuration should open. This window has a configuration pane on the left, a Host Name (or IP address) field and other options in the middle, and a pane for saving session profiles in the lower right area.

For simple use, enter the domain name of the host you want to connect to in the Host Name field and click Open (or press Enter). For the Mason Cluster, use mason.gmu.edu.

PuTTY Configuration

More Information

For information on how to connect to the Mason Cluster, visit webdev.gmu.edu/uploading-files-with-putty/.

For information on how to use the PuTTY Terminal on Windows visit ssh.com/ssh/putty/windows/.

View the official PuTTY documentation page.

View the official PuTTY FAQs page.