How to install OpenSSH client on Windows 10

You can now use OpenSSH on Windows 10 to connect to remote servers using SSH without the need to install third-party tools — Here are two ways to do it.

OpenSSH on Windows 10
OpenSSH on Windows 10

If you’re a network administrator, developer, or someone hosting a website in the cloud, you’ve probably been using tools like Putty on Windows 10 to connect to your server using Secure Shell (SSH), which works fine, but you no longer need to rely on third-party tools as the Fall Creators Update now includes a ported version of OpenSSH.

What’s Secure Shell? In case you’re unfamiliar, SSH is a networking protocol similar to Telnet and FTP that allows you to transmit data from one computer to another, but unlike other protocols, this one transmits information securely using encryption. OpenSSH is a popular app in the Linux community as it allows you to connect and manage a remote server using the SSH protocol as if you’re sitting in front of it.

In this guide, you’ll learn the steps to install OpenSSH on a PC running the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update using the Settings app “Optional features,” and installing the Ubuntu distro.

How to install OpenSSH using Settings

Installing the OpenSSH package directly into Windows 10 allows to use Command Prompt to connect a remote server using SSH as if it was a native component of Windows.

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

  4. Under “Apps & features,” click the Manage optional features link.

    Apps & features settings
    Apps & features settings
  5. Click the Add a feature button.

    Manage optional features on Windows 10
    Manage optional features on Windows 10
  6. Select the OpenSSH Client option.

  7. Click the Install button.

    Install OpenSSH on Windows 10
    Install OpenSSH on Windows 10

Once you’ve completed the steps, the Linux-based OpenSSH (beta) application will install on Windows 10.

You can always start the client by launching a Command Prompt session, and running the ssh command to use OpenSSH.

How to install OpenSSH using Ubuntu

Alternatively, you can install the Ubuntu distro for Windows 10 that already includes OpenSSH. (You’ll be using the same commands using Command Prompt on Windows 10 or using the Ubuntu console, so it doesn’t really matter which method you use.)

Install the Windows Subsystem for Linux

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Windows Features, in the result, and click Turn Windows features on or off.

  3. Check the Windows System for Linux option.

    Windows Subsystem for Linux
    Windows Subsystem for Linux
  4. Click OK.

  5. Click the Restart now button.

After restarting your computer, you can proceed to install Ubuntu on Windows 10.

Install Ubuntu on Windows 10

  1. Open the Microsoft Store.

  2. Search for Ubuntu.

    Ubuntu on the Microsoft Store
    Ubuntu on the Microsoft Store
  3. Click the Install button.

Once you’ve completed the steps, you don’t need to do anything else, because OpenSSH comes pre-installed with Ubuntu. You can launch the tool by launching Ubuntu from the Start menu, and then simply run the ssh command to use OpenSSH.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].