Your browser does not allow storing cookies. We recommend enabling them.

How to Install PuTTY on Windows

This page provides detailed instructions for installing PuTTY on Windows 10, 8, or 7. However, installation should be very similar on other versions of Windows as well.

Download installation package

First you need to obtain a copy of the installation package (e.g., putty-<version>-installer.msi). If you have a 64-bit computer, it is recommended that you install the 64-bit version putty-64bit-<version>-installer.msi. Almost any computer bought after 2015 has a 64-bit processor, except for the very cheapest ones. Many high-end computers sold several years before that. If you don't know or don't care, it is always safe to use the 32-bit version (putty-<version>-installer.msi).

You can download the installer here.

Starting the installer

On Windows 10, the Edge browser offers to run the installer when the download is complete. Just click to install the software.

On older versions of Windows, you may need to run the installer manually. 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 file name. A detailed description can be found here. Note, however, that the installation has to be performed with Administrator rights (either using the Administrator account or your personal account must have Administrator permissions).

Occasionally, some people have problems installing MSI files. The video here may help.

Configuring and installing

When the installer starts, it shows the welcome screen. Just click Next.

PuTTY installer has started

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

Putty install asks destination folder

Then, the installer asks to select product features to install. You probably 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.

Selecting installation options for PuTTY installer on Windows 7, 8, 10

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


Running PuTTY

Once installation successfully completed, you should test to make sure that PuTTY runs correctly and you can find the program. If you installed a shortcut on the 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, you should get a window with the title PuTTY Configuration with a field Host Name in the upper middle part. Try entering a host name to connect to in that field, and click Open.

Initial Window with Configuration, Host Name, and Profiles

How to get a server

An SSH client is intended to be used for connecting to an SSH server. Since you hare installing one, you presumably have a server to connect. The server may be at your university, work, or home. You need a host name (e.g., or IP address (e.g., to connect to. Enter the host name or IP address in the Host Name field.

If you don't have a server but want one, try installing Tectia SSH Server for Windows or IBM mainframes or OpenSSH on Linux.

Other SSH clients

While PuTTY is a good client, it is rather old. Its user interface is very old-fashioned and it does not provide a graphical interface for transferring files. For alternatives, see other SSH clients.


For further tutorials, see:




What to read next:

  • Reduce Secure Shell risk. Get to know the NIST 7966.

    The NISTIR 7966 guideline from the Computer Security Division of NIST is a direct call to action for organizations regardless of industry and is a mandate for the US Federal government.
    Download now
  • ISACA Practitioner Guide for SSH

    With contributions from practitioners, specialists and SSH.COM experts, the ISACA “SSH: Practitioner Considerations” guide is vital best practice from the compliance and audit community.
    Download now