How to Configure Your SFTP Client Print

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This document provides the information to connect to your cPanel account via SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol or Secure File Transfer Protocol). SFTP provides file access, transfer, and management tools that resemble FTP through a secure SSH connection. However, SFTP is not merely FTP over SSH. Instead, it is an entirely separate protocol.

For more information about SFTP, read the SFTP Wikipedia article.


If you do not already have an SFTP client, you can download Cyberduck™ for evaluation purposes.

Configure your SFTP client

SFTP clients typically require the following information to connect to a server:

  • Hostname — The server’s hostname (for example,

  • SSH port number — The port number on which sshd listens (for example, 22).

  • Security — Whether the client combines FTP and SFTP functionality.

  • Username — The SSH username that the client uses to connect to the server. The username can be a valid cPanel account username or the root user.


    You cannot use an FTP account to connect via SFTP.


  • Password — The SSH user’s password.

  • Private Key — The SSH user’s private key. This is the absolute path to a private key on your local computer (for example, c:\data\id_dsa).


    You may see a warning that the server’s host key is unknown. To ensure that this message does not display again, accept the key and store it on your local computer.

    • cPanel users can generate and download a private key via cPanel’s SSH Access interface (cPanel >> Home >> Security >> SSH Access).
    • The root user can generate and download a private key via WHM’s Manage root’s SSH Keys interface (WHM >> Home >> Security Center >> Manage root’s SSH Keys).

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