What is SFTP?
SFTP (which stands for SSH File Transfer Protocol) is a commonly used Secure File Transfer Protocol among IT folks and developers, specializing in efficient integration and automation processes. A unique feature of the protocol is its ability to enable remote access and file transfer within or between organizations, including the accessing, transferring and managing of files over a reliable data stream.
What does "mapping a drive" mean?
Through the process of drive mapping, the user can benefit from a shortcut to access a network resource, through the assignment of a drive letter to a remote share. The resource is stored on a seperate device, while behaving like any other local hard drive file. To access it, you can simply select a local drive from Windows Explorer and the resource will appear in My Computer and Windows Explorer.
Why should I map SFTP as a drive on Windows 11?
By mapping SFTP as a drive, you can work with a remote file system as if it were a local disk drive, obtaining access to it as if it were already saved to your computer. This eliminates the tedious work pertaining to files stored on remote servers.
Don't have an SFTP server? Set one up quickly with SFTP To Go:
- Install the latest version of WinFsp. Download the .msi file from here and then open it to install.
- Install the latest version of SSHFS-Win. Download the .msi file that is compatible with your Windows installation (32 or 64 bit) and then open it to install.
- We also recommend installing the SSHFS-Win manager. It lets you easily manage one or more connections as well as create a connection using private/public key authentication. Download and run the .exe file from here to install.
Now that you’ve laid out the required foundation, you can begin to map your SFTP servers as Windows drives.
If you haven’t installed SSHFS-Win Manager yet, follow these steps to map your SFTP server using user/password authentication:
- Open your Windows Explorer and right click
2. Click Map network drive... and in the dialog that opens, choose your drive letter.
3. In the folder input, type your user name and host name in the following pattern:
Finish and in the next dialog enter your password.
5. The new drive letter should now show up in your Windows Explorer and you can use it to access your SFTP server.
If you’d like to use private/public key authentication, we recommend following these steps with SSHFS-Win Manager:
- Open SSHFS-Win manager and add a new connection by clicking
Add Connection, entering all of the required connection details. Then, click
2. Click the connection to start it.
3. If the connection doesn’t start and there are no error messages, click
Settings and ensure that the path to SSHFS Binary is set correctly. Repeat this step again to try the connection again.
Unmapping SFTP on Windows
- Open your Windows Explorer.
- Right click your mapped drive and click
If you’ve made it this far, then all the steps have been completed and you can rest your eyes! Fairly easy, right? Now go on and enjoy your easy access to files hosted on SFTP servers!