How to Configure Your SFTP Client

Last modified: February 15, 2023


This document details the information required 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. SFTP is not FTP over SSH. Instead, it is an entirely separate protocol.

Supported SFTP clients

cPanel & WHM supports the following SFTP clients:

Configure your SFTP client

Read your chosen client’s documentation for how to set up your SFTP client connection.

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

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

  • 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).

    • 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).

    The SSH user’s private key is encrypted. The system may prompt you to enter the key’s password when you connect via SFTP.

If you cannot connect to your cPanel account via SFTP, open a support ticket with cPanel Technical Support.

Additional Documentation