Backup PuTTY settings and sessions to another copy of PuTTY

How to Back Up and Copy PuTTY Sessions and Settings to Another PC

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PuTTY sessions are stored in the Windows Registry under “SimonTatham”, the developer of PuTTY. We can export these sessions as a Registry Entry .reg file and back them up for safe keeping, or copy to another computer running PuTTY.

Windows Command Prompt

Firstly, make sure that all PuTTY windows are closed.

We can use Windows Command Prompt in administrative mode to easily export keys from the Windows Registry.

In Windows 10, open the Start Menu and type cmd, then right-click on the Command Prompt icon and click Run as Administrator.

How to open Windows command prompt (CMD) in administrative mode

Export PuTTY Settings and Sessions

If you want to export all PuTTY settings including sessions, run:

regedit /e "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\putty.reg" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham

A file putty.reg should now be on your Desktop.

Export PuTTY Sessions Only

If you only want to export PuTTY sessions, run:

regedit /e "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\putty-sessions.reg" HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY\Sessions

A file putty-sessions.reg should now be on your Desktop. (Note that SSH keys are not stored in the registry so you will have to copy these manually if you have any).

Importing PuTTY Settings and Sessions to Another PC

Make sure that PuTTY is closed before importing registry keys.

Simply double-click the .reg file to import it into your registry. It’s that simple!

While You’re Still Here..

I’ve written a few articles and guides related to PuTTY that might be of interest.

Tired of having to enter your Linux password every time you log in via PuTTY? See:

Do you ever get than annoying error “Network Error: Software caused connection abort”. Well, there is a solution!

PuTTY Network Error: Software caused connection abort

Did you know you can use PuTTY to set up an SSH tunnel and then connection to your server with VNC?

Xfce default Desktop via VNC

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3 replies

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D DeWitt
D DeWitt
D DeWitt
1 day ago

Outstanding guide! Thanks for taking the time to put this together and share it with others!

1 month ago

I needed info on putty saved session only migration. worked a treat. Thank you!

Jim Crowley
Jim Crowley
Jim Crowley
10 months ago

I hope you can help….I have been using version .53b for quite some time. However I recently had to download version 73 for use on a Linux server which needed specific puTTY settings. So both versions are now running on my laptop. I also have all sessions running on both versions. HOWEVER…on .53b, using the more command. the file contents are simply displayed on the screen, I press ‘Enter’ and I am returned to the UNIX prompt leaving the file contents displayed. On .73, I connect to same server, type same ‘more’ command for same small file, first the screen is cleared, contents are displayed, I press ‘Enter’, then screen is cleared again and I am returned to UNIX prompt, but contents are not visible anymore.
Just the ‘more’ command syntax I typed. Which setting within .73 controls that?
Or can I transfer all .53b settings over to .73 version?