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Migrate PuTTY saved sessions

PuTTY stores its session information in the registry, and there’s no function in PuTTY itself to import/export sessions. This makes moving to a new computer a little sticky. I did some googling and whittled down the documentation for storing configuration in a file into a few steps:

  1. On the old computer, open up a command prompt (not cygwin), and run:

    regedit /ea new.reg HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\SimonTatham\PuTTY

  2. Copy new.reg onto the new computer
  3. On the new computer, open up a command prompt (not cygwin), and run:
    regedit /s new.reg



  1. Joshua Bloom wrote:

    Hey Ryan, This guy has hacked Putty to store its settings in the filesystem. It creates a folder .putty and stores each of your saved sessions in a separate text file. You can even duplicate and update the files with an editor if you’ve got a change to make across all your sessions.


    Thursday, March 29, 2007 at 1:27 pm | Permalink
  2. shahrul wrote:

    salute to you my brother…it’s work….im having hundreds of saving session…all migrated..yahooooooooo

    Monday, August 13, 2007 at 12:15 am | Permalink
  3. Tracy Sedgwick wrote:

    Thanks so v. v. much – you just saved me lot of time not having to recreate all my saved sessions

    Friday, March 28, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink
  4. Ken Woodward wrote:

    Thanks Ryan.
    That was very helpful!

    Saturday, May 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm | Permalink
  5. Shan Shanmuganathan wrote:

    Thank you. Made my life easier.

    Friday, June 27, 2008 at 12:50 pm | Permalink
  6. Mahesh wrote:

    Saved me lots many hours :). Thanks mate

    Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 3:20 pm | Permalink
  7. Narendra wrote:

    You can add the reg file more easily by right click the merge option

    Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  8. Satheesh Kumar wrote:

    That works…Thanks

    Sunday, August 3, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
  9. Sachin Pendse wrote:

    Saved my time as well.

    Sachin Pendse

    Monday, June 1, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink
  10. Vlad wrote:

    Beautiful. Thanks a bunch !

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 8:23 am | Permalink
  11. Joe Shelby wrote:

    tragically, while this works for moving from one machine to another, it doesn’t work if you end up having to create a new account on the same machine thanks to your IT guys doing a domain switch. the binary data in the registry is useless to me.

    Friday, August 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Permalink
  12. Juank wrote:

    Hi Buddy. It was so easy.
    Thanks a lot.

    Friday, August 21, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Permalink
  13. jim wrote:

    so slick. thanks a bunch. worked like a champ!

    Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Permalink
  14. Charles wrote:

    So easy. Thanks for saving me an hour of typing

    Monday, January 25, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  15. andy wrote:


    Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 4:05 am | Permalink
  16. carlox wrote:

    Thanks man, You really saved us time

    Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Permalink
  17. Mano wrote:

    Great !!!!!!!!!!!

    Thursday, March 25, 2010 at 11:22 am | Permalink
  18. evt wrote:

    Awesome!!! Restores faith in the mankind along with the settings. Thanks Ryan, many hugs and kisses.

    Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Permalink
  19. Jose wrote:

    Worked like a charm!
    (Although putty should save its config to a file by default…)

    Monday, May 17, 2010 at 6:55 pm | Permalink
  20. sa wrote:

    That worked man ..!!

    Thursday, July 15, 2010 at 1:39 am | Permalink
  21. RJ wrote:

    Me too: Awesome!!! Restores faith in the mankind along with the settings. Thanks Ryan.

    But no “hugs and kisses.”, just .. You the man !! :)

    Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Permalink
  22. Craig A wrote:

    Thanks very much for this. It works for copying between Windows user profiles too.

    Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 11:19 am | Permalink
  23. SB wrote:

    Excellent… it works…Nothing to be scared abt :)

    Thursday, August 19, 2010 at 1:16 am | Permalink
  24. sandy wrote:

    Ahhh… that saves my time too… it worked, thanks mate!!!

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010 at 5:32 am | Permalink
  25. Charan wrote:

    It worked picture perfect mate…
    Thanks a lot for the info…


    Friday, November 26, 2010 at 4:55 am | Permalink
  26. Hank wrote:

    Thank you for this article, it was immensively helpful.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 9:34 am | Permalink
  27. Sandro Tavella wrote:

    it’s possible “migrate” from linux to w$

    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 11:16 am | Permalink
  28. JW wrote:

    Thank you. It was very helpful.

    Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 10:13 am | Permalink
  29. Wong wrote:

    It doesn’t work, seen this method all over the place. It only works if you have an INSTALLABLE version of putty. What about the one that is a standalone .exe and there is no Simon folder anywhere in the registry?

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 5:25 am | Permalink
  30. Renaud Claeys wrote:

    Helpful :-) Thanks

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012 at 3:16 am | Permalink
  31. Ryan Ash wrote:

    Thanks…a big time saver

    Thursday, December 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink
  32. Ross Carver wrote:

    Excellent – saved me the frustration of realizing again that technology doesn’t always save you time!


    Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:00 am | Permalink

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Vibrant Journey » PuTTY Migration on Thursday, April 12, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    […] It is always nice to have 24hour support available online. I’m migrating to a new computer and needed to migrate my PuTTY (an SSH client) configuration. There is no built in way to do it, but you can get the settings out of the registry. Ryan’s Tech Blog has the short list of instructions. […]

  2. Big Bill's Rantings » Migrate PuTTY saved sessions on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 12:08 pm

    […] I was moving Things around on my Work Laptop. Things like VMWare Sessions/Operating Systems and Pieces to/from VMWare Sessions. When I came across the PuTTY Software and decided to move it. I had several different session configurations set up in PuTTY. How was I to move all of those since they are kept in the registry and now way to export them in PuTTY?? By hand?? Surely someone has come across this before. Remember, Google is your friend. Someone had. Thanks Ryan who runs Ryan’s Tech Blog. Who had this to say: Migrate PuTTY saved sessions […]

  3. […] но PuTTY пази настройките в регистрито. Намерик кратко описание, но не знам защо командата за експорт не свърши работа […]

  4. […] Original Beschreibung (englisch) von Ryan’s Tech Blog […]

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    […] stored its settings in the registry, and there is no builtin import/export functionality. Thanks to Ryan’s Tech Blog I now have a simple solution to the […]

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