How to Install OpenSSH Server on Windows 11

This post shows students and new users how to install Windows 11 built-in OpenSSH Server to allow Secure SSH connections.

Windows 11 comes ready with a built-in OpenSSH Server that system administrators can install and enable with few clicks. Windows 11 also comes with a built-in SSH Client installed and ready to connect to any SSH servers available. So, if you need OpenSSH to allow secure connections in Windows environments, you don’t need to go very far.

For those who have worked with OpenSSH Servers in other environments, the Windows version works pretty much the same way.

Installing it is quiet easy, but figuring out how to configure or manage it is were you may run into trouble. The good thing is, out of the box, when started, OpenSSH Server will allow and access connections and provide access to users accounts. There’s no configuration needed to get users to connect.

If you want to implement additional setup, you may need to find a good documentation that shows you how to configure additional settings.

The new Windows 11, when released to the general public, will come with some cool features and enhancements that will work great for some while adding some learning challenges for others. Some things and settings have changed so much that folks will have to learn new ways to work with and manage Windows 11.

The good thing about installing and enabling OpenSSH Server in Windows 11 is that the process hasn’t changed since Windows 10, and the steps below show you how to do that.

To get started with enabling OpenSSH Server in Windows 11, follow the steps below.

How to use OpenSSH Server in Windows 11 to allow connections

If you want to use Windows 11 built-in OpenSSH Server, use the steps below to install it.

Windows 11 has a centralized location for majority of its settings. From system configurations to creating new users and updating Windows, all can be done from its System Settings pane.

To get to System Settings, you can use the Windows key + i shortcut or click on Start ==> Settings as shown in the image below:

windows 11 start settings

Alternatively, you can use the search box on the taskbar and search for Settings. Then select to open it.

Windows Settings pane should look similar to the image below. In Windows Settings, click Apps, select Optional features on the right pane of your screen shown in the image below.

widnows 11 apps optional features

On the Optional features settings pane, click Add an optional feature View features as highlighted below.

windows 11 add optional features

Next, in the search box, type OpenSSH Server, then select it from the list to install and click Next.

openssh server windows 11 install

Finally, click Install to begin the installation.

openssh server windows 11 complete install

After a brief moment, depending on the speed of your computer and the network, OpenSSH Server should be installed.

By default, OpenSSH Server is set to not run. You must manually start up its service to run.

How to start OpenSSH Server in Windows 11

Now that OpenSSH Server is installed, open the Windows Services console app by searching for Services, then selecting it to open.

windows 11 services search results

When Services console opens, look for OpenSSH SSH Server on the list, then right-click and select Start to start it up.

windows 11 openssh ssh server start

When started, it should it should change from Manual to Running.

How to connect to Windows OpenSSH Server

Now that the server is installed and running, use any SSH client to connect to the Windows server. For this post, we’re using Windows 11 built-in OpenSSH Client which is installed and enabled by default.

Open Windows Command Prompt console, then run the SSH command with the username and IP address of the Windows server.

ssh richard@

That will allow you to accept the server key and establish connection.

windows 11 accept ssh key

Type in the account password and access should be granted.

windows 11 ssh server connection

That should do it!

This post showed you how to install OpenSSH Server in Windows 11. If you find any error above, please use the comment for below to report.


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