How to Generate an SSH Key Pair in Windows using PuTTY

PuTTY is a very common terminal used for SSH connections for Windows. However, the native PuTTY application was designed to be lightweight and does not include the key generation feature needed to create the SSH key pair required.

To Generate an SSH key pair to be used with PuTTY, you will need to use PuTTYgen. This small application comes packaged with the PuTTY installer but needs to be accessed separately.

Generating SSH Key Pairs with PuTTYgen

How to Generate an SSH Key Pair in Windows using PuTTY

  • Step 1. In your Windows search bar, look for PuTTYgen to see if you installed it with PuTTY. If it was not, you would need to download and install it separately. When done, launch PuTTYgen.
  • Step 2. Under the “Parameters” label, select “RSA” as the type of key, then click the “Generate” button. You will be asked to move your mouse around randomly – remember to do this within the small blank area under the “Key” label.

Keep moving your mouse until the key information appears. 

  • Step 3. Type in the password you choose into the “Key Passphrase” field and again in the “Confirm passphrase” field. This passphrase will be needed when making the SSH connection later.
  • Step 4. Save the Public and Private keys using the respective button. Each key needs to be saved separately.



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