How do I access my U-M or CAEN online file storage using Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP) or Secure Copy (SCP)?

SFTP and SCP are utilities for transferring files between sites over the Internet. In many ways SFTP and SCP are interchangeable, but they are still unique protocols. SFTP and SCP should always be used as opposed to FTP, which sends information over the network in an unencrypted form; SFTP and SCP provide encrypted file transfer.

At the College of Engineering, these programs are useful for:


SFTP & SCP for Windows

All CAEN Windows computers are equipped with a program called WinSCP. You can find it in the Start menu at:

All Programs >> Communication Tools >> WinSCP

Simply start the program and enter the Host Name you want to connect to, your U-M uniqname as the User name, and click the Login button. You will then be prompted for your UMICH password. You will be presented with a split window; one side displaying files/folders on your local computer, and the other side displaying the files/folders on the remote server (in this case, in your AFS personal storage). Files can be copied to/from each location by simply dragging and dropping their icons from one side to the other:

File directory

WinSCP is available as a free download for use on personal computers at:


SFTP & SCP for Linux

SFTP and SCP can be invoked using command-line tools by typing sftp or scp at any Linux prompt. For example, If you wanted to copy a file in your local home directory to your AFS Public directory, you could use scp as follows:

[uniqname@example]$ scp ~/file

If the local user name on your personal computer is different from your U-M uniqname, you will need to specify your uniqname in the same command as shown below:

[uniqname@example]$ scp ~/file

scp is also very useful because you can copy files from one remote machine to another:

[uniqname@example]$ scp username1@host1:file1 username2@host2:file2

So, if you want to copy a file from the temporary directory on to your AFS personal storage, you could type:

[uniqname@example]$ scp

For more information on the usage of these commands, type man scp or man sftp at the Linux prompt.


SFTP & SCP for macOS

While macOS has built-in command-line SFTP and SCP programs that can be executed from the Terminal, similar to Linux, there are also free graphical programs available:


Further Information

ITS also provides instructions for using WinSCP to access your AFS personal storage at:


Article ID: 5273
Tue 5/4/21 2:08 PM
Mon 7/17/23 8:42 AM