How to Find My Ssh Public Key Windows 10

admin15 March 2024Last Update :

How to Find My SSH Public Key in Windows 10

Welcome to this comprehensive guide on locating your SSH public key in Windows 10. Whether you’re a developer, a system administrator, or just someone who needs to manage secure remote connections, understanding how to find and use your SSH keys is crucial. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Secure Shell (SSH) and guide you through the process of finding your SSH public key on a Windows 10 system.

Understanding SSH and Its Key Components

Before we delve into the specifics of finding your SSH public key, let’s first understand what SSH is and why it’s important. SSH, or Secure Shell, is a protocol used to securely access and manage remote systems. It provides a secure channel over an unsecured network, encrypting the data transmitted between the client and the server.

SSH keys are a pair of cryptographic keys that can be used to authenticate to an SSH server as an alternative to password-based logins. A key pair consists of a public key, which you share with the world, and a private key, which you keep secret.

Prerequisites for Using SSH in Windows 10

Before you can find your SSH public key in Windows 10, you need to ensure that you have the following:

  • An SSH client installed on your Windows 10 machine. Windows 10 comes with a built-in OpenSSH client, but you can also use third-party clients like PuTTY.
  • An existing SSH key pair. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to generate a new pair.

Generating an SSH Key Pair in Windows 10

If you haven’t already created an SSH key pair, you can do so using the built-in OpenSSH client in Windows 10. Here’s how:

ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096

This command will generate a new RSA key pair with a key size of 4096 bits. You’ll be prompted to enter a file path to save the keys and an optional passphrase for added security.

Finding Your SSH Public Key

Once you have your SSH key pair, you can find your public key by following these steps:

Using the Command Line

Open a command prompt or PowerShell window and navigate to the directory where your SSH keys are stored. By default, this is usually C:UsersYourUsername.ssh. Use the following command to display your public key:


Replace with the actual name of your public key file if you’ve named it differently.

Using File Explorer

You can also find your SSH public key file through the Windows File Explorer:

  • Navigate to C:UsersYourUsername.ssh in File Explorer.
  • Locate the file with the .pub extension, which is your public key.
  • Open the file with a text editor like Notepad to view, copy, or share your public key.

Using Your SSH Public Key

With your SSH public key in hand, you can now use it to set up secure connections to remote servers. Typically, you’ll need to add your public key to the authorized_keys file on the server you wish to connect to. This process varies depending on the server’s operating system and configuration.

Best Practices for Managing SSH Keys

Managing your SSH keys securely is vital to maintaining the integrity of your secure connections. Here are some best practices:

  • Keep your private key secure and never share it with anyone.
  • Use strong passphrases for your keys.
  • Regularly rotate your keys and update the authorized_keys file on your servers.
  • Use a key management system or SSH agent to handle multiple keys and connections.

FAQ Section

How do I check if I have an existing SSH key in Windows 10?

You can check for existing SSH keys by navigating to the .ssh directory within your user profile and looking for files named id_rsa (private key) and (public key).

Can I use the same SSH key pair for multiple servers?

Yes, you can use the same SSH key pair to connect to multiple servers. However, for security reasons, it’s recommended to use different key pairs for different servers or services.

What should I do if my private key is compromised?

If you suspect that your private key has been compromised, you should immediately generate a new key pair and replace the public key on all servers you connect to with the new one. Also, revoke access for the compromised key.


Finding your SSH public key in Windows 10 is a straightforward process that is essential for secure remote connections. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can easily locate, manage, and use your SSH keys. Remember to adhere to security best practices to ensure that your connections remain protected.

For further reading and advanced SSH key management techniques, consider exploring external resources and academic sources that delve deeper into cryptography and network security.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments Rules :