Advanced Research Computing


How to access the Research Data Storage Service using WinSCP 2024

This guide will show you how to use WinSCP to access the Research Data Storage Service

Before you start...

Please make sure you have downloaded and installed WinSCP from winscp.net.

If given the choice during installation, select the 'commander' style interface.

Note: WinSCP is already installed on Desktop @ UCL@Anywhere.

After installing WinSCP you will need the following:

  • Your UCL user ID.
  • Your UCL password.
  • The path to your project space (please see step 6). For this example we are using "/rdss/rd01/testproject"


Accessing Your Storage

1. Start WinSCP

Fig 1. WinSCP login window

Fig 1. WinSCP login window

2. Enter your details:

File protocol: SFTP

Host name: rdp-ssh.arc.ucl.ac.uk

Port number: 22

User name: UCL user ID

Password: your UCL password


Fig 2. WinSCP login details

3. Click Login.

Trusting the host key of our service

4. The first time you try to access out service you'll be presented with a dialog box asking whether you'd like to continue to an unknown service. This is a fundamental feature of SSH, helping to prevent your data being intercepted by a third party by providing a known "key" (a series of numbers and letters separated by colons) for each server/service.

WinSCP Trust Host Key

Fig 3. WinSCP Trust Host Key

Your home folder

5. When you first log in to our service you path will be your "home" directory/folder. All users of our system have a small home folder as it is required by the underlying service so that you can login to it. We recommend you do not use this space for storage!

WinSCP Commander View

Fig 4. WinSCP Home folder

Accessing your project space

6. To access your project space, you need to change your current location/path shown in the screensht above to be your project path.You can find your location by checking the web admin portal, locating your project then finding the "How to mount the research data storage service. You need "location of storage area"


Using your Storage

7. In Commander mode you can view the file system of your local machine and your project storage side-by-side. You can simply drag and drop files from one side of the interface into the other.

8. When WinSCP is installed in "Explorer" mode, it behaves exactly like windows explorer. To copy files into your project space simply click and drag them into your project space in the WinSCP window (when display the correct location). To copy files from your project space, click and drag them from the WinSCP window into a folder on your local computer.

Related guides and other info

WinSCP has an extensive help documentation which can be accessed by clicking Help and then Contents on the menu bar.

Help & support

For further help and assistance, you can contact Research Data Support