Backing Up or Migrating PuTTY Settings

WARNING: This post involves playing around with your operating system’s registry. You use this information at your own risk. For other warnings, please see the disclaimer.


PuTTY is one of the go-to apps that pretty much every network engineer has in his or her toolbox.  Anyone who uses it frequently tends to customize its settings to make it more personally appealing.

 Of course, it’s also one of the apps that I always – and I do mean always – forget about when I reload an OS, buy a new machine or do anything else that involves changing my user profile.
Fortunately, PuTTY is a rather simple app and backing up and restoring its settings is pretty easy.  It’s just a matter of backing up and restoring a registry key.
Click on “Start”, type “regedit” and hit <ENTER>:
registry editor open.png

Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE>SOFTWARE and select the “SimonTatham” key:


Right-click on the “SimonTatham” key and select Export:


HKLM.SW.ST.Right-Click Export.png


Browse to your preferred location, type in a name and click “Save”:



Once you’ve done this, all of the settings for PuTTY are saved in the file which was just exported.  To restore these settings (or apply them for the first time to a new OS install, new profile, new computer, etc.), install PuTTY and then double-click on the file.

When you do that, you’ll get a UAC prompt.  If you accept that, you’ll get this warning:

reg save warning.png

Click on “Yes” and those registry values will be written into your registry.

I hope you found this helpful!

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