WinSCP’s "Network error: Software caused connection abort" Message is Driving Me Crazy!

WinSCP is by far and away the best SCP/SFTP client for Windows users, but the default settings don’t use keepalive, so you get disconnected far too often. I like to leave the client open while I’m doing work, and this causes a serious problem with my workflow.

Note: if you haven’t switched to using SCP or SFTP to transfer files instead of regular insecure FTP, you should really do so.

This messagebox needs to go away!


To change this setting, you’ll have to modify your saved connections in the WinSCP Login screen.

Select “Connection” in the left-hand treeview, and then change the “Keepalives” radio button to “Executing dummy protocol commands”.


You could also use the option for “Sending of null SSH packets”, but not all servers support that option, and we want that error message to go away.

Make sure you click the Save button after you are done.

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Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.