A guide to SFTP key file setup for FileZilla

A guide to SFTP key file setup for FileZilla header image

If you want to further secure your hosting account, requiring an SSH key upon login is one of the best ways to do so. Setup for SFTP keys will differ depending on the FTP client you are using, but today we’ll go over how to activate additional security measures for your account via FileZilla.

How to set up SFTP keys for FileZilla

Step 1: Access the FileZilla site manager

Start by opening the FileZilla client and navigating to the Site manager. Add your particular hosting server as the host and type “22” as the port. Next, select SFTP-SSH File Transfer Protocol from the Protocol drop-down menu.

Step 2: Set up an SSH key

Now, you’ll be able to secure your account by requiring an SSH key for access. Select Key file from the Logon Type menu, then enter your cPanel username for the User. Once that information has been entered, you can upload the Private Key file that you should have downloaded earlier. If you need help figuring out how to download that file, refer to the tutorial here.

Enter your cPanel username then upload the private key file that you generated.

Once all of the information looks something like this, click Connect.

Step 3: Convert the key file

Next, you’ll get a pop-up message asking you to convert your key file to a supported format. Click Yes to continue.

You'll see a pop up message that will ask you to convert the key file into a supported format. Say yes.

You’ll be asked to select a new name for the converted file. Type in ida_rsa, then click Save.

Name the converted file "ida_rsa" and save.

Step 4: Enter your SSH key password to complete setup

That’s it! As you continue through the process, you’ll be prompted to enter a password a few times. This is the password that you created while setting up your SSH key—which is why it is important to memorize it, store it in a password protected client, or write it down somewhere safe.