How to SSH into iPhone/iPod Touch using WinSCP (Windows)

How to SSH into iPhone/iPod Touch using WinSCP (Windows)

What is SSH?

SSH stands for Secure SHell.

It is just a protocol that allows you to access your iPhone or  iPod Touch from your desktop PC or MAC and execute commands on it (thus allowing you to copy any kind of data to and from the iPhone or  iPod Touch without iTunes). It’s also used for a lot of customization things if you know what you’re doing.

You can use a program like Cyberduck on MAC or WinSCP on Windows and you can browse your iPhone or iPod Touch  like any other hard drive and explore it’s content (which can be very interesting).

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to SSH into iPhone using WinSCP.

NOTE: This guide requires your iPhone/ iPod Touch to be connected to a wireless network.

In order to SSH into your iPhone you need to Jailbreak iPhone first. Use one of the guide to jailbreak iPhone:

How to jailbreak iPhone/iPod Touch

How to SSH into iPhone using WinSCP

Step 1 – Install OpenSSH

  1. Go to Cydia from your Springboard
  2. Go to Sections tab at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Under the Sections list, choose Networking.
  4. locate and Select OpenSSH from the list.
  5. Hit the Install button at the top right of the screen.
  6. Then hit the Confirm button
  7. After the installation is completed successfully, Press the big Return to Cydia button.




Now that you’ve installed OpenSSH now you’re vulnerable to external intruders with the default root password for SSH. Attacks on jailbroken iPhone with SSH installed with default password are increasing. So, we strongly recommend you to change your default root password used to SSH into iPhone before proceeding further. Follow the link below to change your SSH root password to Protect your iPhone/iPod Touch from intruders:

Change Root Password to Secure Your iPhone

Step 2 – Obtaining IP Address

Now you need to obtain the IP Address of your iPhone or iPod Touch.

  1. To obtain the IP address go to Settings.
  2. Under the Settings Menu, go to Wi-Fi.
  3. Make sure you’re connected to a wireless network. Press the Blue circled arrow button.
  4. There you will find your IP address. Please note that IP address.



Step 3 – SSH with WinSCP

Make sure your PC is on the same wireless network that of your iPhone.

Download WinSCP

Once you have downloaded, launch the WinSCP


Once WinSCP is opened, enter the following detailes:

  • Host Name: IP Address of your iPhone/iPod
  • Username: root
  • Password: alpine
  • Now hit the Login button.

ATTENTION: On an iPhone 3GS, you will need to change the File Protocol to SCP. The default is most likely SFTP. Just select the arrow next to the option and select SCP.

ssh-iphone-ipod-winscp (1)

WinSCP will start connecting to your iPhone.

ssh-iphone-ipod-winscp (2)

If a Warning dialogue box appears, click Yes

ssh-iphone-ipod-winscp (3)

Finally, after a few second you’ll be logged into your iPhone using WinSCP.

ssh-iphone-ipod-winscp (4)

You can access all your iPhone or iPod Touch folders from the right navigation pane. or use the drop down menu on the right side.

ssh-iphone-ipod-winscp (5)

If you want to transfer a file from your PC to your iPhone, simply locate the file you want to copy from your PC using the left pane. Then navigate to the desired location on you iPhone using the right pane. Now to copy the file to your iPhone, just drag it from the left pane to the right pane.

Note: As user dlr stated, it is a good idea to set auto-lock to never. You can do this by going to Settings > General > Auto-Lock and set to never.

84 comments… add one
FBarah October 20, 2009, 8:02 pm

Thanks a lot this was very helpful and the step by step help led me to get connected with my iPhone asap! Thanks a lot for all your efforts

freepass November 8, 2009, 7:37 pm

WinSCP isn’t connecting to my iPhone 3GS.And yes,my PC is on the same wireless network as my iPhone.I have 3.0 version installed.Please help me out here.

iPhoneHeat November 8, 2009, 8:57 pm

On an iPhone 3GS, you will need to change the File Protocol to SCP. The default is most likely SFTP. Just select the arrow next to the option and select SCP.

FreePass November 9, 2009, 10:44 am

you are the greatest! thanks! it works!

jenny March 4, 2014, 12:41 am

iphone pc should be the same whether the wireless network?

freepass November 8, 2009, 7:43 pm

It keeps saying “Connection Refused”.
I’ve tried to do it on my laptop and PC with same results:(
cant get it connected

Gaby January 24, 2012, 11:51 am

It does this for me too. No problem on the iPhone 4S, but the 4th gen iPod Touch keeps saying “connection refused”

Andrew November 15, 2009, 9:19 pm

can u copy music

Andrew November 15, 2009, 9:42 pm

where do u go to check the files you put

Jim November 24, 2009, 12:52 am

Hi iPhoneHeat, good tutorial, it’s one of the first if you google for SSH iPhone!

One request/piece of advice: as threats become more serious, I think it is essential that people also change their password for the ‘mobile’ account. There’s now a very malicious piece of malware stealing people’s money, and the mobile account is just as vulnerable as the root account and it holds ALL your data! It has the same password as ‘root’, and I think it will be a very short while before a criminal hacker will start to use that hole: most tutorials, including yours, now tell people to change the root password, but they forget mobile.

USERS READING THIS: After doing step 5 above, with the terminal still running, you should type:

passwd mobile

and it asks for your new password (twice). It is OK to use the same new password you used for the root account. Just don’t use ‘alpine’.

iPhoneHeat November 24, 2009, 10:48 am

Guide is already there under iPhone Guide Category.. But I forgot to add here..
thanks for the input Jim

Patrick January 7, 2010, 6:57 pm

That was a very detailed tutorial. Thx

GemOfTheDraco January 14, 2010, 8:26 am

When I had my ITouch and IPHONE 3G, I was able to use SSH to load my apps, with the use of the Installer app to of course install the app officially. But i just received my IPHONE 3GS and the previous method doesn’t appear to work on it. I was trying to load some of my apps onto the 3GS but can’t make them show up and when I use the search feature, no luck on finding it, but they are in fact on the IPHONE when I use SCP program and browse the directories.

bruyce March 22, 2010, 8:50 am

how do you get to the themes under library? i am currently using the SSH for my iPod Touch but it doesnt show up on WinSCP

hoopmixtape December 29, 2011, 10:48 am

root var stash themes

mike05 March 24, 2010, 4:28 am

I have a 3GS and set the proto to SCP but i get connection timed out ive tried to reboot the phone reistall everything but still no luck anyone have the answer? any help is welcome

iPhoneHeat March 24, 2010, 2:01 pm

If you have SBsettings installed.. make sure SSH toggle is turned ON

qaaa July 22, 2010, 10:45 am

My cydia is not working again, after installing installous. Anytime i click it from the springboard, it comes up, then goes back to the springboard, How can i solve this problem

kay August 14, 2010, 10:14 am

Great info, as usual. Best site I’ve found with the easiest and clearest steps for doing all the fun stuff on my phone!
Keep up the great work and thank you!

ipodguy101 August 22, 2010, 11:12 pm

Hi im having problems with logging in. it say i have the password wrong and i know i dont i have tryed windows 7 and vista still no help. What should i do?

Tacticaloatmeal August 24, 2010, 1:54 am

Do you have rock installed?

ipodguy August 26, 2010, 5:19 am

yes i have rock

Gabriella September 9, 2010, 4:06 pm

hey there, i managed till step 18. however, the left panel on my window doesn’t show files from my PC, just files from my ipod touch. is there any way for me to open a left panel for file from my PC? thanks for the great tutorial by the way, i was unable to find such a detailed one previously! 🙂

Serena September 10, 2010, 12:11 am

I have 5 seasons of the show ‘one tree hill’ on my ipod touch’s dTunes and my 16 GB are full, so i wanted to put the 5 seasons on my computer so i could download the rest of the seasons on my dTunes, except when I do these steps, I can’t find any of the episodes, just a file that I cant remember it’s name…These are the steps I did:

Once connected to the iPod with WinSCP, on the right hand side above the ipod section there are some buttons there. Click on the one with a small up arrow (hover mouse over button and it will say parent directory) until it won’t go anywhere else.
Now go into var
Now go into Mobile
Now go into Media
Now go into Downloads
They should be in here and now you just use the left side to browse to wherever you want to put them and then just drag and drop. You can also use this to put things on your iPod in the same way.

Except that I can’t find anything there. What to do? Please respond as soon as possible! Thank you.

Dandadandan October 4, 2010, 6:26 am

I’m trying to use WinSCP to put apps on my ipod touch but I can’t find the right folder to put the files in.. help??

Pred July 25, 2012, 11:10 am

Works well but in which folder you put your music so that you find them on your I pod touch.
Thx for info good job..

Jver November 25, 2010, 9:12 am

I changed root password and when I tried loggin in with my new password, it says Invalid access to memory.
What can I Do?????

Please help January 21, 2011, 2:57 am

I keep getting the error “Network error: Connection refused.” and I know I’m doing everything right because it worked the first time but now when I’m trying it again it just simply wont work… What’s wrong??

Alex March 7, 2011, 2:07 am

Run as Adminstrator

Alex March 7, 2011, 2:07 am

I HAVE COME TO SOLVE YOUR PROBLEMS~! If you get a connection timed out, right click winscp and run as administrator! and do everything the guide tells you to do, it should work now

mr.mike March 8, 2011, 7:20 pm

hey ok well im trying to ssh my 3gs running 4.2.1 and having no luck this is what i have so far
1..went to cydia got “openssh,toggle ssh also”
2. got winscp423
3. opened my sbs settings and made sure ssh was on
4. restarted my phone
5. opened winscp423 log in my ip pass alpine also root
6.i set it too File Protocol to SCP since i have a 3gs
7.i tryed it log in and i get”” Connection Refused”

what the heck am i doing wrong?

i used my iphone 4 and it worked


mr.mike March 8, 2011, 7:27 pm

i also tryed to run as administrator

crazycam13 June 8, 2012, 7:10 pm

Did you ever change your root password for the iDevice you were trying to login to?
If unknown, try and reset the root password back to alpine….

Boboi123 September 22, 2012, 8:14 am

where to check the root passwrd in my iphone 4? -.-

ok28 July 20, 2011, 3:22 pm

hi.. can this be used for ipod touch also?? 3g.. tnx..

ok28 July 20, 2011, 3:29 pm

will this work for tap tap song packs???

Joshua September 16, 2011, 9:30 am

I got a question, I understand that whit a 3Gs iphone I have to change the File Protocol to SCP, but what do I have to put In the host name???
I can’t use an IP adress from wi-fi because I don’t have one just the internet from the iphone.
If you could help me would be nice.

zaira September 27, 2011, 12:49 pm

It’s always connection failed. the password is “alpine” right?

hehehe February 2, 2012, 11:46 am

thanks! 😀

harsh595 April 11, 2012, 8:55 am

Mine keeps saying “connection refused,” what should I do next??

pdf October 20, 2012, 12:37 pm

Hello there, You’ve done a great job. I’ll definitely digg it and personally recommend
to my friends. I am confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

jenny March 4, 2014, 12:39 am

iphone pc should be the same whether the wireless network?

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