Copy and paste from PuTTY

Copy and paste from PuTTY

This tutorial will show you how to copy and paste from PuTTY

It may not be obvious to you, but it is possible to copy and paste to and from a PuTTY window. This tutorial will show you how to do that

Copying and pasting in PuTTY is very easy, but different from the way it’s done in most other programs

1) You’ll need to be logged in to a PuTTY session before you begin
Copy and paste from PuTTY

2) All you have to do is left click and drag to make a selection
Copy and paste from PuTTY

As soon as you let go of the mouse button, the selection is instantly copied to your clipboard and ready to be pasted

3) Simply click off of the selection to deselect it
Copy and paste from PuTTY

4) Now, let’s paste the selection into another window. For this tutorial, we’ll just use a Notepad window that we already have open

5) Right click, then Paste

The selection has been copied and pasted successfully

Now, let’s try copying and pasting an SSH command we’ve stored in a different Notepad window

6) Right-click and Copy

7) Return to PuTTY

8) Simply right-click to paste

9) Press Enter to execute the command

You can also select and copy a rectangular region in PuTTY. For our purpose, this is useful to copy just the filenames in this directory listing

10) Hold down ALT, then click and drag from the top left corner to the bottom right

11) Switch back to Notepad

12) Press CTRL+V to paste

The rectangular region you copied has been pasted successfully


Copy and paste from PuTTY

Copying and pasting from PuTTY, a popular SSH and telnet client, is a straightforward process but can be slightly different from the usual copy-paste routine in other applications. Here’s a detailed guide on how to effectively copy from PuTTY and paste the copied content elsewhere.

Copying from PuTTY

  1. Selecting Text for Copying:
    • Automatic Copy: In PuTTY, text is automatically copied to your clipboard when you select it. Simply click and drag your mouse over the text you want to copy. As soon as you release the mouse button, the selected text is copied to the clipboard.
    • No Ctrl+C Needed: Unlike other applications, you don’t need to press Ctrl+C after selecting the text. This is a unique feature of PuTTY.
  2. Line Selection Tips:
    • Single Line: Click at the start of the line, drag to the end, and release.
    • Multiple Lines: Click at the start point, scroll if necessary, and release at the end point.
  3. Block Selection Mode:
    • If you need to copy a block of text (not necessarily whole lines), hold down the Alt key while making your selection. This switches PuTTY to a block selection mode.
  4. Ensuring Complete Selection:
    • Be careful to select exactly what you need, especially if you’re copying commands or code. Incomplete commands or code snippets can lead to errors when pasted.

Pasting into PuTTY

  1. Pasting to PuTTY:
    • To paste into PuTTY, simply place the cursor at the desired paste location in the PuTTY window and right-click your mouse. This will paste the contents of the clipboard into PuTTY.
    • Alternatively, you can use the Shift+Insert keyboard shortcut to paste the clipboard content into PuTTY.
  2. Caution with Pasting Commands:
    • Be cautious when pasting commands, especially if they are administrative or have the potential to modify or delete data. Always verify the command before executing.

Pasting from PuTTY to Other Applications

  1. Standard Paste Procedure:
    • Once you have copied text from PuTTY, you can paste it into any other application using the standard Ctrl+V shortcut or the application’s paste option.
  2. Handling Line Breaks and Spaces:
    • Sometimes, copying from PuTTY can include line breaks or additional spaces. Be mindful of this, especially when pasting code or commands into an editor or command line.
  3. Using a Text Editor:
    • For complex data or large amounts of text, it’s often helpful to first paste into a text editor. This allows you to check and edit the content before using it elsewhere.

Change the appearance of PuTTY

Additional Tips

  • PuTTY Settings: You can explore PuTTY’s settings for options related to copying and pasting, such as controlling mouse button actions or changing the default selection behavior.
  • Using Screen or tmux: If you’re working in a Linux environment through PuTTY, tools like screen or tmux can offer additional copy-paste functionalities and buffer management.
  • Security Consideration: Be cautious about copying sensitive information. Clipboard data can be a security risk if exposed or accessed by unauthorized applications.


Copying and pasting in PuTTY is a simple yet essential skill for anyone managing servers or working in a networked environment. Remembering these tips and tricks can make your workflow more efficient and error-free. Always be mindful of what you are copying and pasting, especially when dealing with commands or code, to avoid unintended consequences.

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