How to Use SFTP on a Mac

When you connect to your InMotion Hosting server account, you can use the normal FTP connection or a secure connection (SFTP). Note that these instructions for connecting to a Shared Server. Shared server accounts require the creation of a public and private key. If you have a VPS or Dedicated server, SFTP connections are done via the root user and only after the IP address of the connecting computer has been added to the firewall. The following tutorial details how to connect with SFTP to a shared server using an Apple computer.

Generating the key and getting it on your Mac:

1. Generate the key. Make sure that you go to MANAGE the key after you create it and then authorize it for use. You will need to dowload the Private key – convert it if you need to do so. I used the converter that was part of my FileZilla application. Filezilla is FREE if you wish to use it. Simply google it and you can download if you don’t have it already.

2. On your Mac, save the private key – somewhere where you can find it.
3. Convert the key (if needed) and then save it to a location where you can find it later.

In FileZilla:

1. Open FileZilla
2. Click on Filezilla in the menu bar, then click on SETTINGS
3. Under Connection, you’ll see SFTP. Click on it.
4. Here you’ll see the window for adding a key file. Click on Add keyfile. You will need to know where your key file has been saved. If you saved it through terminal based on the instructions above, it will be under you HOME. You can find it by looking in the finder. The path will be something like: /Users/username/Desktop/my-private-key.ppk.

NOTE: If you had not converted the file over to PPK alread, FileZilla will ASK you to convert it. Make sure that you note where you save the file after conversion, You will need to know the passphrase used during the creation of the key.

After you finish adding the key, it will be listed in the Private key window.

Connecting to the server using SFTP (finally):

1. Go to the Site Manager and add a New site
2. Host name should be
Protocol: SFTP – SSH file transfer protocol
Logon type: Key File
User is your CPANEL USER NAME!
Then you need to browse to your PPK file again and select it.

3. Click connect and you should prompted to type in your passphrase for the key again. After that it should connect!

InMotion Hosting was founded in 2001 and provides personal and business web hosting for everyone! For more information about InMotion Hosting and the services we provide see here:

Duration: 8:37
Publisher: InMotion Hosting
You can watch this video also at the source.

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