One of the reasons why some of you go for the jailbreak is you can transfer files between iPhone and PC using SSH. But, as I know, not all the readers are geeks and come from technical background. You may even not heard of SSH until you decide to jailbreak. So, here is a short guide to show you how you can use SSH on iPhone and use it for transfer any files to your computer for Windows. The guide is completely target for non-technical person. I just want to show you how great SSH is when pairing with iPhone for wireless file transfer. So, you can use it to transfer ringtone, photos and video without the USB cable.

The first thing you would like to know is what SSH is. SSH stands for secure shell that is commonly used in Unix/Linux environment. You can use SSH to access a remote a computer and execute commands from another machine that may be miles away. Additionally, you can use it to transfer files to the remote computer, just like FTP. I’m not going to dig deep and throw out all the technical details about SSH. But just remember, SSH is a tool that lets you access machine or devices remotely. Here, the device is your iPhone.

Install SHH Via Cydia

You may be curious why you can use SSH on iPhone. Is SSH just designed for Unix? That’s a good question. You may not know the iPhone OS is a stripped-down version of Mac OS X, which is actually riding on Unix as its core. So, that’s why you can use SSH on iPhone.

But officially, Apple didn’t bundle the utility for every iPhone user and thanks to the jailbreak community to bring SSH to iPhone. As long as your iPhone is jailbroken, you can install and use SSH on iPhone.You may check my post here about how to unlock and jailbreak your iPhone.

To use SSH after jailbreak, you can go up to Cydia and search for “OpenSSH” to find the package. Tap the Install button to install it on your iPhone. Once installed, restart your iPhone. You’ll not find an icon for SSH on the home screen. But after restart, the SSH tool will be automatically launched and listens for remote request in background.

Note: Did you set the auto-lock? Your iPhone should be turned on during the SSH file transfer. So, if you have configured auto-lock, I suggest you to disable it before using SSH. You can go to Settings -> General -> Auto-Lock and set it to Never.

Transfer File Using SSH

Your iPhone is already enabled with SSH and listens for incoming SSH request. Before you can transfer file from your computer to iPhone, you have to know the IP address of your iPhone.

To check for the IP address, go to “Settings” -> “Wi-Fi”. Tap on the connected WiFi network and view the details. You’ll see the IP address of your iPhone. Say, for my case, the IP address is

Once you know the IP address, the next step is to connect to iPhone from your PC.

Connect Your PC via WinSCP

For Windows users, I highly recommend you to download WinSCP, which is a free SSH client for Win XP/Vista. You can download it for free from here. Installation of WinSCP is very straightforward. Just double-click on “winscp421setup.exe” and follow the instruction to install it on your PC.

Once complete the installation, launch WinSCP and click “New” to connect to iPhone. In host name, type in the IP address of your iPhone. For user name and password, you can use “root” and “alpine” respectively. Keep other fields unchanged. You can then click “Login” to start making connection with your iPhone. Click “Yes” if you’re prompted with a warning to add the host key to cache.

Note: Instead of clicking “Login” directly, you can click “Save…” to save the connection profile for future use.

Click “Yes” if you’re prompted with a warning to add the host key to cache.

When connected, you’ll see the files in iPhone file system. And, you can easily transfer files between iPhone and computer by just drag & drop the files in WinSCP.