Silly PuTTY

PuTTY is, according to its web site, “an SSH and telnet client, developed originally by Simon Tatham for the Windows platform. PuTTY is open source software that is available with source code and is developed and supported by a group of volunteers.” Because it is open source, PuTTY is popular for those looking for an inexpensive way to access a Linux or Unix server from Microsoft Windows. PuTTY is a stand-alone EXE, so it doesn’t have an installation process. Just drop it somewhere on your Microsoft Windows file system and double click on it.

The trouble with an app that can goes “somewhere” is sometimes you can’t find it anywhere. Occasionally, it can’t be found because it was accidentally deleted by one of your teammates. Then it becomes silly PuTTY, not to be confused with Silly Putty. I’ve come up with a few tricks for working with silly PuTTY.

Copy PuTTY to a Legitimate Location

I like to place PuTTY in a folder named C:Program Files (x86)\PuTTY.  This folder is a perfectly valid location for a 32-bit Microsoft Windows application and unlikely to get deleted when somebody goes on an expedition to find free disk space.

Putty Program Files

Add PuTTY to Everyone’s Start Menu

Next, I like to place a shortcut on the Start Menu.  Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 and Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 handle the Start Menu differently than in previous releases (see related article Windows 7/Windows 2008 Start Menu). Create a shortcut of the PuTTY.exe file and place it into the C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\ folder.

Putty Shortcut Start Menu

Add PuTTY to Everyone’s Desktop

Lastly, I like to put frequently used items on everyone’s desktop, not just mine.  Again, Microsoft Windows 7/8/10 and Windows Server 2008/2012/2016 do this a bit differently than previous releases. Create another shortcut to PuTTY.exe and place in the C:\Users\Public\Public Desktop\ folder.

Putty Shortcut Desktop

To perform this step, make sure that your Windows Explorer displays hidden folders.  The public desktop is a great place to place any items that are accessed frequently, especially for groggy 3 AM support calls.

Nothing fancy, but these tip will keep PuTTY at your fingertips.


No Silly Putty was harmed in the creation of this article.  Did you know you can purchase 5 lb blocks of Silly Putty?  Or Silly Putty eggs in quantities of 100?  I’ve heard of Silly Putty eggs being given as wedding favors. Or customized with your corporate logo. Imagine the possibilities.

Dallas Marks

Dallas Marks

I am an analytics and cloud architect, author, and trainer. An AWS certified blogger, SAP Mentor Alumni and co-author of the SAP Press book SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence: The Comprehensive Guide, I prefer piano keyboards over computer keyboards when not blogging or tweeting.