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How to Connect to a CAI Classroom from Your Office PC Using WinSCP


Before you can connect to Olson or Hart Hall from your office in Voorhies (or your computer at home), you need to download the right software to your computer. You can choose from a variety of different programs called FTP Clients. Recently the University has mandated that we use only secure FTP Clients, or SFTPs.

The client you choose also depends on whether you are using a Mac or PC in your office (or at home). Lab Management has identified WinSCP as a good PC application since it uses open source code and therefore is free. As with all FTP Clients, WinSCP requires that you connect to the Olson or Hart server using the correct server address:

For Olson Hall, use

In the past, the address for the servers in Olson was Since that address sometimes caused confusion, our Olson Computer Lab Manager created a new shortcut address, As usual, please remember not to type an @ before "" but a dot instead. Both addresses will connect you to the Olson server. Using the new address for the first time, you might see a warning popup about certificate authentication, but click OK and you should connect.

For Hart Hall, use

Note: be sure that you type the letter "l" and not the number "1," and that you don't put an @ before “” but a dot instead.



For the following instructions, I use the Firefox browser. Internet Explorer might display additional, but fairly self-explanatory dialog boxes along the way. You can download WinSCP for free at  Once you have downloaded the SFTP client, you can close your browser.

ENTERING THE SERVER ADDRESS, LOGIN, AND PASSWORD As shown in Figure 1 at the right, somewhere on your desktop screen you should now see a new icon, two tiny computers linked by a little yellow padlock. The icon in the figure is labeled “winscp381.exe,” the number 381 referring in this case to the version downloaded. Double-click the icon to open the login dialog box, shown below in Figure 2.




As you can see in Figure 2, you’ll need to fill in three different blanks. The first one, “Host name,” requires that you type in a server address--that is, the computer address of the server that operates in Olson or Hart Hall. 

For the “User name” and “Password” boxes, enter your UC Davis login and password. For example, my login is dkmeisen (shortened from my full e-mail address, dkmeisenheimer The completed login box should look like Figure 3.



Next, hit the “Save” button at the bottom of the login dialog box (refer to the bottom of Figure 2). You might receive a warning at this stage. Unless you want to retype the Host name, User name, and Password for every session you open, hit the OK button. A box showing the session you’re about to save should appear, as in Figure 4.


Again, hit the OK button. You’ll now see a dialog box which allows you to select which session you wish to choose. Notice that if sometimes you login to Olson and sometimes Hart, after you have entered and saved the server info you can choose in future sessions which building you’d like to connect to. In this case, you have just saved a connection to Olson, so you should now hit the “Login” button shown in Figure 5.




The main screen for moving files should now appear. Notice in Figure 6 that the left column represents your current location (office or home), while the right column displays the “Classrooms Folders” in Olson.



The list of items in the left column of Figure 6 does not represent your desktop, however, which is probably what you want to see there. In order to view the desktop, double-click the top folder in the column, the one with a tiny up arrow, as circled below in Figure 7.




Now look down the list in the left column and locate the folder labeled “Desktop,” as circled in Figure 8. Double-clicking thisfolder shows you the contents of your home or office computer’s desktop.




Before moving files to or from the desktop, you’ll need to locate your particular classroom folder. Look to the right column this time, and double-click on “Class Folders,” as circled in Figure 9.



If the classroom where you teach uses Macs, double-click the “Mac” folder as shown in Figure 10. Conversely, if your classroom is dedicated to PCs, double-click the “PC” folder.



You’ll now see a long list of classroom folders labeled with the names of the instructors who own them. Instructors teaching multiple sections have multiple folders. Scroll down to the folder labeled with your name and the appropriate section number. In Figure 11, my classroom folder is circled. I have three folders, one for each section I teach. Therefore, I have selected the specific folder of the section I want to move files to or from.



After you double-click the desired classroom folder, you should be able to see the usual default folders it contains—Pick and Dropoff, for example—along with any other folders you might have set up while you were in the classroom itself. (For technical reasons, Lab Management recommends we set up new folders only while physically in the classroom.) In Figure 12, showing the right column of the overall box, you can see my own Pickup and Dropoff folders, as well as the Grammar Talks folder I made. You’re now ready to move files to or from Olson Hall.



In the following example, I show you how to move files from the desktop of your office computer to the classroom Pickup Folder. First, double-click the Pickup Folder in the right column (shown at the bottom of the list of folders in Figure 12 above) to view its contents. You can now either move an entire folder, or open a folder and move one or multiple files from inside that folder.

To move an entire folder, as shown in Figure 13, position the cursor over the folder you wish to move from the desktop, hold down the left key of the mouse, drag the folder to the right column, which is your open classroom Pickup Folder, and release the mouse key.




Before the file actually moves to the Pickup Folder, however, you’ll see a copy verification box like the one in Figure 14. Hit the “Copy” button indicated, and the application will move the file.


Alternatively, you might want to open a particular folder on your desktop and select a few (or all) of the files inside. In that case, click on a single file, then hold down the shift key and the down-arrow key simultaneously until you have highlighted the desired files. You can also select all the files at once by clicking on the “Mark” option in the menu at the top of the screen as shown in Figure 15, then clicking on “Select All.”




You can now move the highlighted files from the folder in the desktop to the Pickup Folder in your classroom. Position the cursor over the highlighted files, hold down the left key of the mouse, and drag the files as shown in Figure 16 to the right column, your classroom Pickup Folder. Release the mouse key.




Again, you’ll see a copy verification box as shown in Figure 14 above. Hit “Copy” and the application will move the files.




You can simplify the process of moving files from a folder inside your classroom Dropoff Folder to your office computer if you first create a destination folder on your desktop (rather than letting the incoming files clutter up the desktop as they appear). For the following example, I have created a folder on the desktop titled “Destination Folder” in Figure 17.




When you double-click the resulting folder icon, the left column of the WinSCP dialog box should appear empty, as in Figure 18. Next, double-click the Dropoff Folder and select the specific interior dropoff folder you want to move files from. In this example, I am moving files from the folder “Place Letter Here.”




You can either move an entire folder, or open a folder and select all or some of the files inside it for transfer. To move a folder, position the cursor over the folder (in this case, “Place Letter Here”), hold down the left key of the mouse, drag the folder to the empty left column, and release the mouse key. On the other hand, if you want to move all or selected files within a folder, open the folder with a double-click, then choose one of two ways to mark the files. You can select all the files at once by clicking on the “Mark” option in the menu at the top of the screen as shown in Figure 15 above, then hitting “Select All.” Alternatively, you can select multiple files by clicking on a single file and then holding down the shift key and down-arrow key simultaneously until all the desired files have been highlighted. Either way, you can now move the highlighted files by dragging them to the Destination Folder on the desktop as shown in Figure 19




Before the application moves the files, it prompts you to verify the transfer. Hit the “Copy” button indicated in Figure 14 above.




Once you’ve moved the files you want to transfer, click the X in the upper right corner of the WinSCP dialog box as circled in Figure 20.


Alternatively, click on “Commands” in the menu line, then select “Quit,” as shown in Figure 21.




In either case, a dialog box will ask you to verify that you wish to quit the application. Click the OK button. The next time you want to use WinSCP, simply double-click its desktop icon as shown in Figure 1. If you saved the login info (Host name, User name, and Password), the application will take you to the Login box shown in Figure 5. Hit the “Login” button to connect.

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