If you’re looking to convert a PPK file to PEM format, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. But first, let’s clarify what PPK and PEM files are.

Understanding PPK and PEM Files

A PPK file is a PuTTY Private Key file used for secure remote connections. It’s a format specific to PuTTY and cannot be used with other SSH clients. On the other hand, a PEM file is a widely-used format for storing and transmitting cryptographic keys. It’s used by SSL, SSH, and other protocols.

Why Convert PPK to PEM?

There are several reasons why you might want to convert a PPK file to PEM. For instance, if you’re using an SSH client other than PuTTY, you won’t be able to use the PPK file. Additionally, some applications may require a PEM file to validate your identity.

Converting PPK to PEM

To convert a PPK file to PEM, you’ll need to use the PuTTYgen tool that comes with PuTTY. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open PuTTYgen by double-clicking on the executable file.

  2. Click on File > Load Private Key and select your PPK file.

  3. Click on Conversions > Export OpenSSH key.

  4. Save the file with a .pem extension.

That’s it! You’ve successfully converted your PPK file to PEM format.


If you encounter any issues during the conversion process, make sure you’re using the latest version of PuTTYgen. You can download the latest version from the official PuTTY website.

FAQs for Putty Convert PPK to PEM

What is Putty, and why do I need to convert PPK to PEM?

Putty is a free and open-source terminal emulator and network file transfer application that supports various network protocols such as SSH, Telnet, and Rlogin. Putty uses the PPK (PuTTY Private Key) format to store private keys used for authentication. However, some applications may require the PEM (Privacy-Enhanced Mail) format for private keys. PEM is a format used to store digital certificates and keys. So, if you need to use Putty-generated private keys with an application that only supports the PEM format, you may need to convert the PPK format.

How can I convert PPK to PEM using Putty?

You can convert PPK to PEM using the PuttyGen tool that comes with the Putty package. Open PuttyGen, and then click the “Load” button to open your PPK file. Once the file is loaded, go to the “Conversions” menu, and select “Export OpenSSH key.” Save the file with a .pem extension. You now have your private key in the PEM format.

Can I convert multiple PPK files to PEM at once?

Unfortunately, PuttyGen does not support batch processing or converting multiple PPK files to PEM at once. You will need to convert each PPK file individually using the “Export OpenSSH key” option from the PuttyGen tool.

What if I don’t have access to a Windows machine to use PuttyGen?

If you don’t have access to a Windows machine to use PuttyGen, you can still convert PPK to PEM using command-line tools available on Unix-based systems. You can use the “puttygen” command-line tool to convert PPK to PEM. The command is as follows: “puttygen key.ppk -O private-openssh -o key.pem”

Is there any other tool I can use to convert PPK to PEM?

Yes, there are other tools available that can convert PPK to PEM. For example, OpenSSL is a commonly used cryptographic toolkit that offers command-line tools for converting keys and certificates between various formats. You can use the “openssl” command with the appropriate options to convert your PPK file to PEM. The command is as follows: “openssl pkcs8 -in key.ppk -topk8 -outform PEM -nocrypt -out key.pem”