How To Fix The SSH Is Not Recognized As An Internal Or External Command Error

Ever since the invention of computers, we have been figuring out ways to make the transfer of data from one computer to another as easy as possible. Sometimes, the easier and cheaper it is, the more vulnerable it is.

Vulnerable networks between computers mean that any data that you transfer can be intercepted by a third party, a hacker, and stolen. Now, even if you think your data isn’t really that important, think again. It is possible that your basic information can lead a hacker to something bigger or something that’s small and unimportant right now, might end up being the base for something bigger. If your data is compromised from the get-go, the chances are that your entire system stays compromised for a long time.

To ensure that your data isn’t vulnerable to a cyberattack, SSH is used. SSH stands for Secure Shell. This is a network protocol that lets you have a completely secure, “tunnel” network between you and another computer. The tunnel is meant to be one that is invisible to any hackers that may be trying to get access to your data that is being transferred.

An SSH isn’t that difficult to set up and run if you have done your research. It generally runs pretty smoothly, but on some occasions, you might end up running into a few errors. One of the most common errors is “SSH is not recognized as an internal or external command.”

Fixing the SSH is not recognized as an internal or external command.

What causes the issue in the first place?

In order to fix your error, it’s important that you know what’s causing it in the first place. Since the error is a little vague in the way it’s worded, it doesn’t automatically pinpoint you towards a solution. This means that we will have to trace back our steps to the very beginning to figure out where the error stems from, and fix it from there.

1. Check if OpenSSH is properly installed

OpenSSH is the tool that is used to connect to your desired SSH server. It is one of the utilities in the utility suite tools that help you establish a proper SSH connection. It is common for people to install OpenSSH but do it incorrectly. Now, if the tool that is supposed to open the SSH itself is not working properly, it won’t really be able to process your commands either. If this happens, one of the errors you would see is the “SSH is not recognized as an internal or external command”.

To rule out OpenSSH being the root cause of the issue, go into your “Systems” folder, and check if the “OpenSSH” file even exists. If it doesn’t, the tool never installed properly in the first place. You will have to install it again.

How to Install OpenSSH:

  1. Go into your windows settings menu.
  2. Find the option where it says “Apps” and click on it.
  3. Then, find “Operational Features” and click on it.
  4. In the list, if OpenSSH is installed, it will already show up. If it isn’t, click on “Add a feature.”
  5. Then, in the drop menu click “Open SSH Client.”
  6. Click “Install”

OpenSSH would then re-install (or simply install correctly in the first place), and you can try running your command again. Most of the time, this is enough to fix whatever was causing the issue. If it doesn’t, you can rule this out as being the issue.

2. User error

It’s possible that OpenSSH is installed properly but you are still running into the “SSH is not recognized as an internal or external command” error simply because you’re typing out an incorrect command.

To rule this out:

  1. Recheck your command before hitting enter.
  2. Make sure everything you’re typing is correct.
  3. If you are typing it out wrong, fix it and run it again, it should run smoothly.

3. Incorrect Keys

To establish a secure connection, you need a Public Key and a Private Key to be typed into the computers for them to work. Often, while retyping the key, you might accidentally hit another key on the keyboard and end up with basically a “wrong password”. Go back into where the keys were given and copy them instead. Paste them in and make sure to not type anything by accident while you do so to ensure that you’re pasting the correct key. Try to run the command again. You should ideally have fixed the SSH error code by this step.

As long as your programs/tools are installed correctly, and you’re not making any errors typing out a command or a key, you shouldn’t be met with any errors. If you are, just trace back your steps and do each step again and see where the problem comes in. This is an easy way to figure out where the issue stems from, and you can easily fix it and establish your connection properly.