OpenSSH Authentication Agent (ssh-agent) Service Defaults in Windows 10

Agent to hold private keys used for public key authentication.

Default Settings

Startup type:
Windows 10 Home 1507N/A
Windows 10 Pro 1507N/A
Windows 10 Education 1507N/A
Windows 10 Enterprise 1507N/A
Windows 10 Home 1511N/A
Windows 10 Pro 1511N/A
Windows 10 Education 1511N/A
Windows 10 Enterprise 1511N/A
Windows 10 Home 1607N/A
Windows 10 Pro 1607N/A
Windows 10 Education 1607N/A
Windows 10 Enterprise 1607N/A
Windows 10 Home 1703N/A
Windows 10 Pro 1703N/A
Windows 10 Education 1703N/A
Windows 10 Enterprise 1703N/A
Windows 10 Home 1709N/A
Windows 10 Pro 1709N/A
Windows 10 Education 1709N/A
Windows 10 Enterprise 1709N/A
Windows 10 Home 1803Manual
Windows 10 Pro 1803Manual
Windows 10 Education 1803Manual
Windows 10 Enterprise 1803Manual
Windows 10 Home 1809Disabled
Windows 10 Pro 1809Disabled
Windows 10 Education 1809Disabled
Windows 10 Enterprise 1809Disabled
Windows 10 Home 1903Disabled
Windows 10 Pro 1903Disabled
Windows 10 Education 1903Disabled
Windows 10 Enterprise 1903Disabled
Windows 10 Home 2004Disabled
Windows 10 Pro 2004Disabled
Windows 10 Education 2004Disabled
Windows 10 Enterprise 2004Disabled
Display name:OpenSSH Authentication Agent
Service name:ssh-agent
Service type:own
Error control:normal
Object:LocalSystem
Path:%SystemRoot%\System32\OpenSSH\ssh-agent.exe
Registry key:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\ssh-agent
Privileges:
  • SeImpersonatePrivilege

Default Behavior

OpenSSH Authentication Agent is a Win32 service. It is starting only if the user, an application or another service starts it in 1803 Home, 1803 Pro, 1803 Education, 1803 Enterprise. This service is disabled in 1809 Home, 1809 Pro, 1809 Education, 1809 Enterprise, Windows 10 Home 1903, Windows 10 Pro 1903, Windows 10 Education 1903, Windows 10 Enterprise 1903, Windows 10 Home 2004, Windows 10 Pro 2004, Windows 10 Education 2004, Windows 10 Enterprise 2004. When the OpenSSH Authentication Agent service is started, it is running as LocalSystem in its own process of ssh-agent.exe. If OpenSSH Authentication Agent fails to start, the failure details are being recorded into Event Log. Then Windows 10 will start up and notify the user that the ssh-agent service has failed to start due to the error.

Restore Default Startup Configuration for OpenSSH Authentication Agent

1. Run the Command Prompt as an administrator.

2. Depending on the version of your operating system, copy the commands below, paste them into the command window and press ENTER.

For Windows 10 1803 Home, Windows 10 1803 Pro, Windows 10 1803 Education, Windows 10 1803 Enterprise:
sc config ssh-agent start= demand

For Windows 10 1809 Home, Windows 10 1809 Pro, Windows 10 1809 Education, Windows 10 1809 Enterprise, Windows 10 1903 Home, Windows 10 1903 Pro, Windows 10 1903 Education, Windows 10 1903 Enterprise, Windows 10 1909 Home, Windows 10 1909 Pro, Windows 10 1909 Education, Windows 10 1909 Enterprise, Windows 10 2004 Home, Windows 10 2004 Pro, Windows 10 2004 Education, Windows 10 2004 Enterprise:
sc stop ssh-agent
sc config ssh-agent start= disabled

3. Close the command window and restart the computer.

The ssh-agent service is using the ssh-agent.exe file that is located in the %WinDir%\System32\OpenSSH folder. If the file is changed, damaged or deleted, you can restore its original version from Windows 10 installation media.