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

Agent to hold private keys used for public key authentication.

Default Settings

Startup type:Manual
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. In Windows 10 it is starting only if the user, an application or another service starts it. 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. Copy the command below, paste it into the command window and press ENTER:

sc config ssh-agent start= demand

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.