How to fix MikroTik RouterOS v7 SSH port forwarding not working: Connection refused

In multiple models of MikroTik routers running RouterOS v7.5 I got Error: Connection refused when running simple SSH port forwarding commands such as

ssh admin@192.168.88.1 -L 8080:192.168.178.1:80

but in the RouterLS log I could see multiple local forwarding forbidden error messages:

Solution

In this case, the solution was simple: Go to IP -> SSH in WebFig or Winbox and set Forwarding Enabled to Both and click Apply.

If you have already set Forwarding Enabled to Both or Localon one of my routers this setting wasn’t properly activated – possibly after a RoutreOS upgrade. In order to fix this, set Forwarding Enabled to no, click Apply, then  set Forwarding Enabled to Both and click Apply again. For me, this fixed the issue of being unable to do SSH port forwarding.