Configure PGP Preferences for Macintosh
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Configure PGP Preferences for Macintosh


Article ID: 153163


Updated On:


Symantec Products


This article describes how to configure preferences with PGP Desktop 9.0.x for Macintosh



To customize options related to PGP Keys, Messaging, Disk, and Shredding please refer to the instructions below. All options described can be located by opening PGP Desktop, clicking PGP, and then clicking Preferences from the main PGP menu. You may also access the options by ctrl+clicking (or right clicking) on the PGP icon on your Dock and clicking Preferences.

General Tab

  • Options - Allows you to show or hide the PGP icon in the System Menu.

    Note: Enabling this feature allows easy access to several PGP Desktop features. These features include opening the PGP Desktop application, checking the version and licensing, showing and clearing logs, and purging the passphrase cache. Keep in mind that removing the PGP icon from the System Menu does not shut down the PGP Services, it merely removes the icon from the System Menu.


  • My Passphrase - This feature determines how PGP will handle your passphrase. You can choose to save (cache) your passphrase for the current login session, you can specify how long your passphrase will remain cached, or disable the caching of the passphrase altogether. You can also choose an option to clear the passphrase cache when the computer goes to sleep.
  • PGP Software Updates - Allows you to configure PGP Desktop to checks for updates, including the frequency of update queries.

Keys Tab

  • Synchronizing Keys - Allows you to select options to automatically synchronize your keys with keyservers, and if desired, add keys that are found to your keyring. You can also synchronize contacts with your Address Book. If you are constantly connected to the internet, this is a very good option.
  • Master Keys - Allows you to eliminate the need of dragging a recipient every time you encrypt. You will drag keys to the Recipients section of the Master Key List. You may also remove recipients if you no longer wish to have them on the Master Key List.
  • Key Backup - Allows you to backup to the default or set your own backup location. It is recommended you backup to a different location occasionally to prevent loss of data and decryption keys.

Messaging Tab

  • PGP Messaging Service - Allows you to decide whether or not you want all email accounts secured. Perhaps you would like to secure all your current accounts, but not a new account. If such is the case, uncheck Discover new accounts. Leave both options checked if you want all accounts (new and old) secured. Whenever you add a new email account, you will be asked for the key to secure the account if these options are enabled. Options are also available to encrypt AOL Instant Messenger, show notification balloons when messages are processed, or add comments to secured messages.
  • PGP Messaging Service (Advanced) - Allows you to set the method PGP handles Email and Instant Messaging.
    • Email - You may set the PGP Proxy Options to Automatic or Manual Proxy, and annotate messages you have received at different levels.
    • Instant Messaging - Allows you to change the Appearance of how PGP encrypted sessions of AIM appear to other AIM users. You may also override the default port in Proxying.

PGP Disk Tab

  • These options apply to PGP Virtual Disks that are mounted and unmounted. You may set unmount options such as allowing PGP Disks to unmount even while files are still open. Note that unmounting a PGP Disk volume with open files can result in lost data.

Shredding Tab

  • File Shredding - Allows you to decide the number of passes when shredding a file. A three passes minimum is the standard, but you may select the number of passes. Be aware that larger files will take longer to shred. If you select a higher number of passes, the time will be extended significantly.
  • An option to warn users before shredding is also available.