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How to export PGP keys in Encryption Desktop for Windows


Article ID: 153513


Updated On:


Desktop Email Encryption Drive Encryption


This article details how to export keys in Encryption Desktop (previously PGP Desktop) for Windows.


Exporting the key pair and public key backs the key pair as well as distributes the public key to recipients to encrypt to. Not having a backup is potentially disastrous. If the key is lost the encrypted information can never be decrypted for that key.

PGP keys are exported as .asc files.

Export PGP keys

Several methods exist to export keys out of PGP Desktop. These methods include:

Export within Encryption Desktop

  1. Open Encryption Desktop.
  2. Click "PGP Keys".
  3. Highlight the PGP key you want to export, then select the File menu and click Export > Key. Alternatively, right-click on the key to export and click "Export" in the drop-down menu.
  4. When the Export Key to File window appears, select a location to export the key, then click Save. The key is exported as an .asc file to the location specified.

    Note: This export will only export the public key. To include the private key to the backup key, select the Include Private Key(s) box in the lower left corner.

Send to method within Encryption Desktop - (Public key only)

  1. Open Encryption Desktop.
  2. Click "PGP Keys".
  3. Right-click the key to export then select Send To from the drop-down list.
  4. The option to send the public key to a key server listed in the drop-down list, a smart card, or to mail recipient can be chosen. If choosing a mail recipient, a new mail message opens and automatically attaches the public key.

Drag and Drop Method - (Public key only)

  1. Open PGP Desktop.
  2. Click "PGP Keys".
  3. Click and drag the key outside of the PGP Desktop window. Also drag the file to your Desktop or a drive or folder of your choice.

Copy Public Key Block

  1. Open PGP Desktop.
  2. Click "PGP Keys".
  3. Right-click the key to export, then select Copy Public Key.
  4. Also paste the key block of the public key to a text file as an additional backup.