HOW TO: Encrypt Files using PGP Desktop 9.0.x for Macintosh

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Article ID: 180097

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This article describes how to encrypt files with PGP Desktop 9.0.x for Macintosh


There are multiple ways to encrypt and decrypt files using PGP Desktop. PGP Zip allows you to put any combination of files and folders into a compressed and encrypted package for convenient transport or backup. You can also encrypt individual files.

 

  • PGP Zip archives can be freely moved between a Mac OS X and Windows platforms, so long as PGP Desktop is installed on the system to which the archive is being moved.
  • When you encrypt a file, you are creating a second copy of the file that is encrypted. The original still exists in its original location. Encrypted files have a .pgp extension appended to the filename.


 

PGP Zip

Creating a PGP Zip
 

  1. Open PGP Desktop by clicking on the PGP Desktop icon in the system menu bar, then scroll down and click Open PGP Desktop. If the PGP Desktop icon is not visible in the system menu then start PGP Desktop by clicking on the application (default location is the Applications folder).
  2. From the PGP menu, click File and then scroll to New and click PGP Zip from the sub-menu. The Untitled PGP Zip screen appears.
  3. Select the type of encryption. If you want to encrypt to the public key of specific recipients, click on the dot by to the following recipients. For encrypting to a passphrase, click on the dot beside with passphrase (no keys required) and go to step 4. To continue with a public key user, click on the +, select the public key of the person you wish to encrypt to, and click OK. Repeat this for adding multiple users. Skip to step 5.
  4. If you selected encrypting to a passphrase, click on Set Passphrase. Then enter and confirm a passphrase and click OK. This passphrase will be required in order to open the PGP Zip.
  5. If desired, you can specify a signing key from your private keyring allowing anyone opening the PGP Zip to verify that it was created by you. Use the up/down arrow to the right of Sign with Key to select a public key to sign to. Put a check in the box by Save Detached Signature File by clicking on it, if you wish to have a detached signature file created. If you do not wish to sign, select none.
  6. Now add files and/or folders by dragging them into the Files box, or by clicking on the +, browsing to the desired file or folder and clicking Add.
  7. Click Finish.
  8. The save dialog appears. Specify a name and location for the PGP Zip archive, then click Save.
  9. If you specified a signing key, you are prompted for the passphrase of the signing key. Enter the passphrase and then click OK.

 

Opening a PGP Zip Archive: 
 

  1. Use the Finder or other method to locate the PGP Zip file.
  2. Double click on it.
  3. If the PGP Zip archive was encrypted to your public key, you are prompted for the passphrase of your private key. Enter the passphrase and click OK.
  4. If the PGP Zip archive was encrypted to a passphrase, enter the passphrase and click OK.
  5. If the PGP Zip archive was also signed, a verification screen will appear displaying the results.
  6. A new folder is created (in the same location as the PGP Zip archive), that includes files and/or folders that were in the PGP Zip archive.

 

Encrypting a File

Method 1: Encrypting a file using the Finder 
 

  1. Use the Finder or another method to find the file you wish to encrypt.
  2. Ctrl+click (or right click) on the file. Point to PGP and then click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign (if you want the file to be signed as well as encrypted).
  3. Select the recipient(s) by dragging them to the bottom window. Note that the private key of the recipient will be required to decrypt the message.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If signing, select the signing key using the up/down arrow in the signing key window and enter the passphrase for it, then click OK.

 

Method 2: Encrypting a file using the PGP Desktop menu. 
 

  1. Open PGP Desktop by clicking on the PGP Desktop icon in the system menu bar, then scroll down and click Open PGP Desktop. If the PGP Desktop icon is not visible in the system menu then start PGP Desktop by clicking on the application (default location is the Applications folder).
  2. In the menu, click on File and then Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign.
  3. Browse to and select the file you wish to encrypt.
  4. Click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign (depending on what you selected in step 3).
  5. Select the recipient(s) by dragging them to the bottom window. Note that the private key of the recipient will be required to decrypt the message.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If signing, select the signing key using the up/down arrow in the signing key window and enter the passphrase for it, then click OK.

 

Decrypting a File

Method 1: Decrypting a file using the Finder 
 

  1. Use the Finder or another method to find the file you wish to decrypt.
  2. Ctrl+click (or right click) on the file. Point to PGP and then click Decrypt/Verify.
  3. Enter the passphrase for the private key of one of the recipients displayed.
  4. Click OK.
  5. If the file was also signed, a verification info window will appear.
  6. A decrypted version of the file will appear in the same directory as the encrypted file. Note that the encrypted copy will still exist.

 

Method 2: Decrypting a file using the PGP Desktop menu
 

  1. Open PGP Desktop by clicking on the PGP Desktop icon in the system menu bar, then scroll down and click Open PGP Desktop. If the PGP Desktop icon is not visible in the system menu then start PGP Desktop by clicking on the application (default location is the Applications folder).
  2. In the menu, click on File and then Decrypt/Verify.
  3. Browse to and select the file you wish to decrypt.
  4. Click Decrypt/Verify.
  5. Enter the passphrase for the private key of one of the recipients displayed.
  6. Click OK.
  7. If the file was also signed, a verification info window will appear.
  8. A decrypted version of the file will appear in the same directory as the encrypted file. Note that the encrypted copy will still exist.