HOW TO: Decrypt Emails Using PGP Desktop 8.x

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Article ID: 180114

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This article describes methods for decrypting encrypted emails using PGP Desktop 8.x.


PGP is able to decrypt encrypted emails in any email application, including webmail. For the more popular email applications including Eudora, Groupwise, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, PGP offers a convenient plug-in, which makes decryption as easy as clicking a PGP button that is integrated into the email application. For other email applications, including web email, PGP offers the Current Window and Clipboard features.

 

  • Although Eudora, Groupwise, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express support PGP plug-ins, they do not all offer the same features. Please see page 36 of the PGP User's Guide for a detailed table outlining the PGP features available in your email application (the PGP User's Guide may be accessed by clicking Start >Programs > PGP > Documentation).
  • If you have installed PGP but not yet authorized your license, the PGP plug-ins will not appear in your email application.


 

 

SECTION 1: Decrypt emails using the PGP plug-in 

This section of instructions applies to users who have installed the PGP plug-in for Eudora, Groupwise, Lotus Notes, Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. If you are not running one of these email applications, please skip to SECTION 2 or 3 of this article.

 

  1. Open the email message to be decrypted.
  2. Click the PGP Decrypt & Verify button. Its icon contains an unlocked padlock and open envelope (except in Lotus Notes where the decrypt option must be selected from the PGP drop-down menu). If you are not able to see the PGP buttons in your email message, you may need to enlarge your email message, or rearrange your toolbars so that all buttons are visible.
  3. If the passphrase for your private key is not cached, or if the email was encrypted with conventional encryption, the Enter Passphrase window will appear (which also shows all the public keys to which the email was encrypted, if applicable).
  4. Enter the passphrase for your private key (or if the email was conventionally encrypted, enter the passphrase chosen by the sender of the encrypted email).
  5. Click OK. At this point the email will be decrypted.

 

SECTION 2: Decrypt emails using the Current Window feature

These instructions apply to users whose email application does not contain a PGP plug-in, including web mail users. However, all users (including those whose email applications contain a PGP plug-in) may use these instructions to decrypt email.

 

  1. Open the email message to be decrypted.
  2. Make sure the window which contains the encrypted email is the foremost window on your screen.
  3. Click the PGPtray icon (gray or gold padlock in your system tray).
  4. Point to Current Window.
  5. Click Decrypt & Verify. If the passphrase for your private key is not cached, or if the email was encrypted with conventional encryption, the Enter Passphrase window will appear (which also shows all the public keys to which the email was encrypted, if applicable).
  6. Enter the passphrase for your private key (or if the email was conventionally encrypted, enter the passphrase chosen by the sender of the encrypted email).
  7. Click OK. At this point PGPs Text Viewer will appear showing you the decrypted text of the email. If necessary, click the Copy to Clipboard button, then paste the decrypted data elsewhere.

 

SECTION 3: Decrypt emails usingthe Clipboard feature

These instructions apply to users whose email application does not contain a PGP plug-in, including web mail users. However, all users (including those whose email applications contain a PGP plug-in) may use these instructions to decrypt email.

 

  1. Open the email message to be decrypted.
  2. Copy the text which you desire to decrypt.
  3. Click the PGPtray icon in your system tray (gray or gold padlock).
  4. Point to Clipboard.
  5. Click Decrypt & Verify. At this point, the encrypted datawill be decrypted and will remain on the clipboard.
  6. Now paste the contents of the clipboard into a file to which youhave write permission. The pasted text should be in decrypted and readable form.