HOW TO: Create a PGP Portable Disk using a removable USB device


Article ID: 180210


Updated On:


Symantec Products




This article details how to create and securely remove PGP Portable Disks using a USB device. PGP Portable allows you to distribute encrypted files to users who do not have PGP Desktop software. Use PGP Portable to transport files securely to other systems that do not or cannot have PGP software installed.


PGP Portable provides:


  • Portability of secured documents
  • Ease of distribution of secured documents

To create and securely remove a PGP Portable Disk


Note: Before PGP Portable can be installed, a licensed version of PGP Desktop 9.9.1 - 9.12 bound to a PGP Universal Server, must be installed on the system. PGP Portable will not install or operate properly if PGP Desktop is not already installed and licensed.


  1. Locate and right-click the mounted removable USB device, and then select Create PGP Portable Disk from the shortcut menu.
  2. The PGP Portable Disk creation application is displayed with a warning that the contents of the drive will be erased.
  3. In the Create PGP Portable Disk dialog box, enter and confirm the passphrase. This passphrase will be required to access the data in the PGP Portable Disk. (select Securely erase the contents of the disk to remove PGP Portable Disk from device)
  4. Click Format. When completed, the PGP Portable Disk is created. The PGP Portable Disk File is encrypted to the passphrase specified.
  5. You are prompted to enter the passphrase and then the PGP Portable Disk is mounted. A notification message is displayed from the system tray informing you of the drive number for the mounted PGP Portable Disk.
  6. If desired, copy the data that you want to protect to the mounted PGP Portable Disk. The PGP Portable Disk contains no files when it is first created.
  7. Unmount the PGP Portable Disk (in the system tray, click the PGP Portable icon and select Unmount and Exit). The drive that was mounted for the PGP Portable Disk is unmounted.
  8. Properly eject the USB device and remove the device from your computer. You can now access the contents of the PGP Portable Disk on another system that supports PGP Portable.
Warning: Be sure that you properly unmount a removable USB device before physically removing it from the system contents.

The removable device contains the following files:


  • The PGP Portable Windows executable (pgpportable.exe)
  • The PGP Portable Mac OS X executables (PGP Portable App)
  • A Windows autorun file (autorun.inf)
  • A PGP Portable Disk File (pgpportable.pgd)

Be sure that you do not delete any of these files from the PGP Portable Disk.