HOW TO: Back up Your Private Key - PGP Desktop 9


Article ID: 180223


Updated On:


Symantec Products




This article describes how to backup a PGP Private key.

If you lose your key and do not have a backed up copy from which to restore your key, you will never again be able to decrypt any information encrypted to your key. In a PGP Universal Server managed environment, you can, however, reconstruct your key if your PGP administrator has implemented a key restoration policy for your company.

To back up your private key


  1. In the PGP Keys control box, click My Private Keys.

  2. Select the icon representing your keypair.

  3. Select File > Export > Key.

  4. Type a name for the file.

  5. Select the Include Private Key(s) check box. This is important, because if you do not do this, only your public key will be exported.

  6. Click Save.

  7. Copy the file (which has an .asc extension) to a secure location. This may be a compact disc which you carefully archive, another personal computer, or a USB flash drive that you keep in a safe location. Please remember not to distribute this file to others, as it contains both your private key and your public key.