HOW TO: Export PGP Keys in Encryption Desktop for Mac OS X


Article ID: 180221


Updated On:


Desktop Email Encryption Drive Encryption




This article describes how to export your PGP Keypair using Encryption Desktop (previously PGP Desktop) for Mac OS X.  Exporting your private keypair is useful for the following:

  • Backing up your keypair (private and public).
  • Exporting your public key to send to recipients for the purpose of encrypting email messages or files to you.

There are several ways to export your keys from PGP Desktop. These methods include:

  • Export feature in PGP Desktop (private or public key)
  • Using the Send to feature (public key only)
  • Click and drag (public key only)

Using the export feature

  1. Open Encryption Desktop.
  2. Click Keys to display the keys available for export.
  3. Highlight the PGP key you wish to export and select the File > Export. You can also use ctrl+click on the key and then select Export.
  4. When the Export Key to File window appears, select a location to export the key. To include the private portion of the key to backup your keypair, select the box near the bottom of the window marked Include Private Key(s).
  5. Then click Save. The key will then be exported as an .asc file to the location you specified.

Send to (public key only)

  1. Open Encryption Desktop.
  2. Click Keys from the left menu to display the keys available.
  3. Ctrl+click on the key you wish to export and select Mail Recipient or Send Key To Server within the drop down list.
  4. Click on the keyserver in the sub-menu that you wish to send the key to.

Click and drag (public key only)

  1. Open PGP Desktop.
  2. Click Keys.
  3. Click and drag the key you wish to export outside of the PGP Desktop window. You may drag the file to your Desktop or a drive/folder.