Encrypt or Decrypt Files and Folders with PGP Zip (Windows)

Article:TECH148865  |  Created: 2006-02-17  |  Updated: 2012-08-17  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/TECH148865
Article Type
Technical Solution


This article describes how to encrypt or decrypt files and folders with PGP Desktop for Windows.



PGP Zip will compress the file or folder as well as encrypt. There are two methods in which PGP Zip may be used. PGP Zip may be accessed through the main screen of PGP Desktop, or through Windows Explorer. Creating a PGP Zip file is encrypting the file or folder, and a *.pgp extension will be added to the file, showing that it is encrypted.


Using PGP Zip within PGP Desktop

Follow the instructions in this section to create, open, or edit a PGP Zip file. Create a PGP Zip file To create a new PGP Zip file, do the following:

1. Open PGP Desktop.
2. Locate PGP Zip Control box in the left pane of the PGP Desktop main screen.
3. Click New PGP Zip. This also appears as an icon on the PGP Toolbar for quick access.
4. When the PGP Zip work area appears to the right, select the type of encryption (key or conventional).
5. Select a signing key. This will generally be your default key pair. You must have the private portion of a key pair in order to sign a PGP Zip.
6. Add recipients or users of this PGP Zip file by clicking Add Recipients. (not available for conventional encryption as it is a passphrase and does not relate to keys)
7. Drag and drop files or folders you wish to add to the PGP Zip file. You may also click Add Files, contained in the PGP Zip Control box, to browse for files and folders you wish to add.
8. Click Save in the work area, or in the PGP Zip Control box, click Save PGP Zip.
9. When the Save PGP Zip As box appears, choose a location to save the .zip file, choose a filename, and click Save.
10. Enter the passphrase for the signing key selected above and click OK.
11. If it was conventionally encrypted, you will be prompted to choose a passphrase. If it was encrypted using a key, the passphrase will be that of the recipient key.


Note: This process does not remove the original files from the disk. If you wish to remove the original files from the disk automatically, pull down the Zip menu and click Wipe Original Files from Disk. Open a PGP Zip file To open a previously created PGP Zip file, either double click the PGP Zip file (e.g. filename.pgp) and enter the passphrase, or do the following:

1. Open PGP Desktop.
2. Locate PGP Zip Control box in the left pane of the PGP Desktop main screen.
3. Click Open a PGP Zip.
4. Browse to the PGP Zip file (e.g. filename.pgp), and click Open.

Edit a PGP Zip file
To add/remove users, add/remove files, change the encryption type, or adjust the signing key, you must edit the PGP Zip file. To Edit a PGP Zip file, do the following:

1. Within the PGP Zip Control box, click on the PGP Zip file you wish to edit.
2. In the work area, click Edit.
3. Once you have made the desired changes, click Save.
4. Select a location to store the file in, and click Save.
5. Enter the passphrase for the selected key and click OK.


Using PGP Zip in Windows Explorer

Whenever you right click on a file or folder, the PGP Zip menu will be accessible to you. Use this option to quickly encrypt or decrypt a file or folder. The following instructions will show you how to encrypt files and folders using key and conventional encryption. It will also describe decrypting files and folders using PGP Zip. Encrypt a file using key encryption

1. Right click on a file or folder.
2. Point to PGP Zip and click Encrypt.
3. Click and drag the desired recipient keys from your key list to the Recipients box below and click OK.

Encrypt a file using conventional encryption

1. Right click the file to be encrypted.
2. Point to PGP Zip, and then click Encrypt or Encrypt & Sign. At this point the Key Selection Dialog appears.
3. Check the box for Conventional Encryption.
4. If you will be emailing this as a binary file and are using an older email application, you may need to select the check box labeled Text Output to save the file as ASCII text. This will increase the size of the encrypted file by about 30%.
5. If you do not want to keep a copy of the original file, check the Wipe Original box (PGP will wipe the original and leave only an encrypted copy of it).
6. If the file may be vulnerable to a TEMPEST attack, check the box labeled Secure Viewer.
7. Click OK.
8. Enter and confirm a passphrase for the encrypted file, then click OK. If you chose to sign the file, enter the passphrase for your private key, and then click OK again. An encrypted copy of the file will now be created in the same directory as the original.

You may also use the PGP Zip menu for decryption of PGP Zip files or to Create SDA (Self Decrypting Archive) files.

Decrypt a PGP Zip file

1. Right click the file to be decrypted.
2. Point to PGP Zip, and then click Decrypt & Verify.
3. Enter the passphrase of your key and click OK.
4. The decrypted file will then be saved in the same location as the encrypted file.


Note: Double clicking on the PGP Zip file does not save a decrypted copy in the location of the encrypted file. It will open the file into PGP Desktop where you will need to extract the file if you wish to save it.


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