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How do I import my keys back into PGP from a backup?

Created: 03 Sep 2011 | 4 comments

Maybe I'm overlooking an obvious answer, but I removed my keys in PGP desktop and I want them back now!  I was fiddling with things, and I know I messed up.  I accidentally create a new key awhile ago and my PGD drives were requiring a passphrase to open when they normally just mount with my key automatically.  So, I pulled the keys out of my backup and thought I could just put them import them into PGP desktop, but I guess it doesn't work like that.  Is there a wayt o import my old keys?  I have the fies:

PGP Private Keyring Backup.skr
PGP Private Keyring.skr
PGP Public Keyring Backup.pkr
PGP Public Keyring.pkr

With these, should I be able to put them back like they used to be?  I am really stuck on this, and it's killing me!

Comments 4 CommentsJump to latest comment

desertrat's picture

I think I've managed to really confuse myself.  Here's what I did.  I found the proper way to export and import keys, but I still have some issues.  I started up my bootable clone which has PGP with my original keys in it.  I exported the keys from there using file>export.  Then, I imported my keys by opening them on my real computer with PGP.  I imported the keys sucessfully, but something isn't working properly.  With my bootable clone, I am able to open my PGP volumes that are set up to open with my keypair by just opening them.  They mount just fine.  Back to the real computer, where I installed the same keys form the working clone, I have to type in a passphrase.  This is the reason I started messing around with this in the first place, because somehow my volumes stopped mounting without a passphrase.  I tried to recover my public key from the global directory, and it appears I may have never actually approved the key to be published, because I can't find it.  But, everythig works fine on my old clone, so I don't understand how to troubleshoot this at all.  I have been reading throught the help files and booting back and forth between machines for 5 hours today, I just don't know what I'm doing wrong.  I hope someone can help!

Edit to add- I just tried publishing the key from the clone.  I don't know how long it takes to be visible, but it didnt happen yet.  Do I have to get an email to confirm the published key before it is visible? 

Edit again-  I finally found that I was missing somethign.  I guess I had my passphrase saved to my keychain, which is what was allowing me to open volumes without typing the passphrase every time.  So, I guess that sort of solves my problem.  We'll see if I run into any other issues!

PGP_Ben's picture

It's possible that you could have been running into this:

Sometimes you have to manually set trust properties on a key to verified after importing (if it can't be automatically verified)

If/when you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

Rzworld's picture

Hello Desertrat,

You can try this :

HOW TO: Import PGP Keys - PGP Desktop 10 for Mac


Importing PGP Keys - PGP Desktop 9.x for Mac

Tom Mc's picture

Is this still a problem for you?

When you consider your issue resolved, please click Mark As Solution on the most helpful response.

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