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How to open PGP encrypted files on Android device

Created: 23 Nov 2013 • Updated: 07 Dec 2013 | 3 comments
This issue has been solved. See solution.

I use Symantec PGP (Symantec Encryption Desktop) to encrypt my files/documents at home for personal use. The software is currently installed on my Windows 8 64-bit laptop. I keep all my encrypted files on my personal/home server and can access/dpwnload these encrypted files to my Android smartphone remotely (say, when I am at my Doctor's office). The files are "PGP Self-decrypting Archives (SDA)". Is there a way to decrypt the files on Android device (Smartphone, Tablet, etc.) and be able to, say, email and or print the decrypted file?

I found Symantec PGP Viewer for Android but apparently it's meant for viewing email messages and requires managed account on PGP Universal Server which is NOT my use case and don't have PGP Universal Server or access to it.

Thanks in Advance,


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dcats's picture

Hi Anil,

I never tested what you mention, but I assume it won't work because the SDA are .exe files, this extension is usually used in Microsoft environment, thus the SDA was designed to be used only in Windows environments.

What you can do is to secure the file (this will create a .pgp file) and then use an app created for using the OpenPGP standard to open those files in Android. Note that you need to have that file secured with a key which you own and which you can import the private portion (the full keypair) to the Android device.

The Symantec PGP Viewer for Android is only for email and must be used with a managed device - enrolled to the Symantec Encryption Management Server (SEMS/PGP).

If you believe this is an important functionality missing in PGP, please contact the Technical Support and ask to file a Feature Request.

For reference: currently for iOS it exists the File Share Encryption app. While for email, initially there was also only a Viewer for iOS, but then it evolved to Symantec Mail Encryptor on iOS, which allows email encryption using an iOS device.



anila's picture

Hi dcats,

Thanks for suggesting to try some OpenPGP app. I tried the app APG in Android to open an encrypted file (.pgp). APG asked for the passphrase because I am using passphrase. I am not using any keys/keypairs. It worked fine and I was able to decrypt the file successfully. This is great because from now on I will simply encrypt my files rather than using SDA. SDA probably compresses file a bit but adds about 150KB to the file.

I have marked your response as a solution. Thanks!

I have another question... you may move this to a separate question on this forum as appropriate...

I have several SDA files which now I would like to convert to .pgp files. They all have the same passphrase and want to use the same passphrase for the converted .pgp files. Is there a way to do this in a batch?

Thanks again,

dcats's picture

Hi Anil,

I've been looking at this, but so far I haven't found a way to achieve it. I'm not sure if it is possible.