GPG Keychain: Moving my GPG app from my old MacBook pro to my new M1 macmini

Peter's Avatar


10 Mar, 2021 09:50 PM

Hi, I bought a new macmini M1 and i want to move my GPG tools fro my MacBook Pro to this new macmini. How do I do that. I could not use my timemachine backup restore as the M1 has a different infrastructure. I have tried to copy my gopg tool app from my backup to my new M1 but when I open it my keys are not there.

Can you please help? How do i do this please?



  1. 1 Posted by Dimitry Andric on 11 Mar, 2021 06:07 PM

    Dimitry Andric's Avatar

    Hi Peter, any GPG data files, such as the private and public keyrings, will reside in a .gnupg folder in your home directory. You will need to migrate the complete contents of that folder to your new system. Note this data is obviously sensitive, so don't send it via email, but use a USB stick or something! (Or use rsync, if you know how that works.)

    Having said that, if you want to completely migrate your system installation to your new Mac Mini, have you considered using macOS's builtin Migration Assistant? That can migrate almost all data seamlessly from one Mac to another.

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Steve on 11 Mar, 2021 07:55 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Peter,

    welcome to the GPGTools support platform. Sorry you are having problems using GPG Suite.

    Dimirty gave great info already - thanks for that!

    This KB-article explains how to transfer keys to a second mac if you want to migrate your existing keys to a new mac.

    Let me know if you have more questions or need further assistance after going through that KB.

    All the best,

  3. 3 Posted by ocam on 12 Mar, 2021 08:24 AM

    ocam's Avatar

    Hi Steve,

    thanks for getting back to me. I have tried to use the migration assistant from my intel mac to my macmini m1, however when I did that. I started having issues creating users and resetting passwords, and could not turn on the filevault.

    So what I did I reinstalled the BigSur from scratch and started building the mac from scratch and doing a lot of housekeeping with old files and such.

    When you say a migrate the .gpg folder to my new machine. is this like just copying from my old macbook and placing it to my new M1 macmini?
    Or when you say a migrate is there a migration meaning something else?

    I have never tried rsync. Sorry I am not that skilled.

    Do you think I that I should try the migration assistant again?
    It means I have to start from scratch I believe as the migration assistant takes the timemachine package to restore and then doing the migration assistant, right?


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  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Steve on 19 Mar, 2021 10:54 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Sorry for the late reply. You are all fine and can continue with your current setup. The KB-article I linked in my previous reply explains how to move your keys from your old to your new mac:

    Let me know if that worked as expected.


  5. Steve closed this discussion on 26 Mar, 2021 01:06 PM.

  6. ocam re-opened this discussion on 31 Mar, 2021 10:19 AM

  7. 5 Posted by ocam on 31 Mar, 2021 10:19 AM

    ocam's Avatar

    Hi Steve,

    no worries, for the late reply and thanks for the links. What I did was used my old intel based macbook and exported the key to a file that I the used to import in my mac mini M1 computer. I have not tested everything yet, but I do have the keys imported. I will try to test back and forth and I see how it goes.

    What is your though on protonmail? Instead using outlook/firebird with the gpg keys?

    Thanks for your thought.


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  8. Support Staff 6 Posted by Steve on 31 Mar, 2021 11:10 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hard to say - Protonmail tries to provide security. They break a lot of stuff along the way. I am personally not to keen on that.

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