Forgotten Passphrase

matt-s-'s Avatar


05 Mar, 2018 11:12 PM

Hi there,

I've forgotten my passphrase. I've tried uninstalling and re-installing GPGSuite but I am still asked to input my forgotten passphrase when trying to decrypt messages etc.

I have tried creating new keys but again, when I come to try to decrypt new messages, I am asked for my forgotten passphrase.

I'm on Mac El Capitan.

Note that I have tried revoking user IDs and keys - this does not work.

Are there hidden files on my Mac that I need to delete when reinstalling?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 07 Mar, 2018 03:16 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi matt-s-,

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

    This KB-article explains what to do if you forgot your password or lost access to your secret key.

    We'll go from there.


  2. 2 Posted by matt-s- on 07 Mar, 2018 06:02 PM

    matt-s-'s Avatar

    Hi Steve,

    Yeah - as noted in my original post, I've already tried all of the suggestions within that article.

    Note that I know my key password(s) but I do not know my "passphrase".

    Please advise,


  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Steve on 08 Mar, 2018 06:27 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Password and passphrase are the same in this case. You say you know your password so have you tried using the password for your OpenPGP key?

    In case you have indeed forgotten your password and are unable to retrieve it from macOS keychain your best option would be to revoke the key in question and create a new key.

    Please note that creating a new key won't give you access to the data encrypted with the old public key. That data can only be decrypted with the corresponding secret key + password.


  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Steve on 20 Apr, 2018 08:48 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Closing, since no further user feedback was received. Should your problem persist, feel free to re-open this discussion any time.

    All the best, steve

  5. Steve closed this discussion on 20 Apr, 2018 08:48 AM.

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