GPG Keychain: Can't encrpt or decrpt after moving to new computer

jamesbioboyer's Avatar


24 Apr, 2019 11:00 PM

My old MacBook is in the shop being fixed (I hope)

I bought a new MacBook and restored from a time machine backup but there are no .asc files in that location. There are .key files but I don’t know what they are for.

It seems as both of my keys are missing.

Is there a way to recover them?


I expected it to work.

macOS                   10.14.4     18E226
GPG Suite               2018.5      2083    (6f26711)
GPG Mail                3.0.1       1330    (807c323e)  Trial not yet started
GPG Keychain            1.4.6       1514    (560b5a9)
GPG Services            1.11.6      1056    (ad0c960)
MacGPG                  2.2.3       900     (cead4f9)
GPG Suite Preferences   2.1.4       1077    (ad934a9)
Libmacgpg               0.8.7       895     (78f424a)
pinentry                1.1.0       10      (1ff8803)
  1. 1 Posted by jamesbioboyer on 24 Apr, 2019 11:04 PM

    jamesbioboyer's Avatar
  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Steve on 29 Apr, 2019 03:38 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi James,

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

    TimeMachine is probably not a good way to transfer your key setup as it it not an accurate bit by bit backup. For such tasks tools like CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper are a better fit.

    Could you install GPG Suite from our website. Then open GPG Keychain and tick the bottom right option to only show secret keys. How many entries are you then seeing?

    In case you are not seeing any entires: this KB-article explains how to restore your keys from a time machine backup.

    Let me know if that brings you back to working state.

    All the best,

  3. 3 Posted by jamesbioboyer on 02 May, 2019 08:48 PM

    jamesbioboyer's Avatar

    I was able to get my secret and public key from my old computer.

    Ive downloaded GPG Suite and opened GPG Keychain

    I dragged the sec/pub .asc file onto the pane.

    But the "type" of key only shows up as pub.

    Is there something else I have to do?

  4. Support Staff 4 Posted by Steve on 02 May, 2019 09:19 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi James,

    can you please open the .asc file with TextEdit and check if indeed the secret key part is included? If that's the case you will see the following line:


    If you are not seeing that line, please try to export your sec/pub key from your old computer and make sure to tick the option to include the sec key during export.


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