How to find public keys of your friends and import them

OpenPGP keys can be exchanged in various ways. Here are the most common:

Search key servers

To search and import keys from key servers, open GPG Keychain and press cmd + f or click the "Lookup Key" icon. Enter the mail address you are searching for.

gk_key-search1.png

In the search results select the key you want to import.

gk_key-search2.png

In the example of our team key, things get just a little complicated. Fake or accidental keys were created for our mail address. While technically those keys are valid, we did not create them nor can we decrypt any messages encrypted with those keys. We taught GPG Keychain to always select the right team-key to avoid confusion.

But you may see more than one key in the search results for any mail address. Thus you should always verify the fingerprint of the imported key with the key owner. That way you can ensure you have the correct public key.

Import key file

To import a public key from a file, simply drag the file in question into GPG Keychain and it will import the key. The public key file should be in .asc or .txt file format. Please never user .rtf .odt .doc .docx files. That could render your key useless. If you received a public key in such a file format, do ask the key owner to resend the key in .asc or .txt format.

Our team key in txt or asc file format.

gk-key-import_file.jpg

Import key in text from

To import, select the entire key from

-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----

to

-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
  • press cmd + c (copy)
  • open GPG Keychain and press cmd + v (paste)

GPG Keychain will then import the public key.

Our team key in text form


-----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
Comment: https://gpgtools.org

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-----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----