GPGMail can't decrypt message

If you receive an email that GPGMail can't decrypt, it's possible your secret key is missing from GPG Keychain. Try these suggestions.


  • wrong public key used for encryption: The sender might not be using the correct public key to encrypt messages to you: It's possible that multiple keys for your email address exist, so it's best if you send the sender a message with your correct public key attached. See, Email public key.
  • Optionally you may want to verify each others public keys, see Verify a key.
  • revoke old keys: If you have created several keys, consider to revoke old unused keys. See Revoke key.

  • disable old keys: If you can't revoke old keys, you can instead disable the key. Ask your friends to do the same in their GPG Keychain to avoid future confusion. See, Disable key.

  • secret key missing from GPG Keychain: You may no longer be in possession of the secret key, needed to decrypt the message. The secret key could have been accidentally deleted. Or it was not transferred to a new computer, you are now using. If you can access the old computer, see Transfer keys to another computer.