MacGPG: import of secret keys is stopped as soon as a wrong password for one of the secret keys is entered (was: unable to import keys)

Ahmad's Avatar


06 Aug, 2020 08:00 PM


I am having trouble importing keys from my private key ring (PGP Private Keyring.skr). There are at least 10 pairs of keys in the ring and when I import (either by drag and drop into GPGKeychain; or from the command line), I get a prompt at each private key for the passphrase prior to being able to import the next key.

The issue is that I lost the password for one of the keys (the third one in the list) and I can't get past this to the next keys.

Is there any was to to get around this?

I have the public key information from the other keys, is there a way I can selectively bypass this problematic lost key? Alternatively, is there a way I can import the private keys without knowing the passphrase from the one problematic key pair in the PGP Private Keyring.skr file?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 07 Aug, 2020 05:02 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Ahmad,

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

    The skr file format used by a Symantec software which was deprecated in 2011. Assume it stands for Symantic Key Ring or something along those lines. I have no experience personally with that file format. It seems to behave identical to the key format used by GPG Keychain.

    I am able to reproduce this in a scenario where I export two secret keys and enter the wrong password of the first key pinentry is asking about. The import process is stopped.

    The terminal behaves identical:

    gpg --import secret_keys.asc

    So this is expected behavior.

    I would suggest you bring up this question at the gnupg users mailling list as there a better chances of people familiar with that file format.

    Please do report back any findings as this might help other users running into the same situation.

    All the best,

  2. Steve closed this discussion on 19 Aug, 2020 06:18 PM.

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