Restore Secret Key

Sokaiya's Avatar


09 Nov, 2013 02:27 PM

I recently deleted both keys from my keyring and now I would like to restore my old keys. I've searched the forums and found the following instructions:
your keys are stored in keyring files. You can find those files when following this steps:

Open a new finder window
hit shift + cmd + G
enter ~/.gnupg/
The sec keys are in secring.gpg. If you copy that file from the backup to your machine please make sure to first copy the existing file on your desktop for backup measures.
Let me know if that worked.
Best, steve

However, those steps are not working for me. For some reason it is not locating the old secret key that I used to have and trying to hunt it down through the time machine is becoming very frustrating. When I try and "import" the secret key, it simply imports secrete keys to what I currently have on my keychain, NOT to what I used to have on my keychain. Please help!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 10 Nov, 2013 06:18 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Gregory,

    that sounds as if the time machine backup does not have a keyring file which still has your old keys. Do you have a separate backup which might have an old state of the files on your machine?

    I'm afraid those keys will be lost. We are aware we need to prevent this from happening by displaying much clearer warning what happens if a sec key is deleted.

    But from what you write it sounds like you will have to create a new key.

    Best, steve

  2. 2 Posted by Sokaiya on 10 Nov, 2013 06:30 PM

    Sokaiya's Avatar

    The backup would have to have the gnupg folder backed up correct? If not, i do not believe so.

    I have a hard time understanding why the time machine would not have backed up those old keys as it is supposed to back up the entire system.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Luke Le on 19 Nov, 2013 06:30 PM

    Luke Le's Avatar

    Your Time Machine has most definitely backed up the .gnupg folder as well.
    Try the following. Locate an older Time Machine backup in Finder and select your backed up user folder.
    Then press SHIFT + CMD + G and type:


    and press enter.
    That way you should see the files you need.

  4. 4 Posted by Sokaiya on 22 Nov, 2013 01:28 AM

    Sokaiya's Avatar

    Luke Le,

    You are the man!



  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Steve on 22 Nov, 2013 10:16 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Perfect. Glad, this is solved for you. I'm closing this discussion. If you need further assistance or have questions you can re-open this discussion here or open a new one any time.

    Best, steve

  6. Steve closed this discussion on 22 Nov, 2013 10:16 PM.

  7. Support Staff 6 Posted by Steve on 07 Feb, 2014 05:02 PM

    Steve's Avatar

    Fixed in latest nightly. When now importing a revocation certificate, the user will see a message informing about the consequences and will have to confirm the import first before any damage can be done.

  8. Steve closed this discussion on 07 Feb, 2014 05:02 PM.

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