Key I used is different to key in GPG

pedro.from.aus's Avatar


07 Jan, 2019 01:49 AM

Just looking for some advice, please.

Someone sent me a message encrypted with my key that is stored with my user profile on a site. However I get 'invalid passphrase' when I try to decrypt the message using GPG. I'm a very infrequent user of encryption and set up by key several years ago. What I've noticed is that the version of my key on the site is older by one day than the version that I see in GPG, and I'm assuming that I may have created the key twice and that this is causing the problem.

If I replace the key on the site with the newer version of my key from GPG, will this mean that I can now read the message, or will the message still be unreadable? Or is there any way to transfer the key from the site into GPG and read the message that way?

Any advice will be appreciated!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 07 Jan, 2019 11:19 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Pedro,

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

    Your assumption sounds about right, that several keys have been created and a different key than the one you remember the password for was used. The date is a clear give away that things don't match. What I find odd though is, that if you do not have the secret key required for decryption, you should be seeing a warning about that. And since if a user does not have the required sec key for decryption, it makes no sense to ask for the password for that key, but yet you are asked for it. So maybe you do have the required sec key in your keychain?

    Besides that, even if you change the public key on the site it is shared, that will not alter the encrypted message and if you do not have the required sec key and or the affiliated password you will be unable to decrypt.

    So to move forward updating the public page with the correct public key is the right thing to do. You would then also have to ask the author of the message in question to resend their message using your correct public key.

    Hope this helps.

    All the best,

Reply to this discussion

Internal reply

Formatting help / Preview (switch to plain text) No formatting (switch to Markdown)

Attaching KB article:


Attached Files

You can attach files up to 10MB

If you don't have an account yet, we need to confirm you're human and not a machine trying to post spam.

Keyboard shortcuts


? Show this help
ESC Blurs the current field

Comment Form

r Focus the comment reply box
^ + ↩ Submit the comment

You can use Command ⌘ instead of Control ^ on Mac