GPG Keychain: Key issue Search keys failed! (Host is down)

nada's Avatar


18 Feb, 2019 10:01 AM


I have 2 issues:
Most of my Key list disappeared and when i try search for keys this show up:

Search keys failed! (Host is down)
Code = 32809
Error text:
gpg: error searching keyserver: Host is down
gpg: keyserver search failed: Host is down

When i try to read encrypted emails, this message shows up:

Enigmail Security Info
Error - no matching secret key found to decrypt message

My Key to work back

macOS                   10.10.5     14F1909
GPG Suite               2018.3      2223    (8d0c266)
GPGMail                 2.6.5       1292    (b2999630)
GPG Keychain            1.4.4       1460    (9010342)
GPGServices             1.11.4      1013    (0b04f6c)
MacGPG                  2.2.8       916     (0ed4a99)
GPG Suite Preferences   2.1.2       997     (1a09bc7)
Libmacgpg               0.8.5       863     (0707962)
pinentry           9       (db18340)
  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Steve on 18 Feb, 2019 11:26 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    Hi Nada,

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

    Unfortunately there are a variety of reasons why a key search can fail.

    Is there any chance that you are using Little Snitch or any other firewall on your Mac? If so, please temporarily disable that software and repeat your key search.

    Can you let us know which key server address you see in GPG Keychain > Preferences > Key Server. What happens if you switch to the other default key servers in the list?

    If you are seeing the error Connection: Refused, it is possible that your nameserver is at fault. Could you try to change the nameserver (DNS) to and let us know if that fixes your problem?

    Regarding the Enigmail error message: Is Enigmail telling you, which secret key it is looking for? And if it is, did you double check that the key in question acutally is yours? You may want to make sure the sender of the message is using your correct public key: This KB-article explains how to verify and sign a key.

    All the best,

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Steve on 18 Feb, 2019 11:27 AM

    Steve's Avatar

    PS: You are using a very old version of macOS. If you have any chance, you may want to look into updating your mac to a newer version if your hardware allows that.

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