GPG Mail no longer working after macOS update

⚠️ GPG Mail is not compatible with macOS 11 Big Sur yet. If you rely on GPG Mail, do not install macOS 11 Big Sur for now. We will update this KB as soon as GPG Mail is ready.

We do our best to ensure that macOS updates won't disable GPGMail. For that to work, please ensure automatic update checks are enabled in System Preferences > GPG Suite Preferences > Updates.

GPG_Suite_Updates.png

While minor updates are mostly unproblematic, major updates of macOS are likely to break GPG Mail compatibility. This is because for new version of macOS, Apple changes a lot of internals in Mail app. The fact that GPG Mail no longer works after major updates, is related to the circumstance, that Apple does not provide any APIs for Mail app. Such an API would help adapting to the internal changes.

Important: If GPG Mail is an essential part of your workflow do not update to the latest macOS release without consulting our website for compatibility information first. Nobody will get hurt, if you are not on the new release on day one, but your known workflows may break. The same holds true for macOS beta releases. If you rely on encryption, please stick to the stable branch of macOS.

Damn, too late - now what?

Use GPG Services to decrypt incoming emails

Without GPG Mail handling the decryption process, encrypted emails will show two attachments: Mail Attachment and encrypted.asc.

  1. drag the encrypted.asc attachment to your desktop
  2. open TextEdit and drag the encrypted.ascattachment on the TextEdit icon in the dock
  3. that will result in TextEdit displaying the encrypted message in text form
  4. press ⌘A, right click and select Services > OpenPGP: Decrypt Selection
  5. that will result in the decrypted message

GPG_Services-decrypt.png

To view the garbled output in more human readable form

  1. save the decrypted text as .txt file
  2. rename the .txt to .eml
  3. double click the .eml file and Mail will open and display an email with the decrypted content

Use GPG Services to encrypt and sign emails

Creating an encrypted (and signed) email using GPG Services is easy:

  1. write your draft
  2. press ⌘A to select all text
  3. right click and select Services > OpenPGP: Encrypt Selection
  4. add recipients in GPG Services and optionally sign the message
  5. Press "OK" to create an encrypted (and signed) text message you can send your friends

GPG_Mail-macOS_workaround_draft.png

Automatic decryption will happen if GPG Mail or another OpenPGP plugin is used on the receiving end.

Should you not find the "Encrypt Selection" option please ensure GPG Services are activated.