Gpg4win 2.0.0

Gpg4win is an installer package for Windows for EMail and file encryption using the core component GnuPG for Windows. Both relevant cryptography standards are supported, OpenPGP and S/MIME. Gpg4win and the software included with Gpg4win are free software. Gpg4win 2.0.0 uses GPL Version 2.

When you start the installation, you can choose which components to install. The included components are as follows:

GnuPGGnuPG Privacy Guard
KleopatraKeymanger for OpenPGP and X.509 and common crypto dialogs
GPAGNU Privacy Assistant
GpgOLGnuPG for Outlook
GpgEXGnuPG Shell Extension
Claws-MailClaws Mail-User-Agent
Gpg4win Kompendium (pdf, German)Gpg4win compendium (German)
Novice Manual (pdf, English)Gpg4win Manual for the Novice User (English)

Once Gpg4win is installed, you need to run the Gnu Privacy Assistant (GPA) to create your public (pubring.gpg) and secret (secring.gpg) key rings. The files will be placed in C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\gnupg, where Username is the account you are using, on a Windows Vista system. Note: you will need to display hidden files and folders to see this folder.

If you have existing key rings on another system, you can copy them over the ones in this location. Or, you can import a pubring.gpg file from another system in the GNU Privacy Assistant by clicking on the Import button.

If you need to obtain a public key from a keyserver, click on Server from the menu bar in GPA, then provide the key ID. The key server that will be used is set by clicking on Edit then selecting Backend Preferences where you will see a "Configuration for Keyservers" option.

If you don't know the key id, you can use the gpg2.exe program, which will be located in the directory where you insalled Gpg4win.

C:\Program Files (x86)\GnuPG>gpg2 --search-keys --keyserver
gpg: searching for "jackson" from hkp server
(1)     Andy Jackson <>
          1024 bit DSA key 525BACE7, created: 2003-06-18
(2)     Janet D. Jackson <>
          2048 bit RSA key E45ADACD, created: 2005-02-02
Enter number(s), N)ext, or Q)uit > 1
gpg: requesting key 525BACE7 from hkp server
gpg: key 525BACE7: public key "Andy Jackson <>" impo
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

If you are running a 64-bit version of Windows, you won't see an option to "sign and encrypt" a file when you right-click on it or "decrypt and verify" for files with a .gpg extension within Windows Explorer as you will with 32-bit versions of Windows. That is because the GnuPG Shell Extension (GpgEX) is a 32bit plugin for the 32bit Windows Explorer and it does not run in a 64bit Explorer. The workaround is to run the 32bit Explorer to use GpgEX. You can run the 32-bit version by clicking "Start" -> "Run", type the following in the box, and then click OK:

C:\windows\syswow64\explorer.exe /separate

Note: Adjust the path to your x64-based version of Windows if necessary.


  1. Gnupg
    MoonPoint Support
  2. PGP Public Key Servers
    By: David E. Ross
    David Ross, one of the last living liberals

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