Can I use my public and private key pair from PGP in gpg4win?

I have used PGP (pre-Symantec takeover) for several years, from the Windows 98 days until Windows XP support was halted. When I upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate, and then to Windows 10 Pro, my PGP software was no longer supported, and the only PGP available that would run on Windows 7 had been taken over by Symantec; and I do not trust Symantec to keep the software secure in accordance with the developer’s original wishes.

I now have a dual boot system (Win 7 Ultimate, 64-bit & Win 10 Pro, 64-bit), and I am running 32-bit Windows XP Pro Corporate Edition on a Virtual PC for XP mode on the Windows 7 operating system. All of my personal and organizational files, including PGP-encrypted files and archives, are on separate physical hard drives, external hard drives, and other removable storage media.

For the time being, I can encrypt and decrypt the PGP files and archives through the Windows XP Mode in Windows 7. That can be aggravating at times, so I want to run gpg4win on both Windows 7 and Windows 10. Before I install gpg4win, though, I need to know if I can use my PGP public and private keys (pkr and skr respectively) with gpg4win. Is that possible, or will I have to generate new keys in gpg4win, then decrypt all of my PGP files and archives, and re-encrypt those files using the keys generated by gpg4win? That could be a monumental undertaking, given that I have a few terabytes worth of encrypted files for the charitable organization alone.

The original PGP program gave the option of using an existing key pair or generating a new key pair. I don’t know if that is an option with gpg4win.

Help from a veteran PGP user who knows is very much appreciated.

Thank you.

GPG4Win will allow you to use existing keys.

In general, GPG4Win is designed to be compatible with PGP. However, I am not sure of which types and versions of PGP keys are supported. I am sure one of the developers will chime in eventually and clarify.

In the meantime, why not download it and do some testing. After all, it’s free.

Sean C.

Thank you for your response, Sean.

Regarding installing and testing it, I may do that. This time, though, I think I’ll back up my keys to an off-computer location for safe keeping. I tried doing that with GoAnywhere OpenPGP, and ruined a good key pair. Luckily I had backed them up on external storage before I installed OpenPGP, so it didn’t ruin the keys that I use to decrypt older files.

Thanks again for your reply.


Unfortunately, GPG4win will not let me use my old PGP key pair, so GPG4win is not an option for me.

Apparently the algorhythm used to create the key pair is not supported by GPG4win.

I did find an OpenPGP program that is compatible with both Windows 10 Pro 64-bit and Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit systems, and allowed me to use my old PGP keys to decrypt the archived PGP-encrypted files and encrypt new files.

Thank you, S C, for prompting me to go ahead and install the software and at least try to use GPG4win.

This thread is now closed.

Thanks a bunch.

A thousand humble and sincere apologies for misspelling the most sacred word “algorithm”!

May Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, and the “old French” look upon me from the unknown dimensions of eternity with forgiveness and mercy (humbly bows before the altar of Mathematics).

Just wanted to admit my error and ask forgiveness…

Humbly and Contritely

Hi Al,

thanks for trying Gpg4win!

Note that Gpg4win and the contained crypto “engine” GnuPG support a number of outdated algorithms, but do not advertise them or need special compatibility flags. The reason is that a less experienced user will use a modern algorithms that is considered safe (as far as currently known).

So the question is not if you can “create” a key pair, but if you can import it. And if it fails in the first try, you could try the command line with extra switches, like gpg2 -v --import --allow-weak-digest-algos, ‘–pgp6’, ‘–pgp7’, or ‘–pgp8’.

If it does not work, please post the error message from the command line with the version of Gpg4win you were trying.

Best Regards,