Decryption failed: No secret key after windows wipe

Hello, I have been using kleopatra for quite a while now. I recently had some issues with my pc, and a support agent from windows had me reinstall windows, without backing anything up. I have my private key saved along with an encrypted note file, but whenever I import my secret key to kleopatra, and try to decrypt my file, it says “decryption failed, no secret key.”. So it does not seem to be accepting my secret key to decrypt my file as it normally did back before I wiped the pc. My name under certificates shows up after I import the key. It said it was expired but I was able to renew the certification through the program.

Is there a way to get this private key working again? It also does not seem to work with online programs, but like I mentioned, it worked perfectly for years up until now. My pc was restored partially, but I can’t seem to get it to work. Quite a lot of my passwords and other financial data was in there so I’m kinda at a roadblock. If someone would be able to assist in getting this note decrypted with my secret key, it would be greatly appreciated. I’ve checked forums but I can’t find anything related.

Quite a lot of my passwords and seeds to crypto were stored here, I have the encrypted notes backed up elseware and the private key backed up, but I just cant get it to work now, which means im going to take a pretty significant financial loss if its not possible.

Hello Connor,

  1. Are you sure that you imported your secret key? I attached a screenshot where you can see how it looks like if you import secret keys.

  2. Did you have more than one secret key and used the wrong one for the file?


Hey, it shoes the same message you replied to me with. But only 1, since i only have 1 private key. It just says secret key not found after I try and decrypt. Only one secret key was ever used for this note.

Could you please try to decrypt the file on the command-line? You can use “gpg --decrypt -vv <encrypted_file>” to do this. When you upload the result of this command don’t forget to remove/hide personal information like your real name and/or email.

Im not very sure how to do this, I use the kleopatra program to do all the encrypting. Is there a way to do this on kleopatra?

Yes, we can try something else. You can try to enable logging in Kleopatra with this instruction: If you have any questions about it please ask. When you’re through steps 1 - 3 you have to try to decrypt the file again. After that Kleopatra filled the log files with information about what happened while trying to decrypt the file. Please attach the file here so we can get more information about the problem.

Then follow step 4 to disable logging again. Else the log file would grow everytime you use Kleopatra and your space would be wasted.