Error message on Decryption in Kleopatra: no secret key

I have sent a client my public key. They have returned encrypted files with their public key. However, when I try to decrypt in Kleopatra, I get an error message about no secret key. The error also shows recipients being my public key and my clients public key.

Now I have exported the secret key. Yet when I try to import it, the message I get is that it is not imported.

What should I do? Thanks in advance.

Hi m,
can you encrypt and decrypt a file to yourself?

Does the following command on a command line show you a private key?
gpg -v -K


Hello Bernhard. Attached is a screenshot of the outcome of typing the command you recommended.

2018-03-06 16_24_38-C__WINDOWS_system32_cmd.exe.jpg

I have encrypted and decrypted successfully a file using my own key.

You say that the client encrypted the files with their public key? This may be the problem. If that is indeed what they did, you will not be able to decrypt the files unless you have their private key (which you shouldn’t).

In order for you to be able to decrypt the files, they must encrypt them with your public key.

Edit: I see that in your original post you said that the files were encrypted using both your public key and the client’s public key. In that case, you should be able to decrypt the files.


Hi m,

okay, the basic check looks good: Your setup seems to be fine.

If you already have the secret key, you cannot import it again
as it wouldn’t be necessary.

Now on to the next check: Did the sender really encrypt with your public key?
If this is a file, try to decrypt if with the command line an carefully check out
to which public key it is encrypted:

gpg -v --decrypt

(Don’t post the results here in public, just check to see if your public key is among
the ones to which the message is encrypted to.)

Best Regards,