How to install your GPG keys to a USB dongle for Windows

daveb davebgimp at
Tue May 3 21:48:34 CEST 2005

I recently decided to store my keyrings on a USB dongle. I had a lot
of trouble finding information on how to do this properly for Windows
(lots of info for Linux though). After figuring it out, I thought I'd
pass on the information.

How to install your GPG keys to a USB dongle for WIN XP

   1. Install the latest binary version of GnuPG
   2. Attach your USB dongle and create a folder named keys, or
whatever's appropriate for you. If you have pre-existing keyrings,
place them here.
   3. Open REGEDIT (START > RUN > type regedit)
   4. In REGEDIT, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\GNU\GnuPG
   5. Right click in the folder and select NEW > STRING VALUE
   6. Name it "HomeDir" (without the parenthsis, of course)
   7. Right-click the entry and select MODIFY.
   8. Under VALUE DATA, type the full path to your desired key folder.
For example, mine is F:\keys\ ("F" being the USB dongle). Hit OK.
   9. Open a command prompt and type "gpg --version" or "gpg
--list-keys". Check for the Home that is listed, it should now be your
dongle and any keys in that folder should now be listed. You're done!

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