How do I use gpg to decrypt encrypted files????

BosseB bo.berglund at
Wed Sep 9 23:50:28 CEST 2009

On Wed, 9 Sep 2009 17:29:47 -0400, David Shaw <dshaw at>

>On Sep 9, 2009, at 5:07 PM, BosseB wrote:
>> I have a number of encrypted files, which I need to decrypt. I have
>> installed GPG 1.4.9 on my Windows XP-Pro SP3 PC. I have the necessary
>> keyrings and they work with Thunderbird and Enigmail.
>> But as I said I need to decrypt files that are on my hard disk, not in
>> an email....
>> I tried this command in a command window:
>> gpg -d <asc filename>
>> I got a prompt for my passphrase and as soon as I entered this the
>> window filled with large amounts of strange characters and the PC
>> speaker started to beep and never would stop.
>> I finally had to use ProcessExplorer and kill the cmd process to get
>> silence. :-(
>Take away the "-d".  Just plain "gpg my-file-to-decrypt.asc" will do  
>what you want, and save the result in "my-file-to-decrypt" (it removes  
>the ".asc").  If you want to control the name that the file is saved  
>under, do:
>   gpg -o file-to-save-the-decrypted-data-in my-file-to-decrypt.asc

This worked but is not mentioned in the help (gpg -h) at all even
though it seems to be the most important command one needs in order to
use GPG... (hint, hint)

>> What is the correct procedure to decrypt a file thta has been
>> encrypted with my public key?
>> And is there no way to use some kind of GUI tool to do this so the
>> masses of option codes are automatically used?

I tried installing gpg4win last week on my PC but had to uninstall it
afterwards because it invaded my Outlook 2003 to such an extent that
it became unusable for normal email use. :-(

So I had to revert to installing GPG instead and then I don't have any
integration with Outlook anymore so I have to start using Thunderbird
for encrypted correspondence (with Enigmail). Sigh....

Funnily I only found GPG 1.4.9 on the GnuPG site even though Gpg4Win
came with some version 2.0.x, why is this?

And might my problems with Gpg4Win stem from its use of a GPG ver 2

Several years ago I had installed a Gpg4Win on a PC, which integrated
OK with Outlook, not at all like the one I found last week.

I also seem to recall that back a few years there was a piece of
software that after installation offered a rightclick menu item in
Windows Explorer for encrypting/decrypting a file depending on the
file type clicked on. If it was an ASC file it offered decrypt and
otherwise encrypt.
But I have failed to find such software now. Maybe I am only dreaming
or possibly it was part of PGP7, which I used at one time?

Bo Berglund
Developer in Sweden

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