A GPG key pair has been transferred to a new machine, but the passphrase for the private key is not working in the new device.
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PGP - Issues with Key Transfer

Troubleshooting issue with key not working after transfer to new machine


The passphrase for a private PGP key is not working after the key pair was transferred from a different machine, but the key can be successfully used in the old device.


Guide the client through the following steps:

In the old machine:

  1. Change the passphrase for the private key in the old machine to a simpler one.
  2. Copy the folder ~/.gnupg to a secure USB stick.

In the new machine:

  1. Close all of the programs related to gpg, including Thunderbird, OpenGPG, GPG Keychain, etc.
  2. Back up the folder ~/.gnupg in ~/.gnupgbkp.
  3. Delete the content of the ~/.gnupg folder.
  4. Copy the files in the .gnupg folder in the USB stick to the folder ~/.gnupg.
  5. Change the passphrase for the private key again. It should be a long and strong passphrase.
  6. Test the key in Thunderbird with the new passphrase.