Exporting PGP-Encrypted Email From Apple Mail

After disabling the GPGTools plugin for Apple Mail, you will need to save encrypted messages as files on your hard drive in order to view them later o

1. Select the encrypted message. (Note: If you have followed the instructions for how to disable GPG in Apple Mail correctly, you will see something like the below image, instead of seeing the email with a note that it was decrypted.)

2. Click the “View” menu in the menu bar on the top of the screen, and select “Message”, and then select “Raw Source.”

3. The Raw Source of the email will open in a new window. You will be able to see the email headers, as well as the encrypted message. The full encrypted message will be bookended by “-----BEGIN PGP MESSAGE-----” and “-----END PGP MESSAGE-----”. This whole block, from first hyphen before BEGIN and to the last hyphen after END, is the encrypted message.


4. To save this email as a file, Click the “File” menu in the menu bar on the top of the screen, and select “Save As...”  

5. Select Desktop in the “Where” drop-down to make it easier to follow along. Choose a name for the file you will remember, keeping the .eml extension. By default, this will be the full subject line from the original email. We recommend a short, one-word name in all lowercase such as “encrypted.eml” to make it easier to follow along with our command-line reading tutorial.


6. Once you hit “Save”, the file should appear on your Desktop as selected in. (Note: Your macOS Desktop may hide the file extension. The file extension is: “.eml”.)


For instructions on reading the saved .eml file, see Using the Command Line to Decrypt a Message on MacOS.

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