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Q: Uninstalling PGP prior to operating system upgrades

PGP is no longer being offered on the software grid. Support is being phased out and will discontinue at the end of 2016.

I need to upgrade my operating system (for example from OS X 10.5 to 10.6 or from Windows Vista to Windows 7) and my computer is running PGP Desktop Whole Disk Encryption.

Note: These instructions only apply to major upgrades, not for small OS updates such as updating from Mac OS X 10.6.1 to 10.6.2 or installing Windows Service Packs.


Follow these instructions in the order they're given:

  1. Decrypt your disk. (See details below.)
    Note: Encrypting and decrypting your disk could take a significant amount of time (up to several hours) depending on the size of your disk and processor speed. Plan accordingly.
  2. Be sure to back up your keys and keyrings.
  3. Uninstall any previous versions of PGP Desktop. Do not uninstall PGP if you have not decrypted your disk first.
  4. Once you have upgraded your operating system to the new version of Mac OS X or Windows, you can then reinstall PGP Desktop.
    If you are upgrading to Mac OS X 10.7 or 10.8, IS&T recommends using FileVault 2 instead of PGP Desktop for full disk encryption.


  1. Decrypting your disk:
    You should have a little PGP padlock icon in your menu bar. Click on it and select Open PGP Desktop from the menu. Alternatively you can open the application "PGP" in your Applications folder. In the main PGP window, you'll see your disk in the left-hand column, underneath the label PGP Disk. It'll have a weird name, like ST95004200ASG or similar, depending on what kind of disk you have. Highlight it and click the Decrypt button on the right-hand side that appears.

  2. Uninstalling PGP:
    Once your disk is fully decrypted, you can go back into PGP Desktop, and from the PGP menu select Uninstall to uninstall it. If you are on a Mac OS X machine, and you are unable to uninstall PGP using the aforementioned step, you can take manual steps to remove all traces of PGP.
    Additional Information
    More information on PGP can be found on the PGP Desktop page. If you don't find your answer, contact

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

November 18, 2015

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