How can I use a PGP key on Windows to sign/verify and encrypt/decrypt documents?

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Occasionally I need to encrypt a file, cryptographically sign something, etc. GNU PG and PGP are good tools for this, but how can I get them working on Windows? When I try to search for an installer, I get a lot of different options, and it’s not clear which software I actually need! Furthermore, on half the websites it’s not even clear which files I need to download.

Answer

The best combination I’ve been able to find so far is using Gpg4Win and GPGshell. As of August 2012, the current versions and downloads are as follows:

  • Gpg4win: provides the binaries required for signing and such. This is technically all you need, but the GPGshell makes it a lot easier to manage keys and such, in my opinion.
    Download from gpg4win.org

  • GPGshell: adds shell extensions (such as right-click menu options and a tray icon) to make using GPG easier.
    Download from jumaros.de