Send Encrypted Email On Android Using OpenKeyChain

We use email services like Gmail, Hotmail, etc. frequently in a day. Sending an email from home network is fine. But when you travel outside and use public WiFi hotspots or networks, you are not sure about its security. One of the downsides of using a Public WiFi connection is that it not entirely secure. This guide will make you understand how to send an encrypted email on Android using OpenKeychain.

Your emails can be intercepted by the third party as public networks are vulnerable to attacks. But, if you are reading this article, it means that you are aware of this threat. Moreover, you can mitigate the risks by encrypting your private emails. Let us understand more in detail;

What is Encryption?

Now before proceeding straight into the article, let us understand first what encryption is. Encryption means the process of hiding or encoding information. This ensures that only the authorized recipient will be able to decode the message. Encryption uses a complex algorithm known as Cipher.

It turns regular data (plain text) into a string of unreadable data also known as Ciphertext. Besides, it requires a special key by the recipient to decrypt the message or information.

Moreover, encryption is used everywhere in today’s modern world. Either you use WhatsApp, online banking, etc. There is the use of encryption to safeguard your information. However, there is an app on an Android device to send encrypted emails. You can use OpenKeychain PGP for this purpose.

What is OpenKeychain?

You can use OpenKeychain app to send encrypted emails. It is based on the OpenPGP encryption stand. It is an open source implementation. You can send encrypted emails by using this application for Android. You can find this encryption method used in several applications.

Moreover, Asymmetric encryption is used by many of the application. It uses a system of keys to protect your data and information. In layman terms, you have a public key which anyone can know. Anyone who has your Public key can send an encrypted message to you.

Your private key is linked with your public key. This linking is done via the cryptographic method. But, your private key should not be disclosed to anyone. Because, they can read and manipulate your messages, which is harmful. OpenKeychain is compatible with all your Android device. The apps that OpenKeychain supports are listed down below;

OpenkeyChain supported email services

How to Send Encrypted Email On Android Using OpenKeyChain

To start with encrypting your emails using the OpenKeychain, follow the steps below;

Download and Install OpenKeychain

Follow the below download link and install the OpenKeychain app from Google Play Store.Download OpenKeyChain app

Configure Your OpenKeychain Account

Follow the below steps to configure your OpenKeychain account;

  • Launch the app and you will be welcomed to the main screen of the app.
  • From the main screen select, the option Create My Key.Create My key option in OpenKeyChain app
  • Add the name you want the key to be associated with. There is no need to assign it your actual name. You can go ahead with any name of your liking.Add name in OpenKeyChain
  • Now, add an email address you want to associate the key to.Manage My Keys option in OpenKeyChain
  • On the final age, confirm your name and email address. Uncheck the Publish on keyservers option. After this select Create Key.

Share Your Public Key

Now once you have created a security key, the next step is sharing your key to the recipient. Moreover, sharing your key is important because, with the help of it, the recipient can decrypt your mail. You can share your key in several ways using OpenKeychain app. Follow the below methods to share them in the easy way;

  1. From your key account page, tap the 3-dot icon and head to the Settings menu. Then select the Advanced tab and go to Share tab. Here you will see your shareable QR Code and if you are near your recipient, they can scan the QR code to automatically import your key.
  2. The second method is feasible when you are not near the recipient. You can select the share option on the same page as shown below and select Share With. This allows you to share your key with the recipient on any number of devices.

Share you security key

The point to note is that the recipient should also install the OpenKeychain app in order to scan the QR code. Moreover, the recipient can import the key via the app only. The recipient can import the key on desktop, mobile or any compatible app.

Create You First Encrypted Mail

Once you have set up the OpenKeychain and the recipient has imported your public key, they can send you secure messages. In the same way, they can also share their public key so that you can encrypt the message for them.

When you are in the OpenKeychain key identity page, you will see two icons beneath your name. One is a folder icon with a small padlock and the other is an icon with a small padlock. The function of the two icons is different. You can encrypt any files with the first icon and you can encrypt messages with the other.

Open the message screen and type your message. Once you are done with it, use either of the options;

  • The direct copy icon to copy and encrypt the message. This is helpful when you want to paste it into another app.
  • The share icon to encrypt the message content while sharing it to another app.

Both the icons are present on the top right corner of the message screen.

Decrypt Emails Using OpenKeychain

Once you have completely followed the above-mentioned steps, you are good to encrypt your message. However, you or the recipient needs to decrypt the message. Without decrypting you won’t be able to read the content of the message.

Besides, it is very easy to decrypt the message using the OpenKeychain. Whenever you receive a message, select the entire PGP message content. Once selected the content, a prompt will appear. From there select the Share>Decrypt with OpenKeychain option. If the sender has used your public key to encrypt the message, the message contents will be decrypted.


The above method uses the OpenKeychain app to encrypt and decrypt the message. You can use other ways as well. Besides, with the help of this app, it is easy to encrypt your message and secure privacy. It has easy to use interface and with this guide, you can send and receive secured emails or messages. It is available for Android and all the devices running on the Android OS will be able to use this app. Let us know in the comments below if you did encrypt a message using above mentioned methods or you used any other app.

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