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How to Decrypt Encrypted Emails in Outlook without Any Hassle?

Published By Deepa Pandey
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On November 3rd, 2023
Reading Time 8 Minutes Reading

Do you want to know how to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002? Are you looking for a way to remove encryption from Outlook email messages? Do not worry as we will provide you with a sure-shot solution to perform SMIME and OpenPGP email decryption using Outlook PST Repair Tool in bulk. This utility helps to remove SMIME or OpenPGP encryption from multiple emails in a PST file provided with passwords and encryption certificates (single key or multiple keys) in bulk. Download the free demo version of the software to remove SMIME or OpenPGP encryption from email messages in Outlook PST files. The trial version provides the preview of all emails messages (decrypted) along with its attachments and its perfectly maintained meta-properties in the preview panel. To export more than 25 decrypted encrypted emails in Outlook PST, the user needs to have the licensed version of the software.

Before going more in detail, let us see a few important concepts of email encryption.

What is Email Encryption?

Encryption is a process through which any particular data or text is made unintelligible to the common people. Email encryption means encrypting emails so that not any random person can comprehend the message. Every encrypted text has a key and only the person with that key can decrypt that email and read it in its original format. So to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook, the user needs proper information at his end.

Types of Email Encryption

Email encryption can be done in two different ways. One is symmetric encryption and another is asymmetric encryption. In symmetric encryption (also known as secure-key encryption), we find the concept of the private key only. In asymmetric encryption, the concept of private key and public key exist as both the two mathematically interlinked keys are needed here. The private key is used for encryption and the public key is used by the recipients for decryption. OpenPGP is an asymmetric e-mail encryption standard that can be implemented by various applications. Another popular asymmetric encryption protocol is SMIME. The SMIME Encryption uses certificates in .pfx file format for encryption.

The significance of Encrypting Outlook Emails

While discussing how to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook PST file, it necessary to discuss the basic parts of encryption of Outlook message first. Outlook is a desktop based email client that is mostly used by the people concerned about their data security. Encryption is a popular and trusted way of securing information that is being exchanged via emails. With so many hacking and phishing attacks are going around these days, Outlook email encryption bears great importance in today’s era.

Even though encryption secures your emails, many users are worried about the decryption method. To guide them through this process, this write-up will talk about the Outlook email encryption and decryption process. By reading this post, users will also get knowledge about how to remove encryption from Outlook email messages efficiently in bulk. It briefs about how to encrypt an Outlook email and then it discusses the steps on how to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook account.

Getting All the Prerequisites of Email Encryption Done

Before moving to the process of email encryption, users have to obtain a digital certificate/ digital ID and install that digital ID in their MS Outlook account. There are several Microsoft approved secure sources like COMODO, GlobalSign, IdenTrust, etc. Of these, COMODO provides SMIME Email Certificate which is completely free. It will provide a Digital ID that can be executed to automatically add certification. Post-installation, this ID will be available for all Office applications including Outlook.

Installation Process of Digital ID in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010

Once you have received the Digital ID, now it is time to set up the digital certificate in Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010.

  1. Click on the File tab of Outlook and then choose Options >> Trust Center.
  2. Click on Trust Center Setting and select the Email Security tab.
  3. Under the Encrypted e-mail section, click on the Setting button.
  4. For Security Setting Preferences, click on New.
  5. Enter a name for Security Setting Name.
  6. Select S/MIME from Cryptography Format list.
  7. Click on Choose button in Signing certificate to select a valid certificate for digital signature.
  8. To learn about the valid certificates for digital signature, click on View Certificate properties.
  9. Check the box “Send these certificates with signed messages”.

Secure Outlook Emails by Enabling Encryption

When users are done with all the procedure described till now, they can start encrypting emails directly.

For Individual Outlook Email
  1. Open Outlook and click on File>> Options tab>> More Option>> dialog box launcher icon.
  2. The properties window will be there, from which, you have to click on the Security Setting button.
  3. In Security Properties, enable Encrypt message contents and attachments option by checking the box and click OK.
  4. Now you can write an email and send it. This email will be received by the recipient in an encrypted form.
For all Outlook Emails

Using these steps, users can enable encryption for all their Outlook email messages. But they have to make sure that all the recipients have the same Digital ID in order to open the emails.

  1. Open Outlook and click on File tab to navigate to Options.
  2. Click on Trust Center >> Trust Center Setting.
  3. Select Email Security tab. Go to Encrypted Email section and check the box “Encrypt contents and attachments for outgoing messages.”
  4. Click on OK.

How to Decrypt Encrypted Emails in Outlook

The encrypted messages can be decrypted only with the help of same digital certificate. If the recipients do not have the same digital certificate, the issue can be solved by sharing certificate or the public key. For bulk Outlook email decryption, Outlook Recovery Tool offers the most convenient solution. Use these steps to remove SMIME or OpenPGP encryption from Outlook emails:

Download the Free Demo Edition of the software to know more about the application. The tool allows to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook account efficiently. It will preview all the emails in the load PST file in the decrypted format.

Steps to Remove Encryption from Outlook Emails

    • Install and launch the software on your Windows OS system and click on Add File option in the top left corner of the software panel.

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    • Now select the PST file that contains encrypted emails from the location or search for a PST file in any particular drive or drives using the Search Option.

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    • Check Remove Encryption box and the software will open windows which provide an option to select Single Key or Multiple Key. Choose either of them according to your requirement.

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Decrypt SMIME Email Encryption

If you need to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook which is having SMIME encryption, select that SMIME option from the drop-down list.

    • If you have a single key, select that radio button.

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    • Browse to select the encryption certificate in Key File Path.

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    • Also, add the password and click on Done button.

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    • If you have multiple keys, select the corresponding option.

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    • Then add the CSV file that contains all the keys and their passwords.

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    • It displays the path in the text box. Click on Done.

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Decrypt OpenPGP Email Encryption

Now, if you have OpenPGP encryption on your Microsoft Outlook emails, then to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook PST file, after loading PST, in the ‘remove encryption’ option, follow the below steps:

    • In the case of OpenPGP encryption, select OpenPGP from the list.
    • Choose between single and multiple keys as per your need.

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    • For the single key, add key file path and password.

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    • For multiple keys, add CSV file with the keys and the passwords.

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    • It displays the path in the text box. Click on Done.

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The Decryption encrypted Outlook emails are done. Now click on Add button in the previous Window. The encryption will be removed and all the email will be open there for previewing. View all the email messages along with its attachments in the preview panel. View the emails in 8 different formats: Normal Mail View, Hex, Message Header, HTML, MIME, RTF, Properties, Attachments. The software will also allow to repair corrupted PST files.


From this discussion, users got a complete idea about how to decrypt encrypted emails in Outlook. This post has also discussed the process of Outlook email encryption and its importance. Readers are advised to follow the steps given here to decrypt their emails with the help of the most efficient tool. Remove encryption from your Outlook email messages efficiently using the application. The software will also help you to recover permanently deleted emails from Outlook PST files effortlessly.

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