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How to enable IMAP encryption in SeaMonkey
Last modified on 24 September 2019 07:23 AM

To set up PGP Encryption in SeaMonkey, make sure to first set up your StartMail account in SeaMonkey, and to set up PGP encryption in StartMail. 

  • To set up your StartMail account in SeaMonkey, please click here.
  • To set up PGP encryption in StartMail, click here.

You are now ready to set up PGP encryption in your SeaMonkey email client. These instructions consist of 4 overall steps: 

1. Export your StartMail key pair
2. Install Enigmail in SeaMonkey
3. Import public keys of recipients
4. Sending and reading an encrypted email through SeaMonkey

1. Export your StartMail key pair

  1. Sign in to your account in a Web browser on your desktop or laptop.

  2. Navigate to Settings

  3. Select Mail encryption.

  4. Ensure that the box next to Use advanced options: is checked (This enables the selection of advanced PGP options).

  5. Find Export my own key pair: and click Export key pair.

  6. Enter your PGP passphrase when prompted and select Continue. (This is the same PGP passphrase you have set up to read and send encrypted emails. It is not the password you use to enter your StartMail account.)

  7. Copy the text starting with -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- and ending with -----END PGP PRIVATE KEY BLOCK----- 

  8. Open TextEdit in Mac or Notepad in Windows and paste the entire copied text (starting with -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- and ending with -----END PGP PRIVATE KEY BLOCK----- ) into a new file.

    Note: The file you are creating must be plain text, not rich text. Notepad (Windows) only supports plaintext. Text Edit (Mac) supports both plain text and rich text. Thus, if you are on and Mac and using rich text or are simply not sure, here is how to check:


In Text Edit, go to the Format menu. If you see “Make Plain Text,” click that option to convert to plain text (shown below). If you see “Make Rich Text,” you are already writing in plain text, in which case, just leave this setting as it is.

  9. Save the file to disk with an .asc extension (ASCII), by selecting File > Save.

    If it has not been done automatically, you will have to manually add .asc to the end of your file's title. Ensure that Plain Text Encoding: is set to Western (ASCII) and uncheck If no extension is provided, use ".txt." If you are using Windows, the Encoding will be ANSI.

    Note for Mac Users: If you are not given the option to select ASCII, open the Plain Text Encoding menu, select "Customize Encodings List ...," then "Rebert to default," as shown below.

    When done, close the Customize Encodings List and you should see "Western (ASCII)" made available to you.

2. Install Enigmail in SeaMonkey
To start sending and receiving PGP-encrypted messages in SeaMonkey, you will need to install  Enigmail, a popular add-on that enables PGP encryption and decryption in your SeaMonkey email client.

  1. In SeaMonkey, go to Tools > Add-ons manager to open Mozilla Add-ons. 

  2. In the "Get Add-ons" tab, click See all to the right of the screen. (You may need to widen your Thunderbird window to reveal this option.)

  3. Enter Enigmail in the "search for add-ons" field and select Enigmail from the dropdown list. 

  4. Press the green + Add to SeaMonkey button.

  5. Click the Install Now button to indicate you trust the source. 

  6. You will be prompted to restart SeaMonkey. Click Restart Now.

  7. If the Wizard tool doesn't launch automatically, go to Enigmail > Setup Wizard.

    If it does start automatically, begin by selecting Start setup now and clicking Continue.

  8. Select the I prefer an extended configuration (recommended for advanced users) option and click Continue.

  9. If you have not installed GnuPG, click Install GnuPG... and follow the directions to complete the installation. This will be "GPG Suite" if you are using a Mac or "Gpg4win" if you are using Windows. (If you already have GnuPG installed, continue with step 11.)

  10. Once the GnuPG installation process is completed, click Next, then, as shown below, select I have existing public and private keys and click Continue.

  11. Import the key pair you exported earlier (step 1) using the top (public key) field and click Continue.

  12. On the "Key Selection" screen, select your StartMail account and click Next. (For privacy purposes, the account used to create these steps has been erased from this image but you will see your StartMail account listed below the "I want to select one of the keys below for signing and encrdyption my email" option.)

  13. Click Done to complete the process.


3. Import public keys of recipients

In order to send and receive PGP encrypted messages in SeaMonkey, you will need to import the public keys of each individual recipient

If you have ever received PGP encrypted email through your StartMail account, it's possible the public keys of your correspondents are stored in StartMail, and you can export them.

To check, go to StartMail Settings > Main encryption > PGP keyring. If you see an individual whose key you want to use, click Export. The following illustrates this process:

  1. Log in at on the Web and go to Settings > Mail encryption.

  2. Next to PGP Keyring: find the email address of the recipient whose keyring you wish to export and click export.

  3. Copy the text that begins with -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- and ends with -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK----- so that it is temporarily stored in your clipboard.

  4. In SeaMonkey, select Enigmail from the menu bar and click Key Management

  5. Select Edit > Import Keys from Clipboard.

    This should load that person's public key into SeaMonkey and you can now send them encrypted mail using SeaMonkey.


4. Sending and reading an encrypted email through SeaMonkey

  1. As soon as you enter an email address in the "To:" field, for which you have already added their public key, the Key icon will automatically light up.

  2. If you wish to simultaneously send your public key, in order for your recipient to send you an encrypted email back, click the Attach my Public Key option.

  3. Click Send, and your message will be delivered to your recipient with full PGP encryption.

  4. To read an encrypted message, you will simply have to open it in SeaMonkey. No extra steps are necessary. If you're prompted to enter your PGP Passphrase, make sure to enter it (please note: this is not the password you enter when accessing your StartMail account, but the passphrase you have set up when enabling StartMail encryption



- We designed StartMail to be easy to use with PGP, using one-click encryption through our state-of-the-art Web client. However, we understand that some users may wish to decrypt their StartMail using a third-party client. While we cannot guarantee the performance and usability (or lack thereof) of such third-party software, the above instructions are provided as a courtesy to those users who wish to use a PGP add-on with SeaMonkey. If you have questions about any SeaMonkey add-on, including Enigmail or OpenPGP, you will need to refer to SeaMonkey documentation, Enigmail documentation, or other documentation for the specific add-on you are using. The links below may provide a starting place for more information.

- The complexity of this process and the fact that it involves third-party products means we are unable to provide customer support or additional help for these instructions.

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