Since a recent update I cant send encrypted mail with thunderbird and the enigmail plugin anymore. Whenever I try to send the mail, and enter the passphrase for my key, I get the following error message by my mail client:

Send operation aborted.

USERID_HINT A22[...]00 [...] <[...]@[...].org>
NEED_PASSPHRASE A22[...]00 A22[...]00 1 0
KEYEXPIRED 1405609045
KEYEXPIRED 1405609382
KEYEXPIRED 1405609045
KEYEXPIRED 1405609045
INV_RECP 0 0xB4[...]9A

What does that mean and why can't I send mails encrypted anymore?

I already checked all my keys, both the senders and the recievers keys are valid through 2019.

gpg -k | grep 16[...]00
pub   4096R/0x16[...]00 2014-06-13 [expires: 2019-06-12]
gpg -k | grep A3[...]86
pub   2048R/0xA3[...]86 2014-06-12 [expires: 2019-06-11]

I also checked my system clock and everything is allright.

I also did a gpg --refresh-keys on the command line. Not sure what else I could try.


gpg (GnuPG) 2.0.26
libgcrypt 1.6.1
thunderbird 31.0
enigmail 1.7

Any idea?

  • @MichaelKjörling Please re-read my question, I already checked that both keys expire 2019.
    – q9f
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:03
  • Is your system date set to 2014?
    – user1686
    Sep 2, 2014 at 9:40
  • Do not only verify the system date is in 2014, but also after June 13th, I'm not sure wether the same error is given for a key not valid yet. Second thing to verify: are the signing/encryption subkeys still valid? The error message you presented somewhat indicates GnuPG is trying all signing subkeys (or the other's encryption subkeys), but not finding a valid one, those timestamps are all from mid July this year.
    – Jens Erat
    Sep 2, 2014 at 11:27

1 Answer 1


Is it possible you are also encrypting to another user-id that is encrypted on your keyring? I got bitten by this and had a long debug session until I found I still had the


setting in ~/.gnupg/gpg.conf pointing at a key that had expired. Look for that key starting with 0xB4

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