PGP Desktop Encryption

What Is It?

PGP Desktop Encryption, licensed through Symantec, provides easy to use and secure encryption to protect sensitive data on laptops or PCs. Laptops are easily lost, and even desktop computers can be stolen. PGP Desktop Encryption also includes a secure shredder, to really delete files you want to delete.


The UIC license for PGP Desktop centers on PGP Whole-Disk Encryption, which securely encrypts the entire contents of your laptop or desktop, including boot sectors, system, and swap files. After you install PGP Desktop on your computer it will automatically encrypt the hard drive. After your hard disk is encrypted, you must log in to Symantec before you can boot the computer with a passphrase that you create. Operating system login bypass tricks won’t work. PGP Desktop offers:

  • Encryption for all files and folders stored on your personal computer
  • Digital signatures for any of the above, which prove both the origin of the material and that it has not been altered
  • “PGP Shredder”, a secure delete program that completely deletes files by overwriting the data you want to delete with random text multiple times. In contrast, a normal file deletion done by an operating system only removes a file’s name from the disk directory; its data remains on the disk until something else is written over it


A computer will need to meet the system requirements in order to run PGP Desktop.

System: Note that the operating system requirements for the installers we have at UIC may be slightly different from those listed there on Symantec’s page. Specifically, the newest operating systems currently supported are Windows 10 (version 1809) and macOS 10.15 (Catalina).

For Windows machines, please see the system requirements and compatibility for the latest version of the client (10.4.2 MP1)

For machines running MacOS, please see the requirements and compatibility for the latest version of the client (10.4.2 MP1 HF1)

NOTE:  Older Symantec Mac clients (10.4.0 or earlier) are not compatible with CoreStorage. If you are using Symantec client version 10.4.0 or earlier and have upgraded to OS X 10.10 from an earlier version, you may need to disable “CoreStorage”.  New installations should have this feature disabled by default. To disable CoreStorage, please follow these steps. Also, if using a version 10.4.0 client with OS X 10.11 “El Capitan”, the SIP feature must first be disabled. Please see these instructions on how to disable SIP.

Client: The oldest Symantec client software that we still support is version 10.4.  To download the latest version please visit the U of I WebStore.

UIC Technology Solutions is running a Symantec Encryption Management Server, in which your Symantec key is protected with your UIC Active Directory ID and password, which is your UIC NetID and common password.

A typical computer using Symantec will need two things both available for no charge through the online Webstore:

  • Symantec Encryption Management Server license, 1 per person
  • Symantec Encryption Desktop, 1 per machine

Who Is Eligible To Use It?

  • Faculty
  • Graduate Students
  • Staff

Where Can I Get It?

Select the Download Encryption Client button located on this page.

How Do I Use It?

Download PGP User Guides from Symantec

How Much Does It Cost?

This service is offered under the Basic Bundle

How Can I Get Support?

If you are experiencing a problem with this service, please report it. If you just have a question, feel free to ask us.

Service Levels

Service Request Fulfillment Time In Development
Incident Resolution Time In Development
Service Availability In Development
Maintenance Window(s) In Development
Service Notification Channel(s) In Development
Download Encryption Client


Service ID: 380
Mon 12/21/20 7:38 PM
Wed 5/5/21 9:06 AM
Service Review Date
Date of the most recent review of this service.