Using a File Transfer Activity and Import File Activity in an automation (File Drop), I am trying to read a CSV file into one of my data extensions. Halfway through the process, there is an update to the blueprint: the transfer should be encrypted using Safehouse.

We are given a PGP Public Key which I have already added to Key Management (I pasted the entire key block with opening and closing blocks).

What I want to know is how to arrange this automation and where should the Encryption and Decryption inside The File Transfer Activity and Import File Activity take place.

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure which PGP public key you are using. You can use a public key to encrypt a PGP file, but you can't use a public key alone to decrypt a PGP file as this will require the corresponding private key (unless you are using the ExactTarget public key).

I believe it is possible to use your own PGP public/private key combination with Safehouse, but you will need to open a support case to have this configured. I've never done this though. My advice would be to encrypt the PGP file using the ExactTarget PGP public key (if you are not doing so already) which you can download here.

Here are the two steps that should appear in your Automation.

1. File Transfer Activity

  • Set Transfer Type as 'Download'
  • Set the File location to where the file is transferred to
  • Set File naming pattern to %%FILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%
  • Enable 'File is encrypted' in Transfer Settings
  • Configure other settings as you normally would

2. Import Activity

  • Set file location to 'Safehouse'
  • Set filenaming pattern to %%BASEFILENAME_FROM_TRIGGER%%.csv (change 'csv' to match the file extension of the decrypted file)
  • Configure other settings as you normally would


The Safehouse file location is not created by default. If you do not have this in Email app > Admin > Data Management > File Locations, create one named 'Safehouse' and set the Location Type to 'Safehouse'.

Note that I've configured a couple of different accounts recently where importing decrypted PGP files fail. If the automation fails on the import activity as it can't find the decrypted file in Safehouse, then you will need to open a support case to have this configured.

  • terribly sorry for my week-long delay. i was working on another project. will try your solution today and come back to you. Commented May 30, 2017 at 7:13
  • which version of the marketing cloud are you using? my file transfer activity does not have a download option and there is no "file is encrypted" checkbox either. Commented May 30, 2017 at 10:40
  • In my Import Activity I get the following error message: "Import failed: File Account_05_05_2017.csv not found". Is there a way to check how the file ends up in Safehouse? Because once you put things there, it's quite a black box. Commented May 30, 2017 at 11:46
  • That error typically indicates that the Safehouse needs to be configured to decrypt PGP files by support. I've hit this exact same error on a couple of new accounts and support were able to fix it. You'll need to open a support case for this one. Commented May 31, 2017 at 5:08
  • 2
    @EliotHarper Saw this and just wanted to update. After June 1 of this year you will no longer be able to decrypt utilizing MC's public key. help.salesforce.com/… Commented Mar 29, 2021 at 14:55

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