Signed/encrypted email management

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Outlook version
Outlook 2016 64 bit
Email Account
G'day! I searched the forums and online resources many times for an answer to this question but no luck. There is plenty of info on how to add a digital signature & encryption, but there's little info on removing or updating these 'layers' from individual Outlook items.

Background: I am an OL2010 user on a gov't system using certificates issued on a SmartCard called the DOD Common Access Card (CAC). CACs are updated periodically with updated certificates, resulting in proliferation of many different certificates for the same user. My job requires archiving my emails and attachments. Since 1998 I have many GBs of archived .PSTs containing encypted email and attachments, including my own (Sent items). After major updates to my computer, the certicate store is wiped and I must fetch the old certificates from a Central Key Repository and manually reinstalll them. Several dozen certicates must be manually reinstalled for me to be able to read my own archived email! When it's someone else's email then I have to go back and find their old certificates and reinstall them. It sounds easy enough but it is a real pain when I search for an important archived email and then find I cannot open it without yet another visit to the Key Repository. It occurs often enough that it is becoming a nuisance.

I do not have admin privileges on the computer (Win 7 64-bit, OL2101 32-bit).


1) Is it possible for me to remove the signature and/or encytption layers from selected emails in my .PST?

2) What is the easiest way to "update" the signature and/or encytption layers using the latest certificates, so that I would only have to keep these installed?

I am absolutely, positively in no way trying to circumvent security! My job depends on following and enforcing the rules. I am only trying to re-encode everything to current published certificates so I do not have to re-install hundreds of older certs in order to open my archived emails.

Thank you!


Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
1. No.

2. Do you need to keep them in outlook? If not, I'd try a print archive - Acrobat has a nice thing they call a package and there are other archive utilities. . If you have GB of mail you need, this is probably not a good solution though.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I'm checking with some outlook developers to see if its possible using code + redemption, but my guess is they will say no.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Should have checked before replying...

If the message is clear signed then removing the cert's easy; just strip the attachment.

if it's opaque-signed, you'd have to verify the signature to get the clear text of the message, then resave it.

and - to do it using code - so I was wrong about them saying no. Now to find a code sample for you. (Assuming you can run code.)

RDOEncryptedMessage.GetDecryptedMessage() returns an unencrypted RDOMail object, if that’s what you want. Those can be stored or even used to replace the original item. Various properties of RDOEncryptedMessage provide the certificate and encryption settings.
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