.PVK File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .PVK file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2023.

PVK File Recovery

What is a .PVK file?

Private key file used by software developers for digitally signing applications; stores the key as a segment of encrypted data in a small file; allows the application bundle to be authenticated by end users; often used in conjunction with .SPC and .PFX files.

What Are Common Causes of ".PVK" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes for ".PVK" files being lost or experiencing failure:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".PVK" files while organizing or cleaning up their computer systems.
  2. File system corruption: Issues with the file system, such as disk errors or software glitches, can lead to the corruption or loss of ".PVK" files.
  3. Hardware failure: If the storage device where the ".PVK" files are stored (such as a hard drive or USB drive) fails, it can result in the loss of data, including ".PVK" files.
  4. Software or system crashes: Unexpected crashes of software applications or the operating system can cause ".PVK" files to become corrupted or lost.
  5. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and damage files, including ".PVK" files, leading to their loss or inaccessibility.
  6. Improper file handling: Improper handling of ".PVK" files, such as forceful shutdowns or abrupt removal of storage devices, can result in file corruption or loss.
  7. Software or system updates: Sometimes, updates to software or the operating system can interfere with ".PVK" files, causing them to become inaccessible or lost.
  8. Human error: Mistakes made by users, such as accidental formatting of storage devices or improper file transfers, can lead to the loss of ".PVK" files.

It is important to regularly back up ".PVK" files to prevent permanent loss and consider using data recovery tools or services if files are accidentally deleted or lost.

How to recover lost ".PVK" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".PVK" file may be deleted.

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🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".PVK" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".PVK" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".PVK" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".PVK" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".PVK" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo private Key File image file file?

Programs that open ".PVK" files

Microsoft File Signing Tool Microsoft File Signing Tool
Pvktool Pvktool

Additional Information

  • File type: Private Key File

  • File extension: .PVK

  • Developer: Microsoft

  • Category: Misc Files

  • Format: Text


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 15:50 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .PVK files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is a ".PVK backup" file and how is it used?

    A ".PVK backup" file is a file format used to store private keys, typically in the context of digital certificates. PVK (Private Key) files are commonly used in Microsoft Windows environments.

    Private keys are a crucial component of asymmetric encryption systems like RSA. They are used to decrypt data that has been encrypted using the corresponding public key. Private keys are kept confidential and are not shared publicly.

    A .PVK backup file contains the private key associated with a digital certificate. It is used as a backup mechanism to securely store and protect the private key. The file is typically password-protected to ensure its confidentiality.

    PVK backup files are often used in scenarios where the private key needs to be transferred or stored securely, such as when moving a certificate from one server to another or when creating backups for disaster recovery purposes.

    To use a .PVK backup file, it is usually imported into a certificate store or key store using a specific software or tool provided by the certificate authority or the operating system. The private key stored in the .PVK backup file can then be associated with the corresponding digital certificate for various cryptographic operations, such as signing or decrypting data.

  • How can I create a ".PVK backup" file for my encrypted data?

    To create a ".PVK backup" file for your encrypted data, you can follow these steps:

    1. Install the Microsoft Windows SDK: The ".PVK backup" file format is typically associated with the Microsoft Windows SDK, so you will need to install it on your computer.
    2. Open the Command Prompt: Once the Windows SDK is installed, open the Command Prompt by searching for "cmd" in the Start menu.
    3. Navigate to the Windows SDK Bin folder: In the Command Prompt, navigate to the Bin folder of the Windows SDK installation directory. This folder contains the necessary tools for creating the ".PVK backup" file.
    4. Generate a private key file (.PVK): Use the following command to generate a private key file:


    pvk2pfx.exe -pvk -spc -pfx


    Replace `` with the path to your existing private key file, `` with the path to your certificate file, and `` with the desired path and name for your backup file.

    Note: If you don't have a private key file and certificate file, you may need to generate them first.

    1. Set a password for the backup file: During the process of creating the ".PVK backup" file, you will be prompted to set a password to protect it. Choose a strong and secure password and remember it for future use.
    2. Save the backup file: After providing the password, the command will create the ".PVK backup" file at the specified location in the previous step.

    Now you have successfully created a ".PVK backup" file for your encrypted data. Remember to securely store the backup file and the associated password to ensure the safety of your encrypted data.

  • Are there any specific tools or software that can be used to open and restore a ".PVK backup" file?

    Yes, there are specific tools and software that can be used to open and restore a ".PVK backup" file. One such tool is the "PVK Converter" provided by Microsoft. The PVK Converter is a command-line tool that allows you to convert a private key file (.PVK) to a Personal Information Exchange (PFX) file, which can then be imported into various software applications like Microsoft IIS or used for other purposes.

    To use the PVK Converter tool, you need to download and install the Windows SDK, which includes the necessary tools for working with PVK files. Once installed, you can use the "pvk2pfx" command to convert the PVK file to PFX format. The command syntax looks like this:

    pvk2pfx -pvk -spc -pfx

    In the command, you need to provide the path to the PVK file, the path to the corresponding SPC (Software Publisher Certificate) file if applicable, and specify the output PFX file where the converted key will be saved.

    Please note that the PVK Converter tool is a command-line utility and may require some technical knowledge to use effectively.

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