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I am having trouble updating applications. I get the following error when running the software updater. When I try to run sudo apt-get update from the terminal, I have a similar problem. I get the following error:

W: GPG error: http://repository.spotify.com stable InRelease: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 13B00F1FD2C19886
W: GPG error: http://security.ubuntu.com trusty-security Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 NO_PUBKEY 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32
W: GPG error: http://extras.ubuntu.com trusty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 16126D3A3E5C1192
W: GPG error: http://us.archive.ubuntu.com trusty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 NO_PUBKEY 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32
W: GPG error: http://us.archive.ubuntu.com trusty-updates Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 NO_PUBKEY 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32
W: GPG error: http://us.archive.ubuntu.com trusty-backports Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 40976EAF437D05B5 NO_PUBKEY 3B4FE6ACC0B21F32
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release: The following  signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 5EC48884BB901940
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY BF36996C4E1F8A59
W: GPG error: http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release: The following signatures couldn't be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY BF36996C4E1F8A59

Does anybody know what this error means? And how to fix it?

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Yes, I've had this problem in the past. Researching about authentication GPG keys, I found out that there is a limit to how many GPG keys it stores. As a result, some keys are not verified. On the other hand, if you're feeling adventurous at downloading apps in repositories that are not signed, this can also give you the error. Other users suggested Y-PPA Manager. This didn't do the trick. What did do the trick for me, not sure it will work for you, is installing Gconf Cleaner. It cleans GPG keys that are no longer available because if uninstalled apps, reinstalling apps or the repositories no longer give support to those GPG keys. Warning: messing around with the source list on your own can make your situation worst!

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  • Thanks for you answer. I managed to fix the problem by deleting all of the files in /etc/apt/trusted.gpg.d/ and then running sudo launchpad-getkeys. That fixed the problem for me. – Sam Thomas Aug 24 '15 at 5:26
  • I was able to resolve a similar issue by installing and running gconf-cleaner, which removed 16 keys, then running sudo launchpad-getkeys – Seth Oct 2 '16 at 15:42

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