To export a certificate with the private key


Open Certificates.


Do one of the following:

If you are in Logical Certificate Stores view mode, in the console tree, click Certificates.


Certificates - Certificate holder  > Logical store  > Certificates

If you are in Certificate purpose view mode, in the console tree, click Purpose.


Certificates - Certificate holder  > Purpose 


In the details pane, click the certificate you want to export.


On the Action menu, point to All Tasks, and then click Export.


In the Certificate Export Wizard, click Yes, export the private key. (This option will appear only if the private key is marked as exportable and you have access to the private key.)


Under Export File Format, do one or all of the following, and then click Next.

To include all certificates in the certification path, select the Include all certificates in the certification path if possible check box.

To enable strong protection, select the Enable strong protection (requires IE 5.0, NT 4.0 SP4 or above) check box.

To delete the private key if the export is successful, select the Delete the private key if the export is successful check box.


In Password, type a password to encrypt the private key you are exporting. In Confirm password, type the same password again, and then click Next.


In File name, type a file name and path for the PKCS #12 file that will store the exported certificate and private key, click Next, and then click Finish.


To open Certificates, click Start, click Run, type mmc, and then click OK. On the File menu, click Open, click the console that you want to open, and then click Open. Then, in the console tree, click Certificates.

If you have not already created an MMC console that contains Certificates, see Related Topics.

If a certificate was issued from a Windows 2000 Server certification authority, the private key for that certificate is only exportable if the certificate request was made via the Advanced Certificate Request certification authority Web page with the Mark keys as exportable check box selected, or if the certificate is for EFS (encrypting file system) or EFS recovery.

Strong protection (also known as iteration count) is enabled by default in the Certificate Export Wizard when you export a certificate with its associated private key.

Strong protection is not compatible with older programs, so you need to clear the Enable strong protection option if you are going to use the private key with any browser older than Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.

After the Certificate Export Wizard is finished, the certificate will remain in the certificate store in addition to being in the newly created file. If you want to remove the certificate from the certificate store, you will need to delete it.

Related Topics

Delete a certificate

Import a certificate

Export a certificate

Display certificate stores in Logical Store mode

Manage certificates for a service

Manage certificates for a computer

Manage certificates for your user account

Importing and exporting certificates

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