How do I know if my certificate has the private key attached within Windows?

Problem

How do I know if my certificate has the private key attached within Windows?

Resolution

To check to see if your certificate is potentially installed correctly within Windows, you will need to view the certificate within the Certificate snap-in within the Microsoft Management Console (MMC).

Part I - Opening the MMC

  1. From the Web server, click Start > Run

  2. In the text box, type mmc and click OK

  3. From the MMC menu bar, select Console (in IIS 5.0) or  File (in IIS 6.0, 7.0) and Add/Remove Snap-in then click Add

  4. From the list of snap-ins, select Certificates and click Add

  5. Select Computer account and click Next

  6. Select Local computer (the computer this console is running on) and click Finish

  7. In the snap-in list window, click Close

  8. In the Add/Remove Snap-in window, click OK

Part II - Viewing the Certificate

  1. In the left-hand pane underneath Console Root, expand Certificates (Local Computer).

  2. Expand the Personal folder.

  3. Click on the Certificates folder underneath the Personal folder.

  4. In the middle pane, you should see a list of certificates.  If you do not see any certificates, then this could indicate that you have not installed your certificate correctly or you have not completed the process to install your certificate.

  5. Double-click on the certificate that you wish to view.

  6. In the Certificate windows that appears, you should see a note with a key symbol underneath the Valid from field that says, "You have a private key that corresponds to this certificate."  If you do not see this, then your private key is not attached to this certificate, indicating a certificate installation issue.

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