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Certmgr.exe (Certificate Manager Tool)

The Certificate Manager tool (Certmgr.exe) manages certificates, certificate trust lists (CTLs), and certificate revocation lists (CRLs).

The Certificate Manager is automatically installed with Visual Studio. To start the tool, use the Visual Studio Command Prompt.

Note Note

   The Certificate Manager tool (Certmgr.exe) is a command-line utility, whereas Certificates (Certmgr.msc) is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in. Because Certmgr.msc is usually found in the Windows System directory, entering certmgr at the command line may load the Certificates MMC snap-in even if you have opened the Visual Studio Command Prompt. This occurs because the path to the snap-in precedes the path to the Certificate Manager tool in the PATH environment variable. If you encounter this problem, you can execute Certmgr.exe commands by specifying the path to the executable.

This tool is automatically installed with Visual Studio. To run the tool, use the Developer Command Prompt (or the Visual Studio Command Prompt in Windows 7). For more information, see Visual Studio Command Prompt.

At the command prompt, type the following:

certmgr [/add | /del | /put] [options]
[/s[/r registryLocation]] [sourceStorename]
[/s[/r registryLocation]] [destinationStorename]

Argument

Description

sourceStorename

The certificate store that contains the existing certificates, CTLs, or CRLs to add, delete, save, or display. This can be a store file or a systems store.

destinationStorename

The output certificate store or file.

Option

Description

/add

Adds certificates, CTLs, and CRLs to a certificate store.

/all

Adds all entries when used with /add. Deletes all entries when used with /del. Displays all entries when used without the /add or /del options. The /all option cannot be used with /put.

/c

Adds certificates when used with /add. Deletes certificates when used with /del. Saves certificates when used with /put. Displays certificates when used without the /add, /del, or /put option.

/CRL

Adds CRLs when used with /add. Deletes CRLs when used with /del. Saves CRLs when used with /put. Displays CRLs when used without the /add, /del, or /put option.

/CTL

Adds CTLs when used with /add. Deletes CTLs when used with /del. Saves CTLs when used with /put. Displays CTLs when used without the /add, /del, or /put option.

/del

Deletes certificates, CTLs, and CRLs from a certificate store.

/e encodingType

Specifies the certificate encoding type. The default is X509_ASN_ENCODING.

/f dwFlags

Specifies the store open flag. This is the dwFlags parameter passed to CertOpenStore. The default value is CERT_SYSTEM_STORE_CURRENT_USER. This option is considered only if the /y option is used.

/h[elp]

Displays command syntax and options for the tool.

/n nam

Specifies the common name of the certificate to add, delete, or save. This option can only be used with certificates; it cannot be used with CTLs or CRLs.

/put

Saves an X.509 certificate, CTL, or CRL from a certificate store to a file. The file is saved in X.509 format. You can use the /7 option with the /put option to save the file in PKCS #7 format. The /put option must be followed by either /c, /CTL, or /CRL. The /all option cannot be used with /put.

/r location

Identifies the registry location of the system store. This option is considered only if you specify the /s option. location must be one of the following:

  • currentUser indicates that the certificate store is under the HKEY_CURRENT_USER key. This is the default.

  • localMachine indicates that the certificate store is under the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE key.

/s

Indicates that the certificate store is a system store. If you do not specify this option, the store is considered to be a StoreFile.

/sha1 sha1Hash

Specifies the SHA1 hash of the certificate, CTL, or CRL to add, delete, or save.

/v

Specifies verbose mode; displays detailed information about certificates, CTLs, and CRLs. This option cannot be used with the /add, /del, or /put options.

/y provider

Specifies the store provider name.

/7

Saves the destination store as a PKCS #7 object.

/?

Displays command syntax and options for the tool.

Certmgr.exe performs the following basic functions:

  • Displays certificates, CTLs, and CRLs to the console.

  • Adds certificates, CTLs, and CRLs to a certificate store.

  • Deletes certificates, CTLs, and CRLs from a certificate store.

  • Saves an X.509 certificate, CTL, or CRL from a certificate store to a file.

Certmgr.exe works with two types of certificate stores: StoreFile and system store. It is not necessary to specify the type of certificate store; Certmgr.exe can identify the store type and perform the appropriate operations.

Running Certmgr.exe without specifying any options launches the certmgr.msc snap-in, which has a GUI that helps with the certificate management tasks that are also available from the command line. The GUI provides an import wizard, which copies certificates, CTLs, and CRLs from your disk to a certificate store.

You can find the names of X509Certificate stores for the sourceStorename and destinationStorename parameters by compiling and running the following code.

using System;
using System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      foreach (var storeValue in Enum.GetValues(typeof(StoreName))) {
         X509Store store = new X509Store((StoreName) storeValue);
         store.Open(OpenFlags.ReadOnly);
         Console.WriteLine(store.Name);
      }  
   }
}

For more information about certificates, see Working with Certificates.

The following command displays a default system store called my with verbose output.

certmgr /v /s my

The following command adds all the certificates in a file called myFile.ext to a new file called newFile.ext.

certmgr /add /all /c myFile.ext newFile.ext

The following command adds the certificate in a file named testcert.cer to the my system store.

certmgr /add /c testcert.cer /s my

The following command adds the certificate in a file named TrustedCert.cer to the root certificate store.

certmgr /c /add TrustedCert.cer /s root

The following command saves a certificate with the common name myCert in the my system store to a file called newCert.cer.

certmgr /add /c /n myCert /s my newCert.cer

The following command deletes all CTLs in the my system store and saves the resulting store to a file called newStore.str.

certmgr /del /all /ctl /s my newStore.str

The following command saves a certificate in the my system store in the file newFile. You will be prompted to enter the certificate number from my to put in newFile.

certmgr /put /c /s my newFile
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