How to Transfer a Digital Certificate

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Computer programs use digital certificates to verify the identity of the company or person using a network service. For instance, if you purchase a product online, your browser automatically detects and reads the e-commerce site's digital certificate. If there is any discrepancies between who the site says it is versus the digital certificate, you'll receive a browser warning. Occasionally, you may need to transfer your digital certificate in Microsoft if you are upgrading to a new computer.

  • Click the "Start" button, then enter "certmgr.msc" into the "Search" field and press "Enter."

  • Enter your Administrator ID and password and press "Enter." Windows will open the Certificate Manager application.

  • Select the name of the certificate that you wish to transfer.

  • Select "All tasks" and click "Export."

  • Click "Yes, Export the Private Key" and click the "Next" button.

  • Select the "Personal Information Exchange" format.

  • Enter the password to encrypt for your private key, then click the "Next" button.

  • Click "Browse" and select the location to save the certificate. You should save the certificate on a portable drive such as a USB flash drive, so you can easily transport it to the new computer.

  • Click "Finish."

  • Access the computer where you wish to transfer the certificate. If you exported the certificate to a portable drive, connect that drive to the new machine.

  • Access and log in to the Certificate Manager application on the new computer.

  • Select "All Tasks" and click "Import," then click "Next."

  • Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the Import process.

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