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How to Convert a CER to PFX

Updated March 23, 2017

Converting .CER files into .PFX files is a good way to back up server certificates. A .CER file is a security file that a certificate authority - such as VeriSign or Thawte - creates to verify the authenticity of a website. A PFX file, on the other hand, is an encrypted security file that stores secure certificates for authenticating people or devices. The conversion process is relatively straightforward.

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  1. Click "Start" followed by "Run." Type "MMC.exe," and then click "OK." Click "Console" and then "Add/Remove Snap-in."

  2. Click "Add." Highlight the certificates you want to convert, and then click "Add" again.

  3. Choose "Computer account," and then click "Next." Select "Local Computer" followed by "OK." Click "Close" and then "OK."

  4. Open the "Certificates (Local Computer)" snap-in that you created. Go to "Personal" followed by "Certificates."

  5. Right-click on the server certificate you want to convert, and then select "All Tasks" followed by "Export."

  6. Click "Next" on the wizard that opens. If the wizard doesn't open, repeat Step 5. If it still doesn't open, restart your computer and go back to Step 4.

  7. Choose "Private key" as your export, and then click "Next."

  8. Choose the "Personal Information Exchange" (PFX) file format to create a PFX file.

  9. Click "Next" and choose a password for the file. Click "Next" again.

  10. Choose the file name. Don't include an extension, as the wizard automatically adds the PFX extension.

  11. Click "Next," write down where the file is saved to and then click "Finish."

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About the Author

Based in the Washington, D.C., area, Dan Taylor has been a professional journalist since 2004. He has been published in the "Baltimore Sun" and "The Washington Times." He started as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia and now writes for "Inside the Navy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in government with a journalism track from Patrick Henry College.

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