Exporting Certificates using CertUtil

There are many instances where you need to move a server to a new hardware. What you will carry from the old server to the new one will vary; you need to plan according to the server role in order to create your own checklist. Recently I had to move my own TMG Server to a new hardware (in this case a new VM) and I decided to install all over again and just import the rules. In a scenario with TMG, besides the core configuration (XML Backup) you also need to consider the certificates that are in use. As I only have a couple of certificates, there was no big deal, I just opened MMC and exported those certs. However, there are scenarios where you have a great amount of certificates and the process of exporting one by one can get quiet tedious.

But, you can use certutil to automate that. The first step in this procedure is to identity the certificate’s thumbprint (or serial number – depends on the approach in use). To do that you can use the PowerShell commands below:

PS C:\Users\Administrator> cd cert:

PS cert:\> dir

Location : CurrentUser

StoreNames : {SmartCardRoot, UserDS, AuthRoot, CA...}

Location : LocalMachine

StoreNames : {SmartCardRoot, AuthRoot, CA, Trust...}

PS cert:\> cd LocalMachine

PS cert:\LocalMachine> dir

Name : SmartCardRoot

Name : AuthRoot

Name : CA

Name : Trust

Name : Disallowed

Name : My

Name : Root

Name : TrustedPeople

Name : TrustedDevices

Name : Remote Desktop

Name : TrustedPublisher


PS cert:\LocalMachine> dir My

Directory: Microsoft.PowerShell.Security\Certificate::LocalMachine\My

Thumbprint Subject

---------- -------

C571112B20BE45D10AD185FAA6A022ADB08F1693 CN=TMGFW

089D8C1FD45893D7BF76F3788D3B1ED7E0974100 CN=mail.contoso.com, OU=Security, O=Contoso, L=Dallas, S=Texas

Or you can also use the CertUtil command to list all the certificate in your local store:

C:\Users\Administrator>certutil -store my


================ Certificate 0 ================

Serial Number: 67137d4819445f8947dfe5975c2dcda4

Issuer: CN=TMGFW

NotBefore: 1/8/2010 6:19 PM

NotAfter: 1/8/2015 6:19 PM

Subject: CN=TMGFW

Signature matches Public Key

Root Certificate: Subject matches Issuer


Cert Hash(sha1): c5 71 11 2b 20 be 45 d1 0a d1 85 fa a6 a0 22 ad b0 8f 16 93

Key Container = cb450661-cef0-423d-8c8d-f35770442ef9

Unique container name: 1c5d966ed267ef52208611a02c81673c_5d23994c-569c-4045-8627-97f7be02ff89

Provider = (null)

Private key is NOT exportable

Encryption test passed

================ Certificate 1 ================

Serial Number: 610df5bb000000000002

Issuer: CN=Contoso CA, DC=contoso, DC=com

NotBefore: 1/29/2010 4:21 PM

NotAfter: 1/29/2012 4:31 PM

Subject: CN=mail.contoso.com, OU=Security, O=Contoso, L=Dallas, S=Texas

Non-root Certificate


Cert Hash(sha1): 08 9d 8c 1f d4 58 93 d7 bf 76 f3 78 8d 3b 1e d7 e0 97 41 00

Key Container = a5195f11b98a20b15d90c79844b9eeb8_b616de3c-8c7e-4aa6-bb33-aae84203823f

Unique container name: 45ec83860a1e2a33a77a819ede5c1d80_5d23994c-569c-4045-8627-97f7be02ff89

Provider = Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0

Encryption test passed

CertUtil: -store command completed successfully.

Write it down the certificate’s serial number and assuming that the key is exportable, you now just need to run the command below:

certutil -exportPFX -p "Password" my 610df5bb000000000002 contoso.pfx

See the article Manual Key Archival for more information about CertUtil tool with -ExportPFX parameter.