Certificate File Formats
Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2
Certificate import and export operations support four file formats. Choose the format that meets your specific requirements.
Personal Information Exchange (PKCS #12)
The Personal Information Exchange format (PFX, also called PKCS #12) supports secure storage of certificates, private keys, and all certificates in a certification path.
The PKCS #12 format is the only file format that can be used to export a certificate and its private key.
Cryptographic Message Syntax Standard (PKCS #7)
The PKCS #7 format supports storage of certificates and all certificates in the certification path.
DER-encoded binary X.509
The Distinguished Encoding Rules (DER) format supports storage of a single certificate. This format does not support storage of the private key or certification path.
The Base64 format supports storage of a single certificate. This format does not support storage of the private key or certification path.