Verify that the Certificate Propagation and Smart Card Services Are Running

Applies To: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2

If a smart card is not detected when you insert a smart card into the smart card reader or if the Smart cards node is not listed in Device Manager, there may be a problem with a Smart Card service.

The Windows Smart Card Framework requires that the following critical services are running when a smart card is inserted in the reader:

  • Certificate Propagation service

  • Smart Card service

Typically, a smart card reader driver automatically configures these services to run on system startup. Occasionally, a faulty smart card reader driver does not properly configure these services.


If the smart card reader vendor provided a custom Certificate Propagation service with the driver software, you must manually install the smart card driver. For instructions, see Manually Install a Smart Card Driver.

To verify that the system services are configured properly

  1. Click Start, type services.msc in the Search programs and files box, and then press ENTER.

  2. Locate the Certificate Propagation service, and then verify that the Status of this service is Started and that the Startup Type is Automatic.

  3. If the settings are different, double-click Certificate Propagation, click Automatic in the Startup type list, click Start to start the service without restarting the computer, and then click OK.

  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the Smart Card service.

  5. Reinsert the smart card in the smart card reader.

If a smart card is not detected when you reinsert the smart card into the smart card reader, refer to the smart card troubleshooting diagram in Troubleshooting Smart Card Plug and Play Issues for the next troubleshooting step.