Converting a cer file to pfx using the Windows MMC snapin

When using SSL certificates with either Azure or IIS, you'll often have to converting the .cer file obtained from your issuing authority to an password protected encrypted pfx certificate. This can easily be accomplished using the MMC

Opening the certificate snap-in

Load the certificate snap-in

  1. click window + r and type in mmc to run the console
  2. click File | Add / Remove Snap-in...
  3. select certificates
  4. select computer account and next/ok to load the certificate snap-in

Importing the cer certifcate

Once the snap-in is loaded:

  1. Navigate to Certificates (personal computer) | Certificates | Personal right click and select All Tasks | Import
  2. Browse to the file to import and click OK to the personal store

The certificate is now loaded into the store

Exporting the pfx certifcate

The next steps are to export the certificate in the pfx encrypted format

  1. Right click on the loaded certificate and select All Tasks | Export
  2. When prompted select yes, export the private key (note: this is not the default value)
  3. Leave the defaults Personal Information Exchange and the child option Include all certificates in the certificate path if possible selected
  4. Select the Password checkbox and (re)enter a certificate password
  5. Select a file location and click finish

The exported pfx file is not ready to use

You will be prompted will trying to install the certificate on your host of choice