SHA-256 Self Signed Certificate for Windows Server 2012 R2

Recently, I came across this situation where one of my customer wants to use the Self Signed Certificate to secure his intranet websites. But he wants to use the Self Signed Cert with the sha256 Signature Hash algorithm on Windows Server 2012 R2 as sha1 is retired.

By Default, in Windows 2012 R2 (IIS 8.5) if you generate the Self-Signed Certificate from the IIS Manager Console it will provide a Self-Signed Certificate with the Signature hash algorithm as sha1 .

The SHA-1 hashing algorithm for the Microsoft Root Certificate Program is being decommissioned.


If you want your self-signed certificate should use the sha256 Signature hash algorithm, we have to generate the certificate from the mmc console


You can follow below steps to create and use a Self-Signed Certificate with the Signature hash algorithm as sha256.

1.Open the mmc console >> go to Run >>>type mmc >>>OK

2. You will get the below Window (mmc console). Click on Add/Remove Snap-in

3. Select Certificates >> Add

4. Select Computer Account and Click on Next


5.Click on Finish

6. The Certificates will be added in your snap-in


7. Expand Certificates (Local Computer) >>>Personal >>>>>Certificates >>>>>All Tasks>>>>>Advanced Operations>>>>>Create Custom Request


8. Click on Next



9.Select Proceed without enrollment policy>>>>>>>Next


10. Click on Next


11.Click on Details >>>>>Properties >>>>Next



12.Add the Friendly for your certificate as per your choice



13. Click on Subject >>>>>>Subject Name >>>>Type >>>>>>>Select Common Name (Common Name should be your host name with which you are browsing your site) >>>Add  Alternative Name >>>>Type >>>>DNS>>>>>Add your DNS (domain name here)>>>>Add



14. Click on Extensions tab>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Extended Key Usage (application policies)



15.Click Basic Constraints >>>>>>>Select Enable this extension


16. Go to Private Key tab>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Key Options >>>>>>>>>>>>>Select Make private key exportable


17. Go to Private Key tab>>>>>>>>Select Hash Algorithm >>>>>>>>>>>Hash Algorithm >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>sha256(Here you will select the Signature hash algorithm )


18. Click on Apply >>>Ok



19. Click Next


20. Click on Browse and give the certificate with CertName.cer and click on Finish



21. Click on Certificate Enrollment Requests >>>>>>>Right click on Certificates >>>>>>>>>>All Tasks >>>>>>>>>>Import


22. Click on Next


23. Specify the file name and the location



24. Click on Next


25. Click on Finish

26. Click on OK


27. You will see your certificate here under Certificate Enrollment Requests >>>>>>> Certificates



28. Double click on the certificate >>go to Details >>>>Click on Copy to File >>>>>>>Next >>>>>>>>Select the Format you want to use >>>give the file name and the import it to the desktop>>>>>>Finish


29. Import the certificate in Personal Store


Now, check the Certificate go to Details tab check for the Signature hash algorithm >>>>it will be sha256


Import the Certificate to the IIS and add the http binding for the site select the cert.


You have to add this certificate on every client machine from where you want to access the site.

On the Client Machines:

Run >>>>>mmc >>>>>file>>>>>>Add/Remove Snap in >>> add the Certificates >>>>>select Computer Account >>>>import the certificate under Trusted Root Certification Authorities


Hope this helps !!!!!..

Comments (16)
  1. Suraj Dixit says:

    Nice Article !

  2. Suresh Butti says:

    Very good article!. I have been looking for such article for over an year. Thanks much. Keep writing Mayur!!

  3. Pradeep says:

    Nice Blog Mayur !! Helped me to resolve similar issue.

  4. Kiran says:

    Nice Article Mayur. With the help of your blog we successfully created the certificate. But we could not import it. It is failing at step-23 and getting an error “The file type is not recognizable. select another file”

    1. Hey Kiran, could you please refresh the Certificate Enrollment Request Section once you will see your certificate though you are getting that error.

      please let me know if you are not able to see the cert.

  5. Sunil says:

    Nice explanation!! I was able to create the certificate but couldn’t import it the way it was mentioned in the steps. I am getting an error while importing it and it says “File Type Not Supported”.

    1. Hey Sunil, could you please refresh the Certificate Enrollment Request Section once you will see your certificate though you are getting that error.

      please let me know if you are not able to see the cert.

  6. Hal Emmerich says:

    I’m trying to follow your steps but I am missing the Certificate Enrollement Request section in my MMC. How do I get that feature?

    1. Bryb says:

      Did you follow step 4, and select “Computer Account”, or did you choose the default selection?

  7. Hal Emmerich says:

    I know this is going to be a pretty basic question but I can’t find the answer. If I don’t have Certificate Enrollment Requests in the right pane how do I add it? Since I’m missing that I can’t proceed further.

  8. AHMYS says:

    thank you very much I was getting the error during import but after reading comments section I refreshed it and mashallah it is done. please update the article by adding in the import section (in case of error just refresh it)

  9. Jim says:

    In Step #20 you say to save it as a “.CER” file.
    However, the wizard wants to make a “.REQ” (Request) file.
    Between the REQ step and the CER step, there is a LOT missing.
    Please assist.

    1. Hello Jim,

      You can either save it as .cer or req

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