How to create a self-signed certificate in Windows 10

Use a command line tool or third party software

by Tashreef Sharif

Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned technology writer. He discovered his interest in technology after accidentally reading a technology magazine. He now writes about all things tech… Read More

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Vlad Turiceanu

Vlad Turiceanu

Passionate about technology, Windows and anything with a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the world of technology. Coming soon… read more

  • The process of adding an SSL certificate to your website is quite simple and this guide will help you.
  • We also discuss the 3 most efficient ways to buy an SSL certificate, use an open source SSL, or create your own.
  • One of the best ways to generate a self-signed certificate in Windows 10 is to do it through a command line.

Self-signed OpenSSL certificate


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Adding an SSL certificate to your website is a simple process. You can buy a third party SSL certificate and renew it annually or use an open source SSL certificate and create a corn job to renew it every month.

However, for development and testing, you can explore creating a self-signed SSL certificate on Windows.

Creating a self-signed certificate is a great alternative to purchasing and renewing an annual certification for testing purposes. You can use OpenSSL to generate a self-signed certificate for this purpose.

In this article, we explore how to create a self-signed certificate in Windows 10. The last part of the article also explores how to deploy the self-signed certificate to client machines.

Quick tip:

Although you can save some money by creating a self-signed certificate, it can lead to a permanent crash of your website for some users. This is due to the certificate error message and in most cases cannot be undone.

On top of that, the process is time consuming and not really worth it, which also comes at a certain cost. We strongly recommend using a third party SSL service provider.

GoDaddy SSL Certificates

GoDaddy SSL Certificates

GoDaddy is one of the best web hosting providers that also offers affordable SSL certificates.

How can I generate a self-signed certificate in Windows 10?

1. Use OpenSSL to create a self-signed certificate

1.1 Install OpenSSL

Create a self-signed certificate
  1. Download the latest Windows OpenSSL installer from a third-party source.
  2. Run the installer. OpenSSL requires Microsoft Visual C++ to run. The installer will prompt you to install Visual C++ if it is not already installed.
  3. Click Yes to install.
  4. Rerun the OpenSSL installer and select the installation directory.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Open a command prompt and type OpenSSL to get the OpenSSL prompt.

1.2 Create a public/private key file pair

Create a self-signed certificate command prompt
  1. Make sure you have OpenSSL installed.
  2. Open command prompt and create a new directory on your C drive:
    C: > cd test
  3. Now go to the new directory:
  4. Now you need to type the OpenSSL installation directory path followed by the RSA key algorithm.
    C: Test>c:opensslbinopenssl genrsa -out privkey.pem 4096
  5. Run the following command to split the generated file into separate public and private key files:

C: Test>c:opensslbinopenssl ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -f privkey.pem

Once you have generated the public/private key, follow the steps below to create a self-signed certificate file on a Windows system.

1.3 Generate a self-signed certificate

generate a self-signed certificate via command prompt
  1. Open a command prompt window.
  2. Go to the directory you created earlier for the public/private key file.
    C: Test>
  3. Enter the path to the OpenSSL installation directory, followed by the algorithm of the self-signed certificate:
    C: Test>c:opensslbinopenssl req -new -x509 -key privkey.pem -out cacert.pem -days 1095
  1. Follow the instructions on the screen.
  2. You must enter information about your organization, region, and contact details to create a self-signed certificate.

If you prefer to use PowerShell to create a self-signed certificate, follow the steps below.

2. Generate a self-signed certificate on Windows using PowerShell

1. Press the button windows key and type Shell Power in the search box. Right click on the PowerShell app and select Execute as an administrator.

powershell windows 11 run as administrator

two. Run the New-SelfsignedCertificate command, as shown below:$cert = New-SelfSignedCertificate -certstorelocation cert:localmachinemy -dnsname

Create a self-signed certificate

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3. This will add the certificate to the locator store on your PC. Replace with your domain name in the above command.

Four. Next, create a password for your export file:$pwd = ConvertTo-SecureString -String ‘password!’ -Force -AsPlainText

5. Replace Key code with your own password.

6. Enter the following command to export the self-signed certificate:$path="cert:localMachinemy" + $cert.thumbprint Export-PfxCertificate -cert $path -FilePath c:tempcert.pfx -Password $pwd

7. In the above command replace c: temperature with the directory where you want to export the file.

8. You can import the exported file and deploy it to your project.

Another great option to generate a self-signed certificate in Windows 10 is to use a command line tool like Powershell.

With it, you do not need to download any third-party software. You just need to enter the appropriate command line in Powershell, and the tool will do the work for you.

How to add my self-signed certificate in curls ca file in Windows 10?

Self-signed OpenSSL certificate
  1. Once you have created a self-signed certificate and installed it, you may also want cURL to trust the certificate.
  2. Later versions of cURL do not include a trusted listing .pem file. You can download the .pem file and type the following command in the php.ini proceedings.
    curl.cainfo = "C:xamppphpcacert.pem"
  3. Once this is done, you need to make cURL trust your self-signed certificate. To do this, open your server.crt proceedings. The file is created when you created your self-signed certificate.
  4. Copy the entire contents of the server.crt file and then add it to the cacert.pem proceedings.

Creating a self-signed certificate using OpenSSL can be done using the command prompt or PowerShell. Being able to create your self-signed certificate allows you to create a temporary certificate for projects in development that require an SSL certificate.

We hope that you managed to generate a self-signed certificate on your Windows 10 PC. Let us know in the comments section which method you prefer to use.

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