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I need to use my digital certificate on another computer. What do I do?

Each browser type has different steps for accomplishing this. We will include instructions for the most common ones:

Internet Explorer
Mozilla Firefox


Internet Explorer

Exporting your certificate from Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on 'Tools' menu; 'Internet Options'; 'Content' tab; 'Certificates' button.
  2. Click once on the certificate you wish to export.
  3. Click the 'Export' button, and click 'Next' on the first screen.
  4. Make sure that "Yes, export the private key" is chosen, then click 'Next'.
  5. Leave the box of "Enable strong protection" checked. Although not necessary, we also recommend putting a check in the "Include all certificates in the certification path if possible" box. Click 'Next'.
  6. Type in any password of your choosing. (and re-type it in the appropriate box). Keep in mind that it is case-sensitive. Any capital letters you use will also need to be used later. Click 'Next'.
  7. Click the 'Browse' button. Choose a drive and folder you would like to store the file. Then type in a name you would like the file to have. Click 'Save'. Click 'Next'.
  8. Click 'Finish'. If it asks you to click OK, do so. If it is asking for a password, then this would be the same password it asks for when you normally use the certificate online.
    NOTE: the saved file will look like an open envelope with a key in front.
Importing Your Certificate to Internet Explorer on a Different Computer:
  1. Locate the file you had saved above.
  2. Double-click the file. The Certificate Import Wizard will open. Click 'Next'.
  3. Click 'Next'.
  4. Type in the password that was chose in step 6 above. The check-boxes are optional, but we recommend putting checks in both. Here is the description of each:
    1. "Enable Strong Private Key Protection": If this is not chosen, then IE stores your certificate (and private key) with low security. If it is enabled, it will allow you to choose "Medium" or "High" security later.

      High security causes IE to ask you for a password each time the certificate is used.
      Medium security causes IE to ask if you're sure each time the certificate is used.


    2. "Mark The Private Key As Exportable": If this is not chosen, then you can never export this certificate from this computer in the future.
  5. The "Certificate Store" window should open. (Assuming you put the check mark in "Include all certificates..." in step 5 of exporting.) Click 'Next'.
  6. Click 'Finish'.
  7. If "Enable Strong..." in step 4 was chosen, then "Importing a new private exchange key" window opens. By default, it is set to Medium security (as described in step 4a above). If you choose to use High security, then click the "Set Security Level" button, and follow the instructions there.
  8. Click 'OK' on the "Importing a new private exchange key" window.
  9. It should show "The import was successful". Click 'OK'.

Mozilla Firefox

Exporting your certificate from Firefox:

  1. Click the 'Tools' menu at the top of Firefox.
  2. Click 'Options'.
    - Depending on your version of Firefox, you will either have icons on the left side or on the top of the options window.
  3. Click the 'Advanced' icon.
  4. Open the 'Certificate Manager' window:
    1. If your icons are on the top of the Options window, click the 'Security' tab, then click 'View Certificates'.
    2. If your icons are on the left side, look for 'Certificates' in the main part of the Options window. Under the 'Certificates' heading, click 'Manage Certificates'.
  5. Select the certificate you want to export, and click the 'Backup' button.
  6. Choose the location to save the certificate file being created, and give it a name, then click 'Save'.
  7. If prompted, enter the master password for the "Software Security Device" and click OK.
  8. Create and confirm a backup password to protect the file being created, then click OK.
  9. You should see an Alert saying 'Successfully backed up your security certificate(s) and private key(s)'.
Importing your certificate into Firefox on a Different Computer
  1. Follow steps 1-4 from the section above: "Exporting your certificate from Firefox"
  2. Click the 'Import' button.
  3. Locate the file you had saved previously.
  4. Click on the file, and click the 'Open' button.
    -Note: if it asks you "Please choose a token", then select the correct option. In most cases that is the "Software Security Device".
  5. If prompted, enter in the existing Firefox "master password", or create a new one if necessary.
  6. In the 'Password Entry Dialog' box, enter the backup password you created in step 8 above.
  7. You should see an Alert saying 'Successfully restored your security certificate(s) and private key(s)."



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