Strong key protection cannot be enforced in Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

Applies to: Windows Server 2012 R2 DatacenterWindows Server 2012 R2 EssentialsWindows Server 2012 R2 Foundation


In Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, strong key protection for software-based keys cannot be enforced. If strong key protection is set and password caching is turned off, the password is required only for first-time access. Later access of the certificate does not prompt you for the password until the password is aged from the cache. 

Note Password aging typically occurs after one day.

Additionally, key descriptions appear to be missing in these systems. The description of keys in the Crypto Next Generation (CNG) user interface always displays a "There is no key description provided with this key" message even if a description of the key is provided.

Note In the CNG user interface, the key description is displayed in several dialog boxes. The key description is useful if you manage multiple keys. For example, when you have to sign an email message by using one of several available keys, the key description can help you determine which key to use.

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft Support. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing the problem described in this article. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, go to the following Microsoft website: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.


To apply this update in Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2, you must first have update 2919355 installed.

Restart requirement

You do not have to restart the computer after you apply this hotfix.

Hotfix replacement information

This hotfix does not replace any previously released hotfix.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


Learn about the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.