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How to View the Contents of a Certificate

This article was previously published under Q216830
We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 6.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003. IIS 6.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
The Windows NT Option Pack ships with a tool called CertUtil, which can be used to display information about certificates. Most certificates are in one of two formats, either Base64-encoded or DER-encoded binary. CertUtil cannot handle the former directly, but it does have an option for converting the file from Base64 to binary.
If the file is Base64 encoded, you will first need to convert it. You can check the file to see if it's Base64 encoded or not. If it is Base64 encoded, it will look similar to the following:
To convert to binary, type CertUtil -decode cert.txt cert.cer.

Note:Cert.txt refers to the BASE64 file and Cert.cer is the name of the new binary file in this example.

Now that you have the file converted, you can query its contents by typing CertUtil cert.cer .

You should then see something similar to the following output:
PKCS7 Message Certificates:================ Begin Nesting Level 1 ================X509 Certificate:Version: 3Serial Number: 25f51e4e0000115aSignature Algorithm:  Algorithm ObjectId: 1.2.840.113549.1.1.4  Algorithm Parameters:	05 00                                              ..Issuer: CN=MS CertSrv Test Group CA, OU=Windows NT, O=Microsoft, L=Redmond, S=WA, C=USNotBefore: 10/23/1998 3:33 PMNotAfter: 10/23/1999 3:33 PMSubject: CN=Name (Signing), OU=IASG, O=Microsoft, L=Redmond,                                       S=WA, C=US, E=name@domain.comPublic Key Algorithm:  Algorithm ObjectId: 1.2.840.113549.1.1.1  Algorithm Parameters:	05 00                                              ..PublicKey: UnusedBits=0	30 48 02 41 00 d4 c1 0e  6f 0b 86 54 b8 9b 08 de   0H.A....o..T....	41 87 b5 e8 62 83 a6 42  a6 63 de 5a 9e cc 17 f6   A...b..B.c.Z....	72 95 52 1f 56 7a 95 ad  33 f0 8e c2 e8 c6 d4 95   r.R.Vz..3.......	0d ce c4 7a 1a f3 10 28  ca 15 46 4e 48 52 8c 89   ...z...(..FNHR..	87 f8 5d 0d 1b 02 03 01  00 01                     ..].......Certificate Extensions: 6 Flags = 0(), Length = 4    Key Usage        Digital Signature, Key Encipherment, Data Encipherment, Key Agreement(B8) Flags = 0(), Length = c    Enhanced Key Usage        Client Authentication( Flags = 0(), Length = a9    Authority Key Identifier        KeyID=2A58 2026 5B9F CFB1 E328 F42A EA4D F8CA 19CB F3C4        Certificate Issuer:              Directory Address:                  CN=MS CertSrv Test Group CA                  OU=Windows NT                  O=Microsoft                  L=Redmond                  S=WA                  C=US        Certificate SerialNumber=1113 6100 AA00 2B86 11D2 5EF8 DDA0 99B4 Flags = 0(), Length = 91    CRL Distribution Points        [1]CRL Distribution Point              Distribution Point Name:     Full Name:                            URL=http://CERTSRV/CertSrv/CertEnroll/MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crl    [2]CRL Distribution Point              Distribution Point Name:                       Full Name:                            URL=file://\\CERTSRV\CertSrv\CertEnroll\MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crl Flags = 0(), Length = 2    Basic Constraints        Subject Type=End Entity         Path Length Constraint=None Flags = 0(), Length = 56    Authority Information Access        [1]Authority Info Access                  AccessMethod=Certification Authority Issuer(      Alternative Name:                       URL=http://CERTSRV/CertSrv/CertEnroll/CERTSRV_MS CertSrv Test Group CA.crt Non-root Certificate					
Note: This certificate was modified to fit in this window.

For information on how to read the contents of a certificate, see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
216831 How to Read and Analyze a Client Certificate

Article ID: 216830 - Last Review: 06/23/2005 22:29:19 - Revision: 3.2

  • Microsoft Internet Information Server 4.0
  • kbhowto KB216830