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How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

On 06/08/2018 By Valentin Ricci

Step 1 - CSR generation from Exchange 2016

First we have to create a shared directory with all permissions for the « Exchange Trusted Subsystem » group. The CSR has to be stored in a shared directory. For this tutorial I'll create a shared directory named « SSL » on my Exchange server's desktop. You can setup the directory anywhere you like as long as Exchange server has read permission on it.

1. Create a directory, right-click on it and go to « Properties » → « Sharing » → « Advanced Sharing » and check « Share this folder ». Then click on « Permissions » and check « Full Control » for « Everyone ».
How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

2. Go to the « Security » tab, click on « Edit », then « Add ... » to add a new group that you will name « Exchange Trusted Subsystem ». Assign full permissions to this group. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

3. Now you can generate your CSR from Exchange. Log in to the « Exchange Admin Center », Click on « Servers », then click on the « Certificates » tab. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

You should see 3 certificates. Do not delete the « WMSVC » one, it is necessary for remote management of your web server.

4. Click on the « + » button to add a new certificate.
Choose « Create a request for a certificate from a certification authority » then click on « Next ».
How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

5. Enter a user friendly name to identify this certificate. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

6. Select your mail server. This server will store the CSR. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

7. At this stage, you can specify the domain names to be included in the certificate. You can leave the default value and specify domain names during the next step. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

8. You can remove any unwanted domain name by clicking on the « - » button. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

9. Fill in your organization information. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

10. Choose the shared folder we've created at the beginning of this tutorial. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

11. Now you can use your CSR to buy an SSL certificate.



Step 2 - SSL certificate installation

Once your certificate is issued by the Certificate Authority, you can download it from your HTTPCS dashboard.
Download and store it in the shared directory we've created earlier.
How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

1. Log in to your Exchange Administration Center in a browser (ex. https://server-example.com/ecp) and click on « Servers ». Then go to « Certificates » tab.
Choose your certificate from the list and click on the « Complete » button located on the right side.
How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

2. Enter the path to the directory which contains the certificate. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

3. The « Pending request » certificate becomes « Valid » in the certificates list.

NB : If you need to secure the Exchange services such a IIS, POP, IMAP or SMTP, your certificates need to be manually enabled for them. Select the certificate in the Certificates list then click on « Edit ».
How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

4. Then, click on « Services » and check the services you want to be secured with the certificate. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

5. A warning message may appear, asking if you want to overwrite the existing certificate. In most cases, the self-signed certificate is installed by default. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

6. Click « Yes » to assign your new trusted certificate to the service and finish the installation. How to install an SSL certificate with Microsoft Exchange

7. You can now check your SSL certificate.



Import a certificate on Microsoft Exchange

If you haven't generated your CSR on Exchange, you can still import it as a PKCS#12 (.pfx) certificate. To do so, convert your certificate to PKCS#12 format.

Then, go to the « Exchange Administration Center » and select the Exchange server you want to install the certificate on. Then click on « ... » and select « Import Exchange certificate ». The « Import Exhange certificate wizard » opens. Locate your PKCS#12 certificate and click « Next ».

Now you can verify the installation was successful.

Buy a cheap SSL certificate for Microsoft Exchange
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