A: In Windows, X.509 certificates and private keys can be exported using the Certificates Microsoft Management Console snap-in (certmgr.msc). Follow these steps to export a certificate and its associated private key from your old laptop.

  1. Start the Certificates snap-in.
  2. In the snap-in’s console tree, expand the Personal container, and click the Certificates subcontainer.
  3. In the details pane, right-click the certificate you want to export, select All Tasks, and then click Export… This action will start the Certificate Export Wizard.
  4. On the Welcome to the Certificate Export Wizard page, click Next.
  5. On the Export Private Key page, click Yes, Export the Private Key, and then click Next.
  6. On the Export File Format page, click Personal Information Exchange – PKCS#12, and select the following checkboxes (shown below for Windows Vista):
  7. On a Windows 2000 or Windows XP machine:
  • Include All Certificates in the Certification Path if possible
  • Enable Strong Protection
  • Delete the Private Key if the Export is Succesful
On a Windows Vista machine:
  • Include all Certificates in the Certification Path if possible.
  • Delete the Private Key if the Export is Successful.
  • Export all Extended Properties.



  • On the Export File Format page, click Next.
  • On the Password page, type a password to secure the access to your certificate and private key data in the PKCS#12 file and click Next.
  • On the File to Export, type a path where you will export the file, preferably a floppy disk or a USB drive, and click Next.
  • On the Completing the Certificate Export Wizard page, click Finish.
  • In the Certificate Export Wizard message box telling whether the export was successful, click OK.
  • To import a certificate and private key on your new laptop, follow these steps:

    1. Copy the PKCS#12 file (it has a pfx extension) from the floppy disk or USB drive to your new laptop.
    2. Double-click the pfx file. This will start the Certificate Import Wizard.
    3. On the Welcome to the Certificate Import Wizard page, click Next.
    4. On the File to Import page, double-check the file name and path of the pfx file you want to import, and click Next.
    5. On the Password page, enter the password you used to secure the pfx file and check the “Mark this key as exportable” box. Then click Next.
    6. On the Certificate Store page, select the Automatically select the Certificate store based on the type of certificate option (this is the default), and click Next.
    7. On the Completing the Certificate Wizard Import Wizard page, click Finish.
    8. In the Certificate Import Wizard message box telling whether the import was successful, click OK.