HOW TO : Recover deleted SSL certs from IIS

Here’s the situation.. you installed SSL cert on a website in IIS. You think you don’t need that site anymore and delete the site from IIS. The moment you delete it, you bite your tounge and remember that you are supposed to back up the SSL cert for future purposes.. But since the site has been deleted from IIS, you cannot export the key from the IIS manager!!.

Thx to Microsoft’s oversight (or potentially by design), you can still recover the certificate from the server.. Here’s how

  1. Open a MMC console by typing “mmc” in the Start –> Run prompt
  2. In the MMC console, click on File -> Add/Remove Snap-in
  3. In the “Add/Remove Snap-in” window, click on Add
  4. Choose the “certificate” snap-on and click on Add.
  5. Choose Computer Account in the certificate snap-on window and click on Next.
  6. Choose “Local Computer” (Note : If you want to recover from a remote computer, you can put in the UNC path. But you need to have admin rights on that machine) and click on Finish.
  7. Click on close and go back to the MMC console
  8. You will see all the certificates installed on the server
  9. Expand the “personal certificates” folder and you will see the SSL certificate from the website you deleted from IIS. Follow standard steps to export the certificate.