Export certificate using Base 64 .CER format with PowerShell ?

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Mario 1 year, 9 months ago.

  • Author
  • #54286


    How do I export a certificate using Base 64 .CER format with PowerShell ?
    The Export-Certificate cmdlet has a 'Type' parameter with a P7B value, but I'm not sure if that's the same as selecting the 'Base-64 encoded X.509 (.CER)' radio button in the 'Certificate Export Wizard' using the GUI (see screenshot below)


  • #54313

    Daniel Krebs

    P7B is binary bundle of certificates which is not what you're looking for. Unfortunately, the Export-Certificate cmdlet does not offer the "Base-64 encoded X.509 (.CER)" type to be exported but you can use below snippet to get the job done.

    $cert = Get-Item -Path Cert:\LocalMachine\CA\D559A586669B08F46A30A133F8A9ED3D038E2EA8
    $certFile = 'C:\My\exported.cer'
    $content = @(
        '-----BEGIN CERTIFICATE-----'
        [System.Convert]::ToBase64String($cert.RawData, 'InsertLineBreaks')
        '-----END CERTIFICATE-----'
    $content | Out-File -FilePath $certFile -Encoding ascii
  • #54591


    Thanks Daniel.

    I found that 'certutil -encode' can also be used for exporting to Base64 format.

    I noticed that exporting to Base64 format using both 'certutil -encode' and the MMC Certificate GUI adds the 'BEGIN/END CERTIFICATE' tags, and adds line breaks after 65 characters. And with ToBase64String, the InsertLineBreaks parameter adds line breaks after 76 characters, and the 'BEGIN/END CERTIFICATE' tags need to be hand-coded.

    I know the line breaks shouldn't matter, but just to retain compatibility with the native Windows way in which Base64 certificates are exported, I ended up using the following code:

    $cert = Get-ChildItem Cert:\LocalMachine\My | where { $_.Subject -imatch 'mydomain\.com' }
    $DERCert    = 'C:\Cert_DER_Encoded.cer'
    $Base64Cert = 'C:\Cert_Base64_Encoded.cer' 
    Export-Certificate -Cert $cert -FilePath $DERCert
    Start-Process -FilePath 'certutil.exe' -ArgumentList "-encode $DERCert $Base64Cert" -WindowStyle Hidden


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