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If I go to Internet Explorer Options -> Content Tab -> Certificates Button -> Personal Tab, I see a list of certificates there - where does IE read from? Several of these certificates are different places on my machine. There is one even in a PKI USB Device. Does IE search the whole machine for certs - doesn't seem plausible?

I tried this both on IE8 & IE9.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I am answering my own question after a little more searching around for information just in case it helps anyone else who looking for this same information.

IE doesn't look for any certificates in the machine. It's applications (like a personal certificate manager or the driver for my PKI USB device) which register the certificates they manage with IE/Windows. They use the Crypto APIs to do this. When the application exits, it deregisters the certificates it manages, so they are no longer visible in the IE Personal Tab. In my laptop, I had 2 such applications - one was the USB PKI device & the other was a certificate manager.

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which cert manager was that? – tgkprog May 7 '13 at 6:00
@tgkprog It was an internal application I had - it acts as a cert manager. When you start it up, it registers the certs with IE and deregisters when you shut down the application. – user93353 May 7 '13 at 7:20
pity. i have been looking for ever to import own created cert there (for my own pc only) – tgkprog May 7 '13 at 8:50
@tgkprog - where do you want to import it? – user93353 May 7 '13 at 9:02
into IE wanted a wanted to sign an active x (years ago) and later a java applet (that worked though even if not in the list – tgkprog May 7 '13 at 10:35

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