I have a PFX certificate file on my machine and I'd like to view the details before importing it. (The import utility doesn't actually tell you what the certificate is!).

How do I view the details about the PFX certificate file?

  • 10
    It is 2019 and we still can't easily view a certificate before installing it. We have to go out on the web to find an answer. Sad state of affairs for Microsoft.
    – jww
    Sep 15, 2019 at 0:24

6 Answers 6


Some options to view PFX file details:

  • Open a command prompt and type: certutil -dump <path to cert>
  • Install OpenSSL and use the commands to view the details, such as: openssl pkcs12 -info -in <path to cert>
  • The first option is good, but is there any way of seeing more details of the certificate such as the SAN, without installing a third party tool?
    – Meir
    Aug 17, 2016 at 8:41
  • 30
    certutil -v -dump <path to cert> will display a verbose listing including SAN. Jan 5, 2017 at 22:37
  • 2
    I have an encrypted pfx file. Is there any information I can find out about it without knowing the password?
    – mwfearnley
    Apr 21, 2017 at 14:22
  • @mwfearnley, except of recovering the password via brute-force method, I am afraid there is no other option left.
    – U880D
    Apr 17, 2018 at 8:59
  • certutil -p <cert password> -dump <path to cert>
    – Suncat2000
    Jan 11 at 16:14

You can pipe the info to the openssl x509 utility and then export that out to a file like this:

openssl.exe pkcs12 -info -in c:\temp\cert.pfx | openssl.exe x509 -noout -text > c:\temp\cert.pfx.details.txt

You will be prompted for the certificate passwords too of course.


The contents of a pfx file can be viewed in the GUI by right-clicking the PFX file and selecting Open (instead of the default action, Install).

Explorer context menu

This will open mmc and show the pfx file as a folder. Open the pfx folder and the Certificates subfolder, and you will see the certificate(s) contained in the pfx. The certificate can be opened to view details.

example UI

Alternatively, the GUI can be opened by running mmc certmgr.msc /CERTMGR:FILENAME="C:\path\to\pfx"

It is also possible to use FileTypesMan to change the default (double-click) action for PFX files from Install to Open.

  • 16
    Unfortunately Explorer's "Open" command in the context-menu just gives me this message: "This file has password protected certificates for the following: Personal Information Exchange." and doesn't let me continue. It never prompts me for a password either.
    – Dai
    Apr 14, 2021 at 4:48
  • This works in Windows 11, but you can't use the Open in the first menu, you have to Show More Options, then Open from there. (Note: I tested with a .p12 that didn't have a password.)
    – mwfearnley
    Feb 14, 2023 at 14:40
  • 2
    Yeah, certmgr can only display pfx files that have no password protection. If your pfx has a password, you'll need to remove the password from the file using openssl (or similar) before you can use the GUI to view it. Of course, if you have openssl, you can just use it to directly display the details on the command line (openssl pkcs12 -info -in FILE.pfx).
    – josh3736
    Feb 15, 2023 at 0:08

I know this old but, but I have written a small application that is able to show certificates in PFX files. It doesn't show whether it has key or not, but you can browse through certificates in it.

You can download latest version from the Release section. Works on Windows and Linux

https://github.com/nomailme/certificate-info enter image description here


I wrote a python tool that can do this as well. The source is on Github at https://github.com/JavaScriptDude/print_cert .

This tool can print local certificates and PKCS stores or certs on remote sites.

usage: print_cert [-h] [--p12 P12] [--cert CERT] [--privkey PRIVKEY]
                  [--host HOST] [--port PORT]

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --p12 P12, -p P12     Path to PKCS12/PFX archive
  --cert CERT, -c CERT  Path to certificate pem
  --privkey PRIVKEY, -k PRIVKEY
                        Path to private key pem
  --host HOST, -H HOST  Host Address
  --port PORT, -P PORT  Host Port (default is 443)

Another possibility: using SigCheck utility, as mentioned in Microsoft's Clickonce docs (the docs mention examining a .manifest file, but it works on a .pfx file as well).

Outputs looks like:

enter image description here

  • 2
    As I understand, sigcheck checks the signature of the specified file(s). Since, pfx file is not signed, the output shows as 'unsigned'. So this way doesn't work there.
    – Jury
    May 7, 2020 at 1:43
  • @Jury: is not the question about being able to view the contents of the certificate ? This way does show. The file being signed or not is not relevant for the problem posed - as far as I understand.
    – Veverke
    May 7, 2020 at 6:42
  • 1
    Using sigcheck on a pfx adds no useful information that's not also present if you rightclick on the file in explorer and choose 'Properties'
    – janv8000
    May 4, 2022 at 9:27

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