How to renew Exchange 2003 SSL Certificate

Issue: The certificate in use on your Exchange 2003 server has expired and needs to be renewed or replaced.

Background: Exchange 2003 running on Windows 2003 uses IIS 6.0, therefore the certificate is tied to the Default Website in IIS and can be renewed/replaced using IIS Manager.  SSL certificates are used to encrypt http sessions allowing you to run encrypted Outlook Web Access and Activesync sessions over port 443 (HTTPS).

In order to use a certificate that will be recognized by browsers and mobile devices you will need to purchase a certificate from a recognized third party certificate authority like GoDaddy, or checkout my guide on buying a cheap ssl certificate.


Generate a certificate request (CSR):
open IIS Manager, expand Web Sites, right click Default Website, click properties.
properties of default website IIS

Click Directory Security > Server Certificates
Directory Security - Server Certificates

The Web Server Certificate Wizard will open, click next.
Welcome to the IIS web server certificate wizard

Select Renew the current certificate:

Renew The Current Certificate

Select “Prepare the request now, but send it later” and click Next.

prepare IIS certificate request

Enter the path and filename for your certificate request file, this file will be submitted to your Certificate Authority like GoDaddy, NameCheap, etc.

Specify the certificate request file name

Click Next to confirm you’d like to generate the certificate request.
confirm generating certificate request IIS 6

Click Finish to complete the IIS 6 Web Server Certificate Wizard.

Completing the Web Server Certificate Wizard IIS 6

Obtain certificate from third party CA:
Next you will need to submit the CSR (certificate request) to your third party Certificate Authority (NameCheap, etc, etc).   After submitting the CSR and completing the verification steps of your Cert Authority you will download your completed ssl certificate file from your Cert Authority and use it to process the pending certificate request and install the certificate (click link for steps).

Need help coming up with an Exchange 2003 migration plan?  Signup for a complimentary analysis and project plan from EnterpriseIT’s expert staff.


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