How to get S/MIME certificate for Outlook and install it. Outlook is incredibly popular partly because it comes in the Microsoft Office package. Outlook is one of the best email clients. Outlook has made it possible to exchange emails securely. Although this is the case, many users do not know how to do this. Outlook supports S/MIME certificates, which help send secure email messages. I have written this detailed guide to show you how to get S/MIME certificates on Outlook and send emails securely.
How to get a S/MIME certificate for Outlook and install it?
Obtaining an S/MIME certificate for Outlook is easy, but you must be careful when following the steps. If you make a mistake, you may have to start over. We will do this in three easy steps.
- Install the PKCS12# file.
- Install the S/MIME SSL certificate.
- Configure Outlook email security.
Continue reading for the full guide.
1] Install the PKCS12# file
Before you can install a S/MIME SSL certificate on Outlook, you will need a PKCS12# file. To access your SSL vendor’s account, follow the link in your Certificate Activation Link email. Your vendor should provide instructions on how to install the PKCS12# file. Create a password and download the PKCS12# file. This file contains your private key, which is used to decrypt Outlook messages encrypted with your public key. Do not lose this file.
Make sure you download the RSA algorithm when downloading your certificate. The RSA algorithm encrypts emails, so don’t select it.
2] Install the S/MIME SSL certificate
After successfully downloading the PKCS12# file, launch Microsoft Outlook to begin the certificate installation. To change your trust settings in Outlook, navigate to File > Options and click on Trust Center in the Outlook Options window.
Next, go to the Email Security tab under Microsoft Outlook Trust Center and go to the Email Security tab on the left menu. In the “Digital IDs (Certificates)” section, click the “Import/Export” button. The next thing to do is to find the file you downloaded in the first step. To do this, select the “Import existing Digital ID from a file” option and hit “Browse.”
Go to the where you got the PKCS12# and open it. You will be asked for a password, so enter the password you chose earlier and hit OK. If you see a message that says an app is trying to create a protected item, select OK.
3] Configure Outlook email security
Next, go to the Email Security tab on the left menu and click on the Settings button under Encrypted email. In the Security Settings Name field, enter a name you can remember. In the Certificates and Algorithms option, click on Choose button. The system will now display all your installed certificates. If you only have one certificate, click OK when the system asks you to confirm it. If you have downloaded multiple certificates, choose the certificate you downloaded and hit OK.
Next, you must change the hashing algorithm to SHA256 and then select the encryption certificate by clicking the “Choose” button next to it. After selecting the certificate, confirm your choice by clicking the “OK” button. Now you can set your default configuration for encrypted emails. Select your preferred options by marking the checkboxes beside each, and exit the Trust Center window. You’ve now installed your S/MIME certificate on Outlook using these steps.
How do I create a secure message in Microsoft Outlook?
Now that you have your S/MIME certificate installed in Outlook, you can now send encrypted emails from your system. But how do you do this? Here’s a brief walkthrough:In Outlook, go to your New Message window.
To send an encrypted email, go to the Options menu and toggle ON Encryption. You may also enable digital signature settings. After sending your encrypted email, you’ll see a prompt asking if you want to allow Outlook to use your private key. Click Allow to make this happen.
How do I know that the certificate is installed correctly?
To confirm that you have installed the S/MIME certificate in Outlook, send an encrypted email. If you see a red certificate badge next to the email, click it to view the certificate details.
What do I do if I don’t have my public key?
In order to send encrypted emails, you need the public key of the recipient. Without their public key, you will get an error. The recipient can send you their public key by sending you a signed email.
When you open this encrypted email, click the red ribbon icon on the right-hand side of the email header to confirm the signature and details of the sender. Finally, add the sender to your Outlook Contacts.
How do you add an Outlook Contact to send encrypted emails?
To add someone to your Outlook Contacts, right-click on their name, then select Add to Outlook Contacts from the dropdown menu, and finally click Save & Close.
Hello, My name is Shari & I am a writer for the ‘Outlook AppIns’ blog. I’m a CSIT graduate & I’ve been working in the IT industry for 3 years.