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How To Check If A Code Signing Certificate Has Been Applied Correctly

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You can verify that a program has been code signed by running a single command

Having a Code Signing certificate from a trusted certificate authority is practically a requirement nowadays. Most modern browsers won’t let a user download an unsigned piece of software without clicking through a warning about it originating from an unknown source. Nobody wants that, so as software developers it’s important to sign and timestamp our executables to avoid the warnings. Code signing also offers users assurance about your identity and that the file hasn’t been tampered with since you created it. In this article, we’ll cover how to check a code signing certificate has been applied and time stamped in two different ways.

Tip: If your software targets Internet Explorer and Windows users, you need your software to get a good Microsoft Authenticode score to avoid errors. In this case, you need an EV code signing certificate.

How do I verify that my application or program was code signed?

There are a couple of different methods for checking this. Many CAs will include a tool along with their Code Signing certificates. This tool will assist with the signing process and comes with commands for verifying the signature baked in. You can typically figure out whether or not your signature took that way, simply consult the instructions that came along with the program.

However, if you don’t have a tool, you can check on Windows, too. Here’s how:

Verify Code Signing Certificate In Microsoft Windows

If you’re using Windows as your operating system, just follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the file you want to check
  • Select Properties
  • Select the Digital Signatures tab.

If your software was signed correctly you should see the signature displayed in the Signature List, like this:

Firefox Digital Signature Code Signing Verification

Check Code Signing Certificate in Microsoft SDK

If you’re using the Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4, it comes with a utility called SignTool that will help you verify the signature you’ve applied. You simply need to run the following via command line:

To test a signed .exe, .dll or .ocx file, run:

SignTool verify MyControl.exe

To to also get the signer of the certificate, run:

SignTool verify /v MyControl.exe

That’s how to check the code signing certificate has been correctly applied to your signed application!

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