How to Move an SSL Certificate to Another Server

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Need to transfer SSL certificates to another server in cPanel? We’ve got you covered

Whether it’s because of a server location change or an upgrade, you may need to transfer settings and data from one server to another. And, of course, we all know an SSL certificate is one thing you definitely should never forget to move between servers, as it keeps your website’s connection encrypted and helps your site stay compliant with security standards and regulations.

Choosing a Method: How to Move Your SSL Certificate to Another Server

Now, there’s an important decision you need to make before you move an SSL certificate between servers — how you want to achieve your end goal. Do you want to copy the SSL certificate to another server, thereby keeping the certificate on both servers? Or, do you want to transfer or move the SSL certificate to another server completely, getting rid of the first copy and only keeping the one on the new server? Whichever method you choose is fine — there are only a few extra steps will be required if you want to delete the old certificate once you’ve moved it to its new location. If you were using a custom root, you’ll also need to delete the root certificates from the client machines.

There’s also one more thing you need to consider when moving SSL certificates from one server to another: If you previously hosted a single domain on a server and want to add multiple domains or subdomains to the new server, the SSL certificate you transfer will only encrypt the domain it’s registered to — it won’t protect all of the domains in your server. To ensure you cover these new domains or subdomains, you’ll need to purchase a multi-domain SSL certificate or a wildcard SSL certificate, respectively.

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Now that we’ve got all the technical mumbo-jumbo out of the way, let’s dive into how you can move an SSL certificate between servers. We’ll break the process down step by step to make it easy.

Note: In this guide we use cPanel, but this guide can also be applied other hosting control panels.

How to Transfer an SSL Certificate to Another Server in cPanel

  1. Log in to cPanel. The first thing you’ll want to do when you need to move an SSL certificate to another server is to use the right tool.You can find the login page for cPanel by going to https://domain.com:2083 (domain.com would be replaced with your domain name), and the login form should look like the screenshot below:
Graphic: Move SSL certificate to another server in cPanel login page

  1. Navigate to the Security Section. After logging in, you should be in the cPanel home page. When you scroll down to that section, it should look like this:

Graphic: Move SSL certificate to another server — cPanel Security Menu
  1. Select “SSL/TLS.” This should bring you to the following page:
cPanel SSL menu graphic
  1. Copy Your Private Key. Click Generate, view, upload, or delete your private keys, which will bring you to the following page. Then select Edit on the private key you wish to transfer. After doing so, copy your private key from the “Encoded Private Key” field and save it somewhere close for now. You’ll be using this later. Note: Make sure to include “—–BEGIN RSA PRIVATE KEY—–” and “—–END RSA PRIVATE KEY—–” when copying your private key.
Graphic: How to copy your private key in cPanel
Graphic: The start of an encoded private key
  1. Copy Your Certificate. Go back to the “SSL/TLS” page and select Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates. Then select Edit on the certificate you wish to transfer. After doing so, copy the certificate from the “Encoded Certificate” field and save it somewhere easy to access as you will need this later when adding the certificate to your new server.

    Note: Make sure to include “—–BEGIN CERTIFICATE—–” and “—–END CERTIFICATE—–” when copying your certificate.

Graphic: Edit certificate in cPanel
Graphic: The start of an encoded certificate
  1. Paste Your Private Key and Certificate. On your new server, log in to cPanel and head back to the “SSL/TLS” page. First, click on Generate, view, upload, or delete your private keys, then paste the private key you copied earlier into the “Upload a New Private Key” field and hit the Save button. Follow the same process to paste your certificate under the Generate, view, upload, or delete SSL certificates link on the “SSL/TLS” page.
Graphic: Dialogue box to upload a new private key to your server in cPanel
  1. Install Your SSL Certificate. Go back to the “SSL/TLS” page one more time and select Manage SSL sites under the “Install and Manage SSL for your site (HTTPS)” section. Then, click the Browse Certificates button and select the SSL Certificate you wish to install in this server. Then, select the domain you wish to install an SSL Certificate on. All fields should automatically populate, but if they don’t, paste your certificate and private key under the appropriate fields and click Install Certificate.
Graphic: Browse SSL certificates in cPanel
Graphic: Select a domain to move SSL certificate to another server

You can visit our article “How to Install SSL Certificate on WHM/cPanel” to get a more in-depth look at installing your SSL certificate once you’ve transferred it over. If you run into any issues while installing, don’t hesitate to visit our support page — we’re here to help.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve moved your SSL certificate to your new hosting server, there are a few more things you need to take care of before the domains on your server are properly SSL secured. These tasks include:

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