Share via

Unable to open OWA, ECP, or EMS after a self-signed certificate is removed from the Exchange Back End website

Original KB number:  2779694


Consider the following scenario when you're using Microsoft Exchange Server 2013 or Exchange Server 2016:

  • You remove the Microsoft Exchange Self-Signed certificate from the Exchange Back End website by using Certificates MMC, Remove-Exchangecertificate, IIS Manager, or another method.
  • You clear the IIS cache by restart or IISReset.

In this scenario, several client protocols such as Exchange Control Panel (ECP), Outlook Web App (OWA), Exchange ActiveSync, and Exchange Management Shell (EMS) can't connect. The following issues may occur:

  • OWA and ECP display a blank page.

  • Exchange ActiveSync users can't receive emails.

  • EMS can't connect and displays the following error:

    New-PSSession : [] Processing data from remote server failed with the
    following error message: The WinRM Shell client cannot process the request. The shell handle passed to the WSMan Shell
    function is not valid. The shell handle is valid only when WSManCreateShell function completes successfully. Change
    the request including a valid shell handle and try again. For more information, see the about_Remote_Troubleshooting
    Help topic.
    At line:1 char:1
    + New-PSSession -ConnectionURI "$connectionUri" -ConfigurationName Microsoft.Excha ...
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        + CategoryInfo          : OpenError: (System.Manageme....RemoteRunspace:RemoteRunspace) [New-PSSession], PSRemotin
        + FullyQualifiedErrorId : -2144108212,PSSessionOpenFailed
    Failed to connect to an Exchange server in the current site.
    Enter the server FQDN where you want to connect.:


During the setup process, a self-signed certificate called Microsoft Exchange is bound to the Exchange Backend website on port 444. The certificate is for communication between the Default Web Site and Exchange Back End websites. When the certificate is removed, the Default Web Site can't proxy connections to the Exchange Back End website.


To resolve this issue, add the certificate back to the Exchange Back End website by creating a new self-signed certificate, and then bind it to the Exchange Back End website.


These steps should be taken on the Exchange Mailbox server role.

  1. Start Management Shell on the Mailbox server.
  2. Type New-ExchangeCertificate.


    If you're prompted to overwrite the default certificate, select No.

  3. Start IIS Manager on the Mailbox Server.
  4. Expand Site, highlight Exchange Back End, and select Bindings from the Actions pane in the right side column.
  5. Select Typehttps on Port 444.
  6. Select Edit and select the Microsoft Exchange certificate.
  7. From an administrator command prompt, run IISReset.