Install the Certification Authority

Applies to: Windows Server 2022, Windows Server 2019, Windows Server 2016

You can use this procedure to install Active Directory Certificate Services (AD CS) so that you can enroll a server certificate to servers that are running Network Policy Server (NPS), Routing and Remote Access Service (RRAS), or both.


  • Before you install Active Directory Certificate Services, you must name the computer, configure the computer with a static IP address, and join the computer to the domain. For more information on how to accomplish these tasks, see the Windows Server 2016 Core Network Guide.
  • To perform this procedure, the computer on which you are installing AD CS must be joined to a domain where Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) is installed.

Membership in both the Enterprise Admins and the root domain's Domain Admins group is the minimum required to complete this procedure.


To perform this procedure by using Windows PowerShell, open Windows PowerShell and type the following command, and then press ENTER.

Add-WindowsFeature Adcs-Cert-Authority -IncludeManagementTools

After AD CS is installed, type the following command and press ENTER.

Install-AdcsCertificationAuthority -CAType EnterpriseRootCA

To install Active Directory Certificate Services


If you want to use Windows PowerShell to install Active Directory Certificate Services, see Install-AdcsCertificationAuthority for cmdlets and optional parameters.

  1. Log on as a member of both the Enterprise Admins group and the root domain's Domain Admins group.

  2. In Server Manager, click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features. The Add Roles and Features Wizard opens.

  3. In Before You Begin, click Next.


    The Before You Begin page of the Add Roles and Features Wizard is not displayed if you have previously selected Skip this page by default when the Add Roles and Features Wizard was run.

  4. In Select Installation Type, ensure that Role-Based or feature-based installation is selected, and then click Next.

  5. In Select destination server, ensure that Select a server from the server pool is selected. In Server Pool, ensure that the local computer is selected. Click Next.

  6. In Select Server Roles, in Roles, select Active Directory Certificate Services. When you are prompted to add required features, click Add Features, and then click Next.

  7. In Select features, click Next.

  8. In Active Directory Certificate Services, read the provided information, and then click Next.

  9. In Confirm installation selections, click Install. Do not close the wizard during the installation process. When installation is complete, click Configure Active Directory Certificate Services on the destination server. The AD CS Configuration wizard opens. Read the credentials information and, if needed, provide the credentials for an account that is a member of the Enterprise Admins group. Click Next.

  10. In Role Services, click Certification Authority, and then click Next.

  11. On the Setup Type page, verify that Enterprise CA is selected, and then click Next.

  12. On the Specify the type of the CA page, verify that Root CA is selected, and then click Next.

  13. On the Specify the type of the private key page, verify that Create a new private key is selected, and then click Next.

  14. On the Cryptography for CA page, keep the default settings for CSP (RSA#Microsoft Software Key Storage Provider) and hash algorithm (SHA2), and determine the best key character length for your deployment. Large key character lengths provide optimal security; however, they can impact server performance and might not be compatible with legacy applications. It is recommended that you keep the default setting of 2048. Click Next.

  15. On the CA Name page, keep the suggested common name for the CA or change the name according to your requirements. Ensure that you are certain the CA name is compatible with your naming conventions and purposes, because you cannot change the CA name after you have installed AD CS. Click Next.

  16. On the Validity Period page, in Specify the validity period, type the number and select a time value (Years, Months, Weeks, or Days). The default setting of five years is recommended. Click Next.

  17. On the CA Database page, in Specify the database locations, specify the folder location for the certificate database and the certificate database log. If you specify locations other than the default locations, ensure that the folders are secured with access control lists (ACLs) that prevent unauthorized users or computers from accessing the CA database and log files. Click Next.

  18. In Confirmation, click Configure to apply your selections, and then click Close.