CertVerifySubjectCertificateContext function (wincrypt.h)

The CertVerifySubjectCertificateContext function performs the enabled verification checks on a certificate by checking the validity of the certificate's issuer. The new Certificate Chain Verification Functions are recommended instead of this function.


BOOL CertVerifySubjectCertificateContext(
  [in]           PCCERT_CONTEXT pSubject,
  [in, optional] PCCERT_CONTEXT pIssuer,
  [in, out]      DWORD          *pdwFlags


[in] pSubject

A pointer to a CERT_CONTEXT structure containing the subject's certificate.

[in, optional] pIssuer

A pointer to a CERT_CONTEXT containing the issuer's certificate. When checking just CERT_STORE_TIME_VALIDITY_FLAG, pIssuer can be NULL.

[in, out] pdwFlags

A pointer to a DWORD value contain verification check flags. The following flags can be set to enable verification checks on the subject certificate. They can be combined using a bitwise-OR operation to enable multiple verifications.

Value Meaning
Checks whether the subject certificate is on the issuer's revocation list.
Uses the public key in the issuer's certificate to verify the signature on the subject certificate.
Gets the current time and verifies that it is within the subject certificate's validity period.

If an enabled verification check succeeds, its flag is set to zero. If it fails, then its flag is set upon return.

If CERT_STORE_REVOCATION_FLAG was enabled and the issuer does not have a CRL in the store, then CERT_STORE_NO_CRL_FLAG is set in addition to CERT_STORE_REVOCATION_FLAG.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is TRUE.

If the function fails, the return value is FALSE.

For a verification check failure, TRUE is still returned. FALSE is returned only when a bad parameter is passed in.

For extended error information, call GetLastError. One possible error code is the following.

Return code Description
An unsupported bit was set in pdwFlags. Any combination of CERT_STORE_SIGNATURE_FLAG, CERT_STORE_TIME_VALIDITY_FLAG, and CERT_STORE_REVOCATION_FLAG can be set. If pIssuer is NULL, only CERT_STORE_TIME_VALIDITY_FLAG can be set.


The hexadecimal value of the flags can be combined using bitwise-OR operations to enable multiple verifications. For example, to enable both signature and time validity, the value


is placed in the pdwFlags DWORD value as an input parameter. If CERT_STORE_SIGNATURE_FLAG verification succeeds, but CERT_STORE_TIME_VALIDITY_FLAG verification fails, pdwFlags is set to CERT_STORE_TIME_VALIDITY_FLAG when the function returns.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header wincrypt.h
Library Crypt32.lib
DLL Crypt32.dll

See also



Certificate Functions