Installing a Free Let’s Encrypt TLS/SSL Certificate on IIS Web Server

In this information, we’ll present you the best way to set up and bind a free TLS/SSL Let’s Encrypt certificates for a web site on the IIS net server operating on Windows Server 2019/2016/2012 R2.

Let’s Encrypt and ACME Clients for Windows

An TLS/SSL certificates of a web site permits to guard person information transferred over the general public community in opposition to man-in-the-middle (MITM) assaults and supply information integrity. Nonprofit certification heart Let’s Encrypt means that you can mechanically challenge free X.509 encryption TLS certificates for HTTPS encryption utilizing the API. Only certificates for area validation that expire in 90 days are issued (there may be a restrict of 50 certificates for one area per week). But you may mechanically renew the SSL certificates on your web site utilizing easy scheduling.

The Let’s Encrypt API interface to mechanically challenge the certificates known as Automated Certificate Management Environment (ACME) API. There are three hottest ACME API consumer implementations for Windows methods:

  1. Windows ACME Simple (WACS) is the command immediate software for the interactive challenge an SSL certificates and bind it to a particular web site on your IIS net server;
  2. Powershell ACMESharp module – is the PowerShell library with a variety of cmdlets to work together with Let’s Encrypt servers over ACME API;
  3. Certify is a Windows graphic software to handle SSL certificates interactively utilizing ACME API.

WACS Clint to Install Let’s Encrypt TLS Certificate in IIS on Windows Server

The best approach to get an SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt is to make use of the console software Windows ACME Simple (WACS) (beforehand this undertaking known as LetsEncrypt-Win-Simple). It is a easy wizard that means that you can choose one of many web sites operating on the IIS, mechanically challenge and bind an SSL certificates to it.

Suppose, you’ve got an IIS web site operating on Windows Server 2016. Your process is to change the web site to an HTTPS mode by putting in free SSL certificates from Let’s Encrypt.

Download the latest launch of the WACS consumer from the GitHub (in my case, that is model – the file title is

Windows ACME Simple (WACS) LetsEncrypt clicent download from github

Extract the zip archive to the next listing on the server the place IIS is put in: c:inetpubletsencrypt


Open the elevated command immediate, go to c:inetpubletsencrypt listing and run wacs.exe. This will launch an interactive Let’s Encrypt certificates era and binding to IIS web site wizard. To rapidly create a new certificates, choose N:Create new certificates (easy for IIS).

simple acmev2 client - create new certificate for iis on windows server

Next, that you must choose the certificates sort. In our instance, there isn’t any want to make use of a certificates with aliases (a number of SAN – Subject Alternative Name), so simply choose an merchandise 1. Single binding of an IIS web site. If you want a Wildcard certificates, choose the choice three.

Then the utility shows the checklist of internet sites operating on IIS and prompts you to pick out a web site to challenge the certificates for.

select domain to issue ssl certificate

Specify your e-mail handle to which notifications about certificates renewing issues and others important messages and abuses shall be despatched (you may specify a number of e-mail addresses separated by commas). It stays to conform to the phrases of use and Windows ACME Simple will connect with Let’s Encrypt servers and attempt to mechanically generate a new SSL certificates on your web site.

email for letsencrypt

The technique of producing and putting in SSL Let’s Encrypt certificates for IIS is absolutely automated.

By default, area validation is carried out within the http-01 validation (SelfHosting) mode. To do that, you need to have a area DNS document pointing to your net server. When operating WACS in handbook mode (full choices), you may choose the validation sort – four [http-01] Create momentary utility in IIS (really useful). In this case, a small utility shall be created on the IIS net server by means of which Let’s Encrypt servers will be capable of carry out area validation.

Note. During the TLS/HTTP validation your web site should have to be accessible from the Internet by its full DNS title over HTTP (80/TCP) and HTTPS (443/TCP) protocols.

The WACS software saves the non-public key of the certificates (*.pem), the certificates itself and a variety of different recordsdata within the C:Users%usernamepercentAppDataRoamingletsencrypt-win-simple. Then it can set up the Let’s Encrypt SSL certificates generated within the background and bind it to your IIS web site. If there may be an SSL certificates put in on the positioning (for instance, ) will probably be changed with a new one.

In IIS Manager, open the Site Binding settings on your web site and confirm that it makes use of the certificates issued by Let’s Encrypt Authority X3.

certificate properties Let’s Encrypt Authority X3

You can discover the Let’s Encrypt IIS certificates within the pc certificates retailer beneath Web Hosting -> Certificates.

Web Hosting -> IIS Certificates authorities with Let’s Encrypt ”  /></p>
<p>Windows ACME Simple create a new job within the Windows Task Scheduler (<code>win-acme-renew (</code>) to mechanically renew the certificates. The process begins each day, and the renewal of the certificates is carried out after 60 days. This process runs the command:</p>
<p><code>C:inetpubletsencryptwacs.exe --renew --baseuri

You can use the identical command to manually replace Let’s Encrypt certificates.

task in sheduler to renew Let’s Encrypt certificate - win-acme-renew

Redirect from HTTP to HTTPS Using the IIS URL Rewrite

To redirect all incoming HTTP visitors to the HTTPS web site URL, set up the Microsoft URL Rewrite Module (https://www.iis.internet/downloads/microsoft/url-rewrite), and make it possible for the choice Require SSL is disabled within the web site settings. Now configure the redirect in net.config with rewrite guidelines:

You also can configure visitors redirect utilizing the URL Rewrite extension by means of the IIS Manager GUI. Select Sites -> yoursitename -> URL Rewrite.

iis URL Rewrite module

Create a new rule Add Rule -> Blank rule.

Specify a rule title and alter the next parameter values:

  • Requested URL: Matches the Pattern
  • Using: Regular Expressions
  • Pattern: (.*)

URL-Rewrite edit inbound rule

In the Conditions part, change the Logical Grouping: Match All and click on Add. Specify the next settings:

  • Condition enter:
  • Check if enter string: Matches the Pattern
  • Pattern: ^OFF$

url rewrite add conditions

Now within the Action block choose:

  • Action Type: Redirect
  • Redirect URL: https:///
  • Redirect sort: Permanent (301)

Open a browser and attempt to open your web site with an HTTP handle, you ought to be mechanically redirected to the HTTPS URL.

It’s price to notice that Let’s Encrypt certificates are presently broadly used on the web sites of many massive firms and they’re trusted by all browsers. I hope that the free certification heart Let’s Encrypt gained’t share the future of WoSign and StartCom.

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