Dealing with self-signed SSL certificates on Windows Phone

Posted by: Nigel Sampson | 07 June 2013

Often when integrating a Windows Phone app with a third party service that’s not a production service you’ll occasionally run into a self-signed SSL certificate.

For obvious reasons by default Windows Phone doesn’t like these certificates as they can’t really be trusted. If you try and make a web request you’ll find it errors with a 404 (not very helpful).

SSL Certificate Info

So how can we get the phone to call to the service? What we need to do is install the certificate on the phone itself. First you need to download the certificate from the server. In browser navigate to the domain in question and click on the familiar padlock and bring up the Certificate Information dialog. Under Details select “Copy to file”, and select the P7B file format (you don’t need to include all the certificates in the path).

Now we have the certificate as file we’ll need to put it somewhere accessible from the browser on your phone. Personally I just FTP it somewhere on my website, but Dropbox or Skydive would work as well. Once uploaded simply browse to that file using Internet Explorer on the phone. This should prompt you to install the certificate. Once installed your service integration should connect properly!

One side note here is that you’ll need to do this every time you start the emulator, but only once for any actual devices.

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