What are root certificates for Windows?

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You can see who the issuing authority is, whether the authority is trustworthy under Windows, the certificate expiration date (if the certificate is still valid) and other similar things before contacting the website. If something goes wrong, you will receive a warning and your browser may block all communication with the site.

If all goes well, messages are sent and received by the browser when the communication takes place. For each incoming message, the browser also checks the message with its own private key to ensure that it is not a fraudulent message. He only responds if he can decrypt the message with his own private key. Therefore, both keys are required to continue the call. In addition, all communications are transmitted in encrypted form.

There are cases where companies, pirates, etc. have attempted to deceive users. The most recent case that an invalid certificate is trustworthy as root is still making rounds. This was the’SuperFish’ certificate for Lenovo computers. Superfish Adware installed a root certificate that seemed legitimate and allowed browsers to communicate with websites. However, the encryption system was so weak that it was easy to use.

Lenovo said it wants to improve users’ shopping experience and make their private data accessible to hackers over the Internet. This private information can be anything, including credit card information, social security number, etc. If you have a Lenovo machine, make sure you have not installed the adware by checking trusted certificates in your browsers. If available, update and start Windows Defender to remove the certificate. There is also an automatic withdrawal tool from Lenovo.

You can use the root certificate scanner or SigCheck to search for unsigned or unreliable Windows root certificates.


Root certificates are important for your browsers to communicate with Web sites. If you delete all trusted certificates, out of curiosity or to be safe, you always receive a message that you are on an unreliable connection. You can download trusted root certificates via the Microsoft Windows Root Certificates Program if you think you do not have all the correct root certificates.

You should always check for non-critical updates from time to time to see if there are updates for root certificates. If so, download them only with Windows Update and not from third-party websites.

There are also fake certificates, but the chances of getting fake certificates are limited – only if your computer manufacturer adds one to the list of trusted root certificates like Lenovo or if you download root certificates from third-party websites. It is better to stick to Microsoft and have the root certificates managed than to install them from anywhere on the Internet. You can also see if a root certificate is trustworthy by opening it and searching for the name of the issuing authority. If the authority is known, you can install it or keep it. If you cannot identify the issuing authority, it is best to delete it.

In a week or two, we will see how to manage trusted root certificates.

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