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SSL Host Header with wildcard certificate on IIS7 solved

by Finn Espen Gundersen on March 2nd, 2015

When adding a HTTPS site on IIS7, the Host header field is disabled. If you have one IP per site, as used to be the requirement, this is not a problem. But when you want to host multiple sites on one IP, it is a show stopper.

In my case I had a wildcard certificate, and ran into this when adding my second site. It was important not to cause any down-time on the already running site.

SSL Cert Rename

It turns out that IIS7 will disable the Host Header field when the name (friendly name) of the wildcard certificate is anything else than *.domain.tld. How unexpected.

The solution is to change the friendly name of the certificate. Luckily, renaming the certificate and adding a host name to any existing sites can be done without service interruption.

First, start the MMC (Start, Run, mmc) and add the Certificate snap-in.

Add MMC snap-in

Choose Computer account, and then Local computer.

Next, use MMC to browse to Certificates, Personal, Certificates, right-click the offending certificate and select Properties.

Friendly Rename

A friendly rename will not impact any running sites.

If the IIS manager is running, restart it (but no sites needs a restart). Now, magically, the Host header field is enabled.

A friendly rename solves everything

Shame on you, Microsoft, for linking specific functionality to a non-specific name field.


From → Webtech, Windows

One Comment
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