Advanced Guide on Mac OS X Mavericks SSL Certificate Export and Import

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Step-by-step instructions for importing and exporting Mavericks SSL certificates

Mac OS X Mavericks is the tenth generation of Apple’s Mac OS X (macOS) operating system. It was released in the Fall of 2013 and emphasized better battery life, improvements to its Finder and improved iCloud integration. A fun fact about OS X Mavericks, it is named after a famed surfing location in Northern California, representing the first OS named after a location in California as opposed to a type of cat, which had been used for all previous OS updates.

You’re not here for a history lesson on OS X Mavericks though, you’re here because you are wondering:

  • What is the Mac SSL Certificate location?
  • How do I trust a certificate on my Mac?
  • How do I export a P12 certificate?
  • How do I import a P12 certificate?

Well, we’ve got you covered, so sit back while we provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to import, export and trust SSL certificates on Mac OS X Mavericks.

How to find your SSL certificates on a Mac

Let’s start with how to view the certificates you have stored on your Mac.

Step 1: Open your Finder

Step 2: Click on Applications

Step 3: Scroll down to Utilities, click it

Step 4: Select and double-click Keychain Access

Step 5: In the Keychain Access window, click on System

Step 6: Under Category select Certificates

How to Export an SSL certificate on Mac OS X Mavericks

Now that you know how to find your certificate store, we can continue with exporting, importing and assigning certificates to websites.

Step 1: Open your Certificate Store (use the steps from the previous section)

Step 2: Hold Command and select the certificate you want to export, as well as any associated intermediates

Step 3: In the toolbar, select File

Step 4: Click Export Items

Step 5: In the Export window, select the P12 file format, make sure to pick Save As and export the certificate to a location you remember. It’s also wise to make sure the file name ends with the .p12 extension

Step 6: Create a password for the exported certificate

How to import a P12 Certificate file

Apple uses a slightly different file type than other platforms, it’s called a P12 file. In order to import an SSL certificate to a Mac, it will need to be in the P12 format. We have a conversion tool if you need it.

Step 1: Open your Certificate Store (use the steps from the previous section)

Step 2: In the toolbar, select File

Step 3: Click Import Items

Step 4: In the Import window, select System in the Destination Keychain drop-down list

Step 5: Now, choose the SSL certificate you would like to import and click Open

Step 6: Enter your Admin name and password, click Modify Keychain

Step 7: Enter the password for your p12 certificate

How to assign a Mac OS X Mavericks p12 certificate to a website

Ok, now it’s time to pair your SSL certificate with your website.

Step 1: Open your Finder

Step 2: Select Applications

Step 3: Double click on Server

Step 4: Select the Server you imported the SSL certificate to, click Continue

Step 5: Enter your Admin name and password

Step 6: In the Server window, under Server, click on Certificates

Step 7: In the Secure services using drop-down menu, select Custom

Step 8: In the drop-down menu, select the SSL certificate you imported

Step 9: Click OK

If you would like to test your installation, we have a free tool that will let you know if everything went as planned.


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