Outlook macros and self-signed certs on Windows 7

If you are trying to get some custom macros to work with Outlook as outlined, for example, here and here, you may be befuddled to discover that that your macros fail silently; usually after restarting Outlook. This is because Outlook is quietly disabling all macros because it hates youI mean, because it doesn’t trust you.  That is to say, it doesn’t trust your self-signed cert.

In Windows 7 it appears as though self-signed certs have to first be copied into a “trusted” group before they can be used. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Run certmgr.msc as an Administrator.
  2. Open the “Personal” tree node in the left pane.
  3. Open the “Certificates” node under the Personal node.
  4. Note that your self-signed certificate appears in the right pane.  It may have a red “X” through it.
  5. Double-click the certificate in the right pane to see instructions about copying the certificate to the “Trusted Root Certification Authorities” store.  Good thing these important details are so easy to discover.
  6. Hold down the control key and drag the cert into “Trusted Root Certification Authorities > Certificates” which should appear immediately below the Personal node.
  7. Follow any prompts to completion.  The red “X” should disappear and your cert should know have a key icon attached to it.
  8. Inside Outlook, re-associate this cert with your macro.
  9. Restart Outlook for the new cert to be applied.

And voila, Outlook trusts you again.

Not, of course, that you should every fully trust it back.

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