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How do I install a Digital Certificate onto an iPhone or iPad?


How do I install a Digital Certificate onto an Apple iPhone?


An End User Digital Certificate that contains a public and private key (usually in the form of a .p12 or .pfx file) can be installed onto the iPhone or iPad.  With the release of iOS 5, the iPhone and iPad now support S/MIME.  This means that you can digitally sign and encrypt emails from either device.  iOS 5 also has support for client authentication using a certificate.  This will enable you to log onto a website that requires a certificate for access.  Below are the steps in order to install a digital certificate onto an iPhone.

If you wish to use your certificate for S/MIME after you have followed this guide, please visit

Important Note: Apple recommends that a *.p12 or *.pfx file is sent to your device as an attachment in an email.  QuoVadis does not recommend this approach unless email access to your mail server is encrypted using SSL.  Further to this note, the QuoVadis Trust/Link portal is able to deliver a *.p12 file directly to your device (providing your Account is configured with the appropriate policy).
Additional Note: All screenshots are shown using iOS7.  The steps for previous versions of iOS are generally the same.






  1. Open the .p12 or .pfx certificate file using your iPhone by selecting the file.  This will start the process to install the certificate as a new profile on your iPhone.  In the example below, the *.p12 file was included in an email.
  2. At the Install Profile screen (shown below) press the Install button.

  3. You will be prompted with a warning message that says, "Installing this profile will change settings on your iPhone."  Press the Install Now button.

  4. If your device has a PIN or passcode set, you may need to enter this in.  After that (or if no passcode has been set), then you will be required to enter in the password for the certificate.  Using the keyboard provided type in the password into the field.  Once you have entered in the password push the Next button at the top beside Enter Password.

  5. The certificate will continue to install.  Once it has finished you will be presented with the following screen.

  6. You can exit this screen by pressing the Done button in the top right hand corner.