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How To Renew SSL With Certbot

From time to time you may need to renew your web site's SSL certificate. Usually this is done for you automatically by your web hosting company. However, if you host website(s) on your own web server(s), then chances are you will need to do this yourself.

This blog post describes the steps you will need to take to renew your SSL certificate with Certbot (assuming you used Certbot to configure and install your SSL).

Certbot renew

Perform the following steps to have Certbot renew all of the installed SSL certificates on a server:

  1. Stop your web server from hosting (i.e. shut down Apache or IIS). This is required to free up port 80, otherwise the Certbot will return an error saying that port 80 is already in use.

  2. Using Windows Explorer navigate to where your Certbot is installed and running from, which is usually C:\Program Files (x86)\Certbot\

  3. Right mouse click on run.bat and select run as administrator. A Command Prompt console window will open and display.

  4. In the Command Prompt window, type in:
    certbot renew

  5. Once Certbot has completed renewing all exiting SSL certificates on that server, then you can close the Command Prompt window.

  6. Restart your web server (i.e. turn the Apache or IIS instance back on).

  7. Test the web site and ensure that it serves from an HTTPS url.

Force Renewal

If you want to force certbot to renew all certificates even before their expiration dates are near, then you can type the following into the Command Prompt certbot renew --force-renewal.


However, if you only want to renew a specific certificate instead of all of them, you can type the following into the Command Prompt certbot certonly --force-renew (instead of certbot rewnew) and specify each of the associated domain names with -d, such as:

certbot certonly --force-renew -d -d

If you don't know the name's used in the certificate then you can type the following into the Command Prompt:

certbot certificates

and then specify the certificate's name with --cert-name, as in:

certbot certonly --force-renew --cert-name

Final Thoughts

Thank you for reading, I hope you found this blog post educational and helpful.

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