A simple ACMEv2 client for Windows (for use with Let's Encrypt et al.)


To get the certificate in the correct format for Apache (i.e. .pem files), you have to active the PemFiles plugin for each of your renewals. For new renewals this can be done either from the command line with --store pemfiles or from the main menu with the M option, where it will be posed as a question (“How would you like to store this certificate?”).

Existing renewals that are set up without the PemFiles plugin (which unfortunately includes those imported from 1.9.x) cannot be modified with a command line switch or settings change. You will have to re-create them one by one, or manually modify the .json files on disk.

Getting the certificate in .pem format


  • Choose M in the main menu (create with full options)
  • Choose “Manually input host names” as source
  • Input the domain name(s)
  • Choose or accept the friendly name
  • Pick a validation method. Most common would be to save to a local path
  • Pick your key type
  • Now the critical part: at “How would you like to store this certificate?” pick Write .pem files to folder (Apache, nginx, etc.)
  • And so on…


wacs.exe --source manual --host --validation filesystem --webroot "C:\htdocs\www\" --store pemfiles --pemfilespath C:\apache-certs

Pro tip

If you don’t want to have to specify the path for the .pem files each time, you can edit settings.json in the program directory and set Store.PemFiles.DefaultPath option.

Configuring Apache

To use certificates obtained with the help of WACS with the Apache 2.4 server, you need to make settings in Apache24\conf\extra\httpd-vhosts.conf file; you could also make these changes in the \Apache24\conf\extra\httpd-ssl.conf file as well instead if you so wish:

Define CERTROOT "C:/apache-certs"
Define SITEROOT "C:/htdocs/www"
<VirtualHost *:443>
    DocumentRoot "${SITEROOT}/"
    SSLEngine on
    SSLCertificateFile "${CERTROOT}/"
    SSLCertificateKeyFile "${CERTROOT}/"

Obviously replace with your actual domain name your siteroot to where you’re hosting your files.

Enable SSL

Do not forget to uncomment LoadModule ssl_module modules/ in Apache24\conf\httpd.conf file if it’s not already uncommented. You also need to add Listen 443 or Listen 80 443.

Not for XAMPP uses

You don’t need the / at the end after "${SITEROOT}" so it should just read as: DocumentRoot "${SITEROOT}" for that one line or else (at least according to my case), would result in an object not found 404 error when you visit your domain page.

Also, according to Apache standards, backslash means escaping characters so if you wanted to use backslash as a way for defining directories, then you’re supposed to use another one so it looks like C:\\XAMPP\\Apache\\somestuff but apparently the developers have modded it so that it doesn’t really matter if you double slash or not or use forward slash instead of a single back slash - they all work the same regardless, at least as of version 3.2.2 of XAMPP.


If you want to use your own folder to store certificates, you can use this cmd script is for copying (for example, with name installcert.cmd):

@echo off
if "%~1" == "" exit
if not exist "%2" md "%2" >nul
set certlist=%3-chain.pem,%3-key.pem
echo Script running...
for %%a in (%certlist%) do copy /y "%ProgramData%\win-acme\%1\%%a" "%2\" >nul && echo. [INFO] Install %%a to Certificate Store in %2... OK || echo. [WARN] Install certificate %%a fieled!
echo. [INFO] Restarting service...
C:\Apache24\bin\httpd.exe -k restart
echo. [INFO] Service restarted.
echo. [INFO] Script finished.

This script is called with parameters: LEWSuriDirectory CertFolder DomainName

For example: wacs.exe --source manual --host --webroot "C:\htdocs\www\" --validation filesystem --script "installcert.cmd" --scriptparameters " C:\cert"

Also you must specify a new path to the folder with certificates in your httpd-vhosts.conf.