How do I activate an SSL certificate?

Activation is the next step after purchasing an SSL Certificate. You will need to have a CSR code generated on your server yourself or by your Hosting Provider, don’t forget to back up the RSA Private Key that will be required for the installation. Otherwise, you will not be able to install the certificate when it is issued.

You should also ask your hosting company to advise you on the server type (software your server is using for CSR generation) for your hostname.

Important Note! Usually a dedicated IP address is required for SSL installation, however if you have SNI technology available on your server, you can install your SSL certificate on a shared IP address. Please pay attention that there are a few issues that may occur. You need to check SNI availability for your hostname with your hosting provider. This should be checked prior to SSL certificate activation for you to avoid any issues with SSL certificate installation.

If you are using Namecheap Hosting services please review SSL certificate activation and installation for domain hosted on Namecheap hosting servers article for help.

Once you have a CSR code generated, you should login to your Namecheap account and start the activation:

  • Hover your mouse over your account username in the left upper corner > Dashboard.


  • Then select Product List > SSL Certificates.


  • Click on “Activate” button next to the required Certificate;


  • Paste CSR code and choose web-server type from the drop-down menu. Once done, click “Submit”.

    If you are activating a multi-domain certificate, on this step you will also need to specify the additional domains you want to have in the issued certificate.


  • Check that the information submitted in the CSR code is correct and proceed further.
  • On the next page select domain control validation method from the dropdown list. There are three domain control validation methods available. You can choose between Email validation, HTTP-based validation and CNAME validation.

    Note! Domain control validation method choice is omitted during activation of Symantec, GeoTrust and Thawte OV and EV certificates.


    For Email validation you need to choose one of the email addresses to receive approval email. For security reasons the approval email can only be sent to one of the generic emails associated with the domain name (webmaster@, postmaster@, hostmaster@, administrator@, admin@) or to the whois email address.
    Please note that if you choose “none” from the list, certificate activation will fail with a “PurchaseError” status.

    For HTTP-based validation, you need to upload a certain text file into the root directory of your website to have the certificate issued. You will be able to download the certificate file in your account after the order is submitted for activation to the Certificate Authority.

    In case of DNS-based validation, you will need to create a special CNAME record in the DNS records for your domain. The record will be also provided after the activation.

    You can read more details about validation methods here.

  • Fill in administrative contact information.

    Depending on the certificate type or brand, you will be asked for the different set of information. For example, for the certificates that require business validation, you will need to provide company information.
    Not mandatory fields will have “Optional” tag next to them.

    Please keep in mind that administrator's contact information has to be submitted using latin characters (Aa-Zz) only. If you use any other languages, you will receive an error message when submitting the order. Of course, you can use digits (0-9) when necessary for administrator's contact details (street number, postal code, phone number, etc.).


  • Confirm the domain control validation method to submit the order.


Once done you will be taken to the certificate management page. Here you will be able to see the certificate and order IDs, Certificate Authority order ID, see details on the certificate.


On the page with the certificate details, you can check the certificate related information, resend the approval email, download the file for HTTP-based validation, check the CNAME record that should be set or even change between the validation methods (the latter only for COMODO certificates).




Confirmation email is to be delivered to the approval address within the next 10 minutes after activation is completed. Once you confirm the issuance by following the link in the approval email, you should receive the validated certificate to the administrative email address you have indicated during activation.

HTTP-based and CNAME-based validation may require more time for the system of the Certificate Authority to find the file or record. Please make sure that the file is publicly accessible and that there is no firewall that may block the requests behind your server.

The validation systems at Certificate Authorities side perform the check of the validation file/record automatically with a certain period of time. If the validation failed, you can double-check if the file/record are correct and accessible and edit them if necessary. Once CA validation system runs the next check, it will reach and validate the file or the record.

If you order an OV/EV certificate*, Certificate Authority will send you a request with the list of the required documents depending on the exact type of the certificate in order to verify your business. To speed up the certificate issuance, you also need to make sure that you have correct contact information in WHOIS for your domain. Order processing by Certification Authority may sometimes take up to an hour. If you do not receive the approval email during the mentioned time frame or the certificate is not issued in an hour, although the file or the record are publicly accessible, please contact our SSL Support Team via live chat or ticket system.

* Comodo OV/EV certificates will still have a domain validation email prior to papers submission request.


We welcome your comments, questions, corrections and additional info relating to this article. Your comments may take some time to appear. Please be aware that off-topic comments will be deleted.

If you need specific help with your account, feel free to contact our Support Team. Thank you.

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