How to sign a ClickOnce application


I recently went through this process. A certificate is not that expensive - we got a code-signing certificate for less than a $100.

After you have the certificate, follow the FAQ HOWTO: Code signing how-to* to sign your code (binaries).

After that, you have to go to project properties -> Signing and upload your certificate there as well (it's for ClickOnce). You can skip code signing though and sign ClickOnce only.

ClickOnce requires a certificate for code signing, and others will not work, see ClickOnce Deployment and Authenticode:

For ClickOnce applications, you must have an Authenticode certificate that is valid for code signing; if you attempt to sign a ClickOnce application with another type of certificate, such as a digital e-mail certificate, it will not work.

Jan'18 UPDATE: StartSSL is not trusted anymore, and I did NOT find any free (or similar to what StartSSL was offering) code signing certificates. At the end of the day, I went with - $84/year for Comodo code-signing certificate (but you need to have DUNS record available for them to check!)


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Carl Weis
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Carl Weis

Freelance FullStack Web and Mobile developer, who loves to build things, push pixels and crunching bits. I'm always up for learning new tools, technologies, languages and practices. Really into Ruby on Rails and iOS development with Objective-C and Swift 2 these days, but still do a few projects in PHP/MySQL for clients. I'm always looking for exciting opertunities to work on new and interesting projects. Drop me a line if your interested in hiring me. -Carl

Updated on November 03, 2022


  • Carl Weis
    Carl Weis over 1 year

    I have a ClickOnce application that I built for a client, and I need it to be from a trusted publisher. How do I go about acquiring an Authenticode certificate and sign my application with it? So that when the application is launched, it's from a trusted publisher?

    How do I install the certificate? Do I have to install it on my development server or does it matter where I install it?

    How does the whole process work? I don't want to spend 3-5 hundred dollars on a certificate, and install something wrong and be out of luck.

    Are there good tutorials on purchasing and installing a certificate and signing a ClickOnce application?

  • Mathias Lykkegaard Lorenzen
    Mathias Lykkegaard Lorenzen almost 10 years
    Which certificate would be sufficient for code signing, in terms of cheapest price?
  • Matas Vaitkevicius
    Matas Vaitkevicius about 3 years
    Hi avs009, the link to FAQ is dead.
  • avs099
    avs099 about 3 years
    yes, startSSL is dead too. See my update - I bolded it.