How to Create & Verify a Windows Authenticode Signature Using SignTool?

Create & Verify Authenticode Signature

Introduction to Windows Authenticode Signature:

Microsoft Authenticode is a digital signature, which is in a defined format just for Microsoft Windows platform’s use that is responsible for verifying the authenticity and integrity of software and any software delivered through this platform.

This serves two major purposes by allowing software developers to AUTHENTICATE their executables and scripts. This act allows users an option to authenticate the software as coming from a verified source and has not been altered.

Importance of using SignTool

Generation and verification of the Windows Authenticode signature with SignTool is a key process that is needed to guarantee that the software distributed on the Windows platform is authentic and integrity is maintained.

These guidelines help to demystify the creation and verification process of purpose signatures and will touch on the importance of each step.

How to Create a Windows Authenticate Signature?

Step 1: Prepare your files

One of the essential things that you should remember as an artist is to fully prepare your file for distribution before the signing moment comes. If these are executable files (.exe), dynamic link libraries (.dll) or other binary files.

Step 2: Get a Digital Code Signature Certificate

For you to sign files, however, you would need a code signing certificate coming from a trusted certificate authority (CA).

You could either order your certificate from commercial CAs that provide them or design your self-signed certificate for development purposes.

Step 3: On the Windows SDK installation

SignTool is a part of the Windows SDK/Toolkit (SDK). If not yet done, you can register for the free Windows SDK at the Microsoft site, where you will get SignTool as well as other tools you will need.

Step 4: Use SignTool To Digitally Sign Your Files:

Locate the SignTool static install directory by executing the command prompt. Then, use the following command to sign your files: Then, use the following command to sign your files:

signtool sign /a /tr /td SHA256 /fd SHA256 "c:\codesigningcertificate\software.exe"

Step 5: Forming Verification

Once your files are signed, is when you provide the signature to make sure it was applied accurately.

Verify a Windows Authenticode Signature

Step 1: Install the Needed Tools

Make sure that SignTool is already installed on your computer. It is comprised of the Windows SDK that you can freely download and install from the Microsoft website.

Step 2: Get the Signed File

Get the file, and there’s the signature that you want to verify. This signature should have been done using a code signing certificate for validation.

Step 3: Confirm the Digital Signature by using SignTool

Type in a command prompt and head over to the directory where you keep SignTool. Then, use the following command to verify the signature:

signtool verify /pa /v /filename.exe

Explanation of Parameters:

– `/pa`: Stipulate that the signature must be validated with the Windows Authenticode authenticity policy.

– `/v`: Gives verbose output with precise information and details on the signature verification process.

– `filename.exe`: Please input the name of the signed file you are trying to verify.

Step 4: Review the Results of Verifications

When run, SignTool will show the result of the verification step. The data within involves the identifier of the signer, the time stamp, and the authenticity of the file.

Significance of Windows Authenticate Signature

  • Establishing Trust: Windows Authenticode signatures assure users that the program they are installing has indeed come from a reliable publisher. That keeps illegal or changed deeds.
  • Ensuring Integrity: Via verifying the integrity of a signature to the file, the users get a guarantee that the file has not been altered after it was signed. Thus it prevents any changes done by unauthorized parties who might want to change its function or security.
  • Longevity of Signature: The timestamp mechanic ensures the signature’s inalterability, making it possible to continue even after the certificate used for an e-signature expires. This is essential to ensure that consumers maintain trust in the software over such a long period.
  • Compliance with Security Standards: Different organizations and platforms like for corporate software to be digitally signed using Authenticode signatures for security purposes and regulatory compliance.


Having SignTool as the Signature creation and verification tool, reveals that these certificates denote the software origin, stability as well as security of the same software distributed digitally through the Windows platform.

To reduce the costs of your software development process while improving security, choose the Windows Authenticode Code Signing Certificates to secure your executables.

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta

Janki Mehta is a Cyber-Security Enthusiast who constantly updates herself with new advancements in the Web/Cyber Security niche. Along with theoretical knowledge, she also implements her practical expertise in day-to-day tasks and helps others to protect themselves from threats.