PEM file extension is used by certificate files to store and transport cryptographic keys, certificates and other types of data. Binary PEM files are base64-encoded and store data in ASCII text format.
PEM-encoded certificate files are frequently used on internet servers as they are easy to view using any standard text editor. PEM files are used for authenticating trusted website and are usually imported from a Unix-based Apache webserver. PEM certificates can also be used to send private emails as they guarantee the message has not been tempered with during transport, and that the message comes from legitimate source.
PEM certificate uses digitally-signed public key for security purposes. Authentication process uses public key to identify the owner of the key and confirm they are the person they claim to be.
In short time the PEM format became and IETF standard, although this status did not bring it popularity. PEM has since then been replaced by newer, more secure technologies.
The following list contains programs grouped by 3 operating systems that support PEM files. Files with PEM suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.
Problems with accessing PEM may be due to various reasons. What is important, all common issues related to files with PEM extension can be resolved by the users themselves. The process is quick and doesn’t involve an IT expert. The list below will guide you through the process of addressing the encountered problem.
Problems with opening and working with PEM files are most probably having to do with no proper software compatible with PEM files being present on your machine. The most obvious solution is to download and install Microsoft IIS or one to the listed programs: Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Microsoft Outlook. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading Microsoft IIS installed is by going to developer’s website (Microsoft Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.
If you already have Microsoft IIS installed on your systems and PEM files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. Software developers may implement support for more modern file formats in updated versions of their products. The reason that Microsoft IIS cannot handle files with PEM may be that the software is outdated. All of the file formats that were handled just fine by the previous versions of given program should be also possible to open using Microsoft IIS.
If you have the latest version of Microsoft IIS installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage PEM on your device. The next step should pose no problems. The procedure is straightforward and largely system-independent
Change the default application in Windows
Change the default application in Mac OS
If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the PEM file in question. Being unable to access the file can be related to various issues.
If the PEM is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. Immediately scan the file using an antivirus tool or scan the whole system to ensure the whole system is safe. PEM file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.
If you obtained the problematic PEM file from a third party, ask them to supply you with another copy. During the copy process of the file errors may occurred rendering the file incomplete or corrupted. This could be the source of encountered problems with the file. It could happen the the download process of file with PEM extension was interrupted and the file data is defective. Download the file again from the same source.
Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Log out of your current account and log in to an account with sufficient access privileges. Then open the Privacy Enhanced Mail Certificate file.
If the system is under havy load, it may not be able to handle the program that you use to open files with PEM extension. In this case close the other applications.
Up-to-date system and drivers not only makes your computer more secure, but also may solve problems with Privacy Enhanced Mail Certificate file. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle PEM files.
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