- The Cryptographic Service Provider is a software library used to encrypt documents such as Word and Excel or to perform user authentication using Smart Cards.
- Errors related to a CSP usually mean that tampering was detected: computer viruses or critical files changed for unknown reasons. Having pirated software can lead to these issues. Read on to see what to do.
- For authentication or privacy, multiple steps are taken to ensure safety. Check out our articles from the encryption section to learn more.
- Fix annoying errors related to Windows. Follow the instructions from our guides in the Windows 10 Errors Hub that we have prepared.
Windows cryptographic service provider error is an error related to signing documents, and unless you sign PDF documents on a regular basis you probably aren’t going to see this error often. For those who have this error, we’ll try to find a solution today.
As we already mentioned Windows cryptographic service provider error occurs when trying to sign PDF documents or while trying to access CAC enabled websites. If you sign PDF documents often this error can cause you a lot of problems, but fortunately, there’s a solution.
How To Fix Problems With Windows Cryptographic Service Provider In Windows 10
Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error can create many problems on your PC, and speaking of this error, here are some similar issues that users reported:
- The Windows Cryptographic Service Provider reported an error the keyset is not defined, key does not exist, key not valid, object was not found, invalid signature, the parameter is incorrect, access is denied – There is a variety of error messages that can appear, but if you encounter them, you should be able to fix them using one of our solutions.
- The Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error Adobe – This issue can occur with Adobe Acrobat, and if you encounter it, be sure that Adobe Acrobat is up to date. If necessary, check for available updates and download them.
- The Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error the security token does not have – This is another error that you can encounter. To fix it, just remove the unwanted certificates and check if that helps.
- Windows Cryptographic Service Provider reported an error code 0, 1400 – According to users, these errors can occur due to third-party software, most notably ePass2003, and if you’re using this tool, be sure to remove it and check if that solves your problem.
Solution 1 – Install the latest updates for Adobe Acrobat
Many users reported Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error while using Adobe Acrobat. It seems that this issue occurs if your Acrobat is out of date. However, you can fix the issue simply by updating Adobe Acrobat to the latest version.
To check for updates manually, simply go to Help > Check for updates. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background. Once Adobe Acrobat is updated to the latest version, the issue should be resolved completely.
Warning: the Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error might show in case you are running an unlicensed version of the Adobe software. If you are not sure about it, we recommend getting it from the official page.
Solution 2 – Choose a different signature certificate
When trying to sign PDF documents don’t use the default signature certificate, instead use the drop-down menu and select different signature certificates. If that signature certificate also gives you an error try using a different one.
Solution 3 – Set Cryptographic Provider to CSP
If you keep getting Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error, you might have to change your Cryptographic provider to CSP. This is relatively simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Open the SafeNet Authentication Client Tools. You can open it by going to its installation directory or by right-clicking the SafeNet icon in the system tray and selecting Tools from the menu.
- When SafeNet Authentication Client Tools opens click the ‘golden gear’ symbol in the top in order to open Advanced View.
- In Advanced View expand Tokens and navigate to the certificate you want to use for signing. They should be located under the User certificates group.
- Right-click on your certificate and choose Set as CSP from the drop-down menu. You’ll need to repeat Step 4 for all certificates that you’re using.
- Close SafeNet Authentication Client Tools and try signing the documents again.
After changing the Cryptographic provider, the problem should be completely resolved.
Solution 4 – Remove unwanted certificates
Sometimes Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error can appear due to certain certificates that are on your PC. However, you can fix the issue simply by finding and removing the unwanted certificates. You can remove unwanted certificates by doing the following:
- Press Windows Key + R and type inetcpl.cpl. Press Enter to run it.
- Go to the Content tab and click the Certificates button.
- Now you’ll see a list of your certificates.
- Select the problematic certificates and click the Remove button.
- Click close and then click OK.
- Close Internet Explorer and all Adobe Acrobat Documents.
- Try signing the documents again.
Once you remove unwanted certificates, check if the problem is still there.
Solution 5 – Reinstall ePass2003 software
This error can occur when using ePass2003 e-token, so let’s uninstall the ePass2003 software and install it again.
- Press Windows Key + I to open the Settings app. Now navigate to the Apps section.
- Find and remove ePass2003 software.
- Restart your computer.
- When your computer boots install ePass2003 again.
- When installing ePass2003 make sure that you select Microsoft CSP when choosing the CSP option.
- After installing ePass2003 again everything should be back to normal and Windows cryptographic service provider error should be resolved.
Sometimes using this method won’t work since there might be some leftover files and registry entries that might interfere with your system and cause Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error to reappear.
In order to prevent that, you’ll need to completely remove ePass2003 software from your PC. The best way to do that is to use uninstaller software such as Revo Uninstaller. Uninstaller software is designed to remove any application from your PC, including all of its files and registry entries, and by using this software you’ll ensure that the application is completely removed.
Once you remove ePass2003 with uninstaller software, install it again and check if the issue is still there.
Solution 6 – Modify your registry
If you keep getting Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error while using Adobe Acrobat, the issue might be your settings. Most settings are stored in the registry, and in order to fix this problem, we’ll have to remove a few values from the registry.
This is relatively simple, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit. Press Enter or click OK.
- When Registry Editor opens, navigate to
This key might be slightly different depending on the version of Adobe Acrobat you’re using.
- In the left pane locate the Security key, right-click it and choose Export.
- Enter the desired name for your backup, choose a save location, and click the Save button. If any new problems appear after modifying the registry, you can just run the file you created in order to restore it.
- After doing that, right-click the Security key and then choose Delete from the menu.
- When the confirmation dialog appears, click Yes.
After doing that, open Adobe Acrobat once again and the issue should be resolved.
Solution 7 – Use your Smart Card or Active Key
According to users, you might be able to fix Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error on your PC simply by using a Smart Card or an Active Key. If you don’t have a Smart Card or Active Key that contains a copy of your certificate, this solution won’t work for you, so you might just skip it.
To fix this problem, you just need to do the following:
- Insert the Smart Card or Active Key.
- Now press Windows Key + S and enter control panel. Select Control Panel from the list.
- When the Control Panel opens, go to the User Accounts section.
- From the left pane, select Manage your file encryption certificates.
- When a new window appears, click Next.
- Select Use this certificate option. If it’s not available, click the Select Certificate button.
- Now you’ll see Smart Card/Active Key screen. Login if needed.
- Click Next once your certificate is loaded.
- When you get to the Update your previously encrypted files window, check All Logical Drivers and update encrypted files.
- Click Next and Windows should update your certificates without any problems.
This is an advanced solution, but several users claim that it works, so if you have Smart Card or an Active Key, you might want to try it out.
Solution 8 – Create a new signature
According to users, Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error can appear with Adobe DC, and the best way to fix this issue is to create a new signature with a Windows certificate. After doing that, the problem should be resolved and everything will start working again.
Windows Cryptographic Service Provider error can be problematic, but we hope that you managed to fix it using the solutions from this article.
FAQ: Learn more about Windows Cryptographic Service Provider
- What is cryptographic services Windows 10?
Cryptographic services provide ways to confirm digital signatures of Windows files and allow the installation of new programs. They also help to add, remove, and update Root Certificates from the computer.
- How do I fix a Windows cryptographic error?
You can fix it by following the steps from this article. Eliminate the certificate that is causing errors or perhaps the software that wasn’t downloaded from the official source.
- How do I turn off Cryptographics in Windows 10?
You can turn off the service by launching Command Prompt as admin and running the net stop cryptsvc command.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in January 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.