Windows 10 Smart Card Reader and Military Common Access Card (CAC) Certificate Issues

I'm military and so the use of my smart card reader is a necessity.  Likely, those reading this who have a solution probably understand or have a similar issue.

Here's what I've got: 

  1. All necessary DoD certificates have been installed on the system and register with the Certificate Manager
  2. Accessing CAC enabled websites is prohibited because there is no communication between ANY of my web browswers and my CAC itself.  Under "Settings">"Internet Options">"Content" Tab>"Certificates" Button>"Personal" Tab:  None of my certificates register from my card reader.  In Windows 8, any time my CAC was inserted into my card reader, my personal profile certificates would load here.  Currently none load.
  3. I have the latest Smart Card utility update from Windows Update
  4. Device Manager shows my card reader is installed and properly functioning


There is an opensource software called "Smart Card Manager" which is referenced on as an alternative to using ActivClient 6.2 (AKA for those of us that can't access a CAC secured site to download a program designed to enable the use of a CAC card needed for said site).

I'm not totally sure what the program actually did, however, it seems to have re-established the link between my card reader and my internet browser/certificate management software.  Below is the link to the program:

And below is the link to the page on (Also a wonderful resource for anyone military for finding the latest drivers and certificate packs for your computer and card reader)

Finally, make sure (if you're military) that you have all of the appropriate DoD PKI Root Certificates installed and have uninstalled old/conflicting certificates.  Instructions for this can be found by clicking the Navy Knowledge Online (NKO) website ( ) and clicking the CAC Login Help link below the login button in the center of the page.  The link will pop up a window with instructions for things to do on the DISA website.  Make sure you complete the following:

  1. Follow the instructions to run the Cross-Certificate remover (instructions are found in the popup on NKO.
  2. INSTALL "Installroot 4" on your machine.  To do this choose the "Trust Store" tab instead of the "Certificate Validation" tab on the Tools page of the DISA site.  "Installroot 4: NIPR Windows Installer" is the DoD PKI certificate installer that you then need to download and install.

Following all of that, you should be up and running.  It's taken me a lot of digging to find this solution and I've done a lot of the working with solutions from in the past and it seems every time windows changes, something about smartcard login on government sites breaks.  Hopefully this will save some of the rest of you that headache that we all hate.

*This method has successfully restored my access to all of the military sites I had access to in the past. (MyPay, BUPERS, NFAS, DEERS, NSIPS, NKO, MOVE.MIL)  hopefully it works for you as well.

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Question Info

Last updated September 30, 2020 Views 155,355 Applies to: