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Code signing with Windows 10*

Beginning with the release of Windows 10, all new Windows 10 kernel mode drivers must be submitted to and digitally signed by the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal. Windows 10 will not load new kernel mode drivers which are not signed by the portal.

Additionally, starting 90 days after the release of Windows 10, the portal will only accept driver submissions, including both kernel and user mode driver submissions, that have a valid Extended Validation (“EV”) Code Signing Certificate.

IMPORTANT: The changes initiated for Windows 10 only concerns kernel mode drivers. The rules do not change for executables or drivers signature.

Recap table about signature on Windows 10

File type Signature Certificate type Use of Windows portail
executable recommended standard or EV -
driver mandatory standard or EV -
kernel mode driver mandatory EV mandatory

What about existing kernel mode drivers?

Existing kernel mode drivers do not need to be re-signed. To ensure backwards compatibility, drivers which are properly signed by a valid cross-signing certificate that was issued before the release of Windows 10 will continue to pass signing checks on Windows 10.

What about older versions of Windows?

The changes described in this post apply only to Windows 10, so cross-signing can continue to be used on previous versions of Windows. However, the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal will require an EV Code Signing Certificate no matter what OS you plan to support.

How do I sign a driver so that it is compatible with Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10?

All you need to do is submit your drivers to the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal. The portal will sign the driver the right way so that it will work on all platforms that you indicate the driver is applicable for.

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