Account doesn't exist for renew certificate after server change

I had to change our server and therefore moved all the certificates to the new server as mentioned in your documentation. The website and certificates work well, but I can not renew them. I get the following message:

Cert is due for renewal, auto-renewing…
Attempting to renew cert from /etc/letsencrypt/renewal/ .conf produced an unexpected error: Account at /etc/letsencrypt/accounts/acme-v0 does not exist. Skipping.

Do you now what’s wrong and any solution?
Thanks in advance for your reply.

Cheers, Thomas

Hi @thim-redcross,

I’m not sure how well Certbot supports being migrated across servers at present. @bmw or @schoen would know best about that. I suspect you missed some of Certbot’s files from the old server, most likely at least the account key it can’t find.

Unless you have a specific rate limit exception tied to your account that you requested (fairly uncommon) I recommend you start over with a fresh Certbot installation & a new ACME account. It’s likely easier to perform fresh challenges and re-authorize the domain names for a new ACME account than to try and surgical revive the old one :slight_smile:

Hope that helps!

thanks for your answer!
do I have to do this with “sudo certbot --apache certonly” or is there better option?

You’re missing the files under /etc/letsencrypt/accounts/

Unfortunately this isn’t well supported at the moment as there is no documentation for how to do this and there are a number of gotchas.

I agree deleting /etc/letsencrypt and starting over is often easier. In fact, some of the Certbot devs want us to only suggest this and never fully support moving existing files to another server.

I recommend you follow the instructions generated by selecting options from the dropdown menus at

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Thank you very much! I did all that and everything is fine again. Have a nice evening!
Cheers from Switzerland, Thomas

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