Error updating certbot certificate

Please fill out the fields below so we can help you better. Note: you must provide your domain name to get help. Domain names for issued certificates are all made public in Certificate Transparency logs (e.g. |, so withholding your domain name here does not increase secrecy, but only makes it harder for us to provide help.

My domain is:

I ran this command: certbot renew --dry-run

It produced this output:
C:\Windows\System32>certbot renew --dry-run
Saving debug log to C:\Certbot\log\letsencrypt.log

Processing C:\Certbot\renewal\

Renewal configuration file C:\Certbot\renewal\ is broken.
The error was: expected C:\Certbot\live\\cert.pem to be a symlink

No simulated renewals were attempted.

Additionally, the following renewal configurations were invalid:
C:\Certbot\renewal\ (parsefail)

0 renew failure(s), 1 parse failure(s)
Ask for help or search for solutions at See the logfile C:\Certbot\log\letsencrypt.log or re-run Certbot with -v for more details.


My web server is (include version):
Apache/2.4.56 (Win64) OpenSSL/1.1.1t PHP/8.2.4

The operating system my web server runs on is (include version):
windows 11 Pro

My hosting provider, if applicable, is:
Self Hosted

I can login to a root shell on my machine (yes or no, or I don't know):

I'm using a control panel to manage my site (no, or provide the name and version of the control panel):

The version of my client is (e.g. output of certbot --version or certbot-auto --version if you're using Certbot):
latest version

I am unable to renew my certificate for the reason above. I moved my website to a new computer and reinstalled certbot but can not update the certs. I have no idea what I am doing here :frowning:

Please use a specific version numerically.

And please share the log file.

1 Like

You have entered the hell that is "Windows and symbolic links."

I would backup your config and start afresh from a clean install.


certbot version: 2.6.0

2023-09-06 20:12:22,598:DEBUG:certbot._internal.main:certbot version: 2.6.0
2023-09-06 20:12:22,598:DEBUG:certbot._internal.main:Location of certbot entry point: C:\Program Files\Certbot\bin\certbot.exe
2023-09-06 20:12:22,598:DEBUG:certbot._internal.main:Arguments: ['--preconfigured-renewal']
2023-09-06 20:12:22,598:DEBUG:certbot._internal.main:Discovered plugins: PluginsRegistry(PluginEntryPoint#manual,PluginEntryPoint#null,PluginEntryPoint#standalone,PluginEntryPoint#webroot)
2023-09-06 20:12:22,676:DEBUG:certbot._internal.log:Root logging level set at 30
2023-09-06 20:12:22,692:WARNING:certbot._internal.cert_manager:Renewal configuration file C:\Certbot\renewal\ produced an unexpected error: expected C:\Certbot\live\\cert.pem to be a symlink. Skipping.
2023-09-06 20:12:22,692:DEBUG:certbot._internal.cert_manager:Traceback was:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "C:\Program Files\Certbot\pkgs\certbot_internal\", line 85, in certificates
renewal_candidate = storage.RenewableCert(renewal_file, config)
File "C:\Program Files\Certbot\pkgs\certbot_internal\", line 510, in init
File "C:\Program Files\Certbot\pkgs\certbot_internal\", line 589, in _check_symlinks
raise errors.CertStorageError(
certbot.errors.CertStorageError: expected C:\Certbot\live\\cert.pem to be a symlink

2023-09-06 20:12:22,692:DEBUG:certbot._internal.display.obj:Notifying user:
The following renewal configurations were invalid:

1 Like

well done, I uninstalled it and can't find where to download on certbot's website. lots of info on installing it but no download link :wink:

Specifically: Certbot Instructions | Certbot


reinstalling it did work but I had to delete the certbot folder after uninstalling it because it left all the old files behind. thanks

1 Like

there is one small problem though, when using facebook share debugger, I get this error msg: * SSL Error

Can't validate SSL Certificate. Either it is self-signed (which will cause browser warnings) or it is invalid.

Ignore my last msg, it is working perfectly. many thanks