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The Definitive Source for Everything CAC

Common Access Card help for your

Personal Computer


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(Everyone other than Navy look here)

Installation Steps

Step 1: Obtain a CAC Reader
Step 2: CAC Reader driver
Step 3: DoD Certificates
Step 4: ActivClient
Step 4a: Update ActivClient
Step 5:  IE adjustments

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WINDOWS 8.1 & 10 USERS: 

If your CAC are one of the 7 shown below you "may" be able to use your CAC without needing to install any middleware. 

A guide to help figure out which CAC you have

Read more about the older CACs and how to replace them

Gemalto 144 CAC image GemaltoDLGX4-A 144 image
Oberthur 5.5 CAC image
Oberthur 5.5a CAC G&D FIPS 201 SCE 3.2 image

      Stop Gap CAC image


The Navy download sites below require you to login with your CAC


Windows 10 users click here for information on how to use your CAC on your computer.


Windows 8.1 users click here for information on how to use your CAC on your computer.




NAVY personnel have these options to get ActivClient (I wish it was easier for you to get the software):


1. Navy Reserve personnel with installation questions and troubleshooting can contact:   


2. Contact your Information Technology (IT) personnel to get the software.  The Command Information Assurance Manager (IAM) controls the licensing through the INFOSEC website. 


3. Further questions can be sent to: 




You may purchase ActivClient 7.1 (Works with Windows 7, 8, 8.1, & 10)



Navy specific issues:

Problem 1:  Navy users seeing strange error message when using Outlook Web Access 2003 with Internet Explorer 10


Cure 1-1:  See here for solution.




NOTE:  For whatever reason, in order to access some of the Navy CAC-enabled sites, you must CANCEL when it first asks for your PIN.  After canceling, you can then choose your certificate, and it will give you a second opportunity to enter your PIN.  At this point, the PIN must be entered.


Information for NAVY personnel using Apple Computers:  NROWS will not continue to the login page if it identifies your browser as non-compatible.  This is easily fixed by having Safari report it "is" IE.  Go to Safari->Preferences       ->Advanced and ensure the "Show develop menu" check box is ticked.  Now when you open NROWS and it gives the browser error, go to the Develop menu in the menu bar and select User Agent->Internet Explorer (any version 6.0 or greater) The "Unsupported" page will refresh, just hit the back button and voila, you're at the login screen.  This works from the Navy Reserve Web site, or directly to the URL:


Here is a very helpful Navy specific page


You can try this as well for NROWS, but, you'll need Google Chrome:

    NROWS sets some narrow parameters when it comes to User Agent identification. Thursby software has figured this out. You'll need to build an AppleScript and use Google Chrome as your browser:

The first step is to build the AppleScript.

  1. Open Utilities > AppleScript Editor.
  2. Paste the code from below.
  3. Choose File > Save As…
  4. Select File Format: Application.
  5. Give the item a name and save.
  6. Then run the app.


set myURL to ""

tell application "System Events"
   set processList to name of every process
end tell
if processList contains "Google Chrome" then
   set theReturnedItems to (display dialog "Google Chrome is already running." & return & "Would you like to quit and relaunch it?" default button "Cancel")
   set theButtonName to the button returned of theReturnedItems
   -- If user clicks "Cancel", this part of the script is never executed.
end if

-- This gets the path to Google Chrome.  Unfortunately, it also launches the app.
set myGoogleChromePath to POSIX path of (path to application "Google Chrome")
tell application "Google Chrome" to quit
delay 1

set myCommand to "open " & quoted form of (myGoogleChromePath)
set myAgent to "--args -user-agent=\"Mozilla/5.0 (X11; U; Linux x86_64; pl-PL; rv:2.0) Gecko/20110307 Firefox/4.0\""
set myscript to myCommand & " " & myAgent & " " & myURL
do shell script myscript


 If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry

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Last Update or Review:  Monday, 10 May 2021 19:50


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