Create Key Container




See Also

Delete Key Container | Create Key Container |  Generate Key Files | Sign | Verify | Encrypt | Decrypt | Generate Password | Compress Files | Decompress Files | Write to File | Calculate File Checksum | Set Attributes


Creates a new Machine-Level or User-Level key container. A Key container is a part of the key database in Windows that contains all the key pairs (public and private keys) belonging to a specific user or machine.

Practical Usage

Creates a new user or machine level key container used to encrypt or decrypt information for applications that run under the specific user or machine identity. Other AutoMate cryptography actions (i.e. Encrypt, Sign, Verify actions) can be used in subsequent steps allowing the procedure of encrypting and decrypting files to be fully automated.


General Properties







Key Container Name





Specifies the name of the key container to be created.

Key Container Level






Specifies whether the new key container should be set to User-Level or Machine-Level. Microsoft Windows makes Machine-Level key containers available to all users, whereas a User-Level key container is available only to the user that created (or imported) the key container. The available options are:

  • User (Default)

  • Machine

More details regarding Machine-Level and User-Level key containers can be found below under Comparing Machine-Level and User-Level RSA Key Containers.

Key Size

Text Options




Indicates the size or length of the key (in bits) used in a cryptographic algorithm. AutoMate uses standardized key sizes based on the asymmetric (RSA) system. The available options are:

  • 1024 (Default)

  • 2048

  • 4096

  • 8192

NOTE: The amount of time it takes to generate a key container is dependant on the key size selected.

Comparing Machine-Level and User-Level RSA Key Containers

User-level RSA key containers are stored with the Windows user profile for a particular user and can be used to encrypt and decrypt information for applications that run under that specific user identity. User-level RSA key containers can be useful if you want to ensure that the RSA key information is removed when the Windows user profile is removed. However, because you must be logged in with the specific user account that makes use of the user-level RSA key container in order to encrypt or decrypt protected configuration sections, they are inconvenient to use.

Machine-level RSA key containers are available to all users that can log in to a computer, by default, and are the most useful as you can use them to encrypt or decrypt protected configuration sections while logged in with an administrator account. A machine-level RSA key container can be used to protect information for a single application, all the applications on a server, or a group of applications on a server that run under the same user identity. Although machine-level RSA key containers are available to all users, they can be secured with NTFS Access Control Lists (ACLs) so that only required users can access them.

Description Properties

The Description tab allows you to customize the text description of any step as it appears in the Task Builder's Steps Pane.

More on setting custom step description

Error Causes Properties

The Error Causes tab properties lets you instruct a task step to react only to specific errors or ignore certain errors that should cause it to fail.

More on Error Causes properties

On Error Properties

The On Error tab properties lets you determine what the task should do if a particular step encounters an error as defined in the Error Causes properties.

More about On Error properties

Additional Notes

Expressions, Variables & Functions

A percent sign is used as a special character in AutoMate to indicate the beginning and end of an expression. This allows variables, functions and other expressions to be entered in any text parameter of a task's properties. For example: %1+1% inside a task will resolve to 2 at runtime. A more elaborate example is %FileDateTime(myFile)% which results to the date/time of myFile. To help construct expressions, you can open Expression Builder by clicking the Insert Expression (%) button or by pressing F2.

More on expressions

More on variables

More on functions

More on extended functions
More on the expression builder


NOTE: The code below can be copied and pasted directly into the Steps pane of the Task Builder.


Example 1 - Create USER-Level Key Container





Example 2 - Create MACHINE-Level Key Container




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