Tuesday, September 20, 2022

"Signing cannot be completed" error message when you add a digital signature to an Office 2013 document [MS]


Consider the following scenario:

  • A Time Stamping Authority (TSA) server is configured to use a certain policy object identifier to support several signing certificates in your environment.

  • Office applications use the time stamping service for signing a document.

  • You try to add a digital signature to a Microsoft Office 2013 document.

In this scenario, the TSA server does not receive a policy object identifier, and you receive the following error message:

Signing cannot be completed due to problems applying the required timestamp. Check your network connection.


To resolve this issue, apply the following update:

2817604 Description of the Office 2013 hotfix package (Mso-x-none.msp; Msores-x-none.msp): August 13, 2013

Registry key information

Follow the steps in this section carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

After you install the hotfix package, follow these steps to enable the hotfix:

  1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit in the Open box, and then click OK.

  2. Locate and then select the following registry key:

  3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click String Value.

  4. Type TSAPolicyID, and then press Enter.

  5. In the Details pane, right-click TSAPolicyID, and then click Modify.

  6. In the Value data box, type the string representation of the policy object identifier that you want to send to the TSA server, and then click OK.

    Note The value of the TSAPolicyID key should be obtained from the corresponding TSA server.

  7. Exit Registry Editor.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

More Information

For more information about digital signature settings for Office 2013, go to the following Microsoft website:

General information about digital signature settings for Office 2013

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