Fixed: The Smart Card Cannot Perform the Requested Operation

Updated on November 6th, 2020

Are you experiencing error “the smart card cannot perform the requested operation”? Do you know how to fix it step by step? In this post, symptom, cases and resolutions of the problem will be talked about in details.


If browsers installed on your PC is an very old version, and you are trying to log in to a site which requires a certificate and you are attempting to use a Virtual Smart Card. You are likely to receive an error message as follows:

The security device cannot perform the requested operation or the operation requires a different smart card.

Let’s see a real case of the issue:

“I use a smart card to check email on a corporate server, thus the smart card service cannot be disabled. Yesterday, after logged in via the card, I tried to update Windows and drivers. I was being prompted to insert smart card before installation can continue. I didn’t add it to user accounts which hard admin privilege. I tried using the smart card to proceed with update but that ended with error message “the smart card cannot perform the requested operation or the operation requires a different smart card.” Do you know how to continue with the update and fix the error?”

Causes of “the smart card cannot perform the requested operation”

Causes behind this error are mainly in two aspects:

  • The smart card read driver does not correctly start certificate propagation service
  • The driver of smart card is not up to date or not properly installed.

How to fix “the smart card cannot perform the requested operation” error?

Solution 1: Start certificate propagation service manually

Step 1: Launch Command Prompt as administrator. Windows 10 user can right-click Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin); if you are using Windows 7, click Start button, enter cmd in search box and right-click cmd.exe to choose Run as administrator.

Step 2: Type command net start certpropsvc in Command Prompt and press Enter.

Step 3: When the command completes, close Command Prompt.

Solution 2: Manually install a smart card driver

Step 1: Right-click Computer icon and select Manage. Then click Device Manager on the left pane.

Step 2: Double-click Other devices, right-click Smart cards, and click Update Driver Software.

Step 3: Click Browser my computer for driver software on the Update Driver Software window. Then locate the driver you’ve downloaded and installed the driver.

Step 4: When the driver finishes installing, the card is listed in Smart cards node.


This post has discussed “the smart card cannot perform the requested operation” error and provides two solutions to fix it. If solutions are proved to be useful, please share it to help more people. If you have any questions on this topic or need any help, please feel free to contact us.


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