How to fix Google chrome SSL certificate errors in a few simple steps

There’s nothing quite as frustrating as encountering an SSL certificate error, for website owners and users alike. If you’re certain you’ve gone through all the required steps of installing your SSL certificate only for Chrome to tell you something’s gone wrong with your site security, it might be tempting to throw your hands up and give up completely.

For users, it’s irritating to try to access a site only to be given the “Your Connection Is Not Private” message, along with the “Not Secure” warning in the address bar, especially if you could have sworn the site had been secured earlier that day. It should be emphasized at this point that this message is absolutely there to protect you, and most of the time is legitimate. That said, sometimes there can be an issue on the user’s end to trigger this warning.

Luckily, fixing these problems isn’t too complicated. Sometimes it’s actually pretty easy. This blog post will guide you through some of the different reasons why an SSL certificate error message might be shown in Google Chrome and how you can fix them, whether you’re a website owner or user.

Fixing Google Chrome SSL errors for website owners

There are a number of reasons why your website’s SSL certificate might be considered invalid by Google Chrome. Some examples include:

Errors during the installation process
Your SSL certificate has expired
Your SSL certificate is only valid for the main domain and not the subdomains
Your have a self-signed SSL certificate, or you didn’t purchase one from a trusted certificate authority

If you’re having issues with SSL certificate errors in Chrome, check out our knowledgebase for more information, or contact our support team.

How to fix SSL certificate errors in Chrome for users

For someone trying to access an apparently insecure website, there are a few things you can do on your browser and operating system to fix the problem.

  1. Check the time and date: No, not on your wristwatch or calendar — your device’s operating system. It might seem like a small consideration, but if your device’s time is completely at odds with the time validity of the SSL certificate, it will be read as erroneous. If this is the problem, the message may also say “NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID”.
  2. Clear cache for that website: Website cookies can cause an error message to appear if, for example, your browser has an old SSL certificate for that website cached. You may also encounter “ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS” as part of your error message. Clearing cookies in Chrome is easy, click Ctrl+Shift+Del or:
    • Open Chrome and click on the menu (the three vertical dots in the top right hand corner of the browser).
    • In the dropdown menu, click Settings.
    • Toward the end of the page, click on advanced.
    • In the “Privacy and security” box, select “Clear browsing data”.

    Here, you can choose to clear all your browsing data or just the cookies related to the site you’re trying to visit.

  3. Update Chrome and your operating system: Sometimes an SSL certificate error can simply be due to using an outdated version of Chrome. To make sure yours is up-to-date, click on the menu. If you have an old version of the browser, you will see an “Update Google Chrome” option. While you’re at it, check that your device’s operating system is also the most current, as this can also contribute to error messages.
  4. Disable Chrome extensions: Sometimes the settings of certain browser extensions can interfere with accessing a webpage. To see if it works when you disable your extensions, head to your Settings again. Click on Extensions in the menu on the left. Disable your extensions and restart the browser.
  5. Check your firewall/anti-virus software: Sometimes the settings of anti-virus software can treat certain HTTPS traffic as suspicious. To see if yours is interfering with accessing certain sites, you can either turn your firewall or anti-virus off completely, or (if it has this setting) turn off SSL scanning. This option should only be used if you’re certain the website you’re trying to access is actually secure.

If you’ve tried all of these fixes and nothing works, it is likely a real issue with the website’s SSL certificate, as outlined in the previous section. In this case, you may also encounter one of the following messages:

  • This webpage is not available

If you still want to access the site, you have two options:

  1. Contact the webmaster or owner of the website and inform them that there’s an issue with their SSL certificate.
  2. (We absolutely don’t recommend this one.) Continue on to the website with an insecure connection at your own risk.

Wrap up

Chrome SSL certificate error messages can be a pain, but very often there can be a quick solution, particularly on the user end. If you recently purchased and installed an SSL certificate for your website from that triggers errors messages in Chrome and can’t figure out why, get in touch with support.

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