Browsers Tutorial: How to fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error


In this tutorial, we are going to see how to fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error

The err_ssl_protocol_error is an error that not only Google Chrome browser but also firefox and Edge browsers display and it means that there was a failure while trying to establish a secure connection to the domain you are trying to access. In this tutorial, we will see what exactly this SSL connection error is and how we can fix it.

What is the err_ssl_protocol_error error?

 Surely you have already seen that urls normally carry https, this means that those domains are using a security SSL certificate .

Today SSL security certificates are a necessary part of any website. Thanks to the SSL security certificate, websites offer a secure connection protection between the client and the server, allowing data to travel encrypted throughout the network.

If a website is accessed with a security certificate and the secure connection does not work, then this error code err_ssl_protocol_error will appear.

On google chrome this error will appear as shown in the following image:


In Microsoft Edge, it will simply show as “Unable to securely sign in to this page” (as shown below). However, the next part of the error is what is useful.

This could be because the site is using outdated or insecure TLS security settings. If this continues to happen, try contacting the website owner.

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR dans Microsoft Edge
ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR dans Microsoft Edge

Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox, ERR_SSL_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR triggers a warning about secure connection failure, as shown below.

Warning: Potential security risk

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR dans Mozilla Firefox

Unlike Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge, the Firefox error page offers a bit more information on what actions can be taken in the event of an error of this type.

8 things to do when viewing ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR:

  1. Clear SSL state.
  2. Check the SSL certificate (DNS settings have not yet fully propagated).
  3. Check the system time and date.
  4. Clear browser cache and cookies.
  5. Disable browser extensions.
  6. Update browsers to the latest version.
  7. Update your operating system.
  8. Temporarily disable antivirus and firewall (sometimes these software can incorrectly block a secure connection).

What is a secure connection?

The presence of a padlock in the address bar of the browser is already an indicator of a secure connection. Another signal is HTTPS at the start of the address rather than HTTP. As can be seen, our website offers a secure connection. The information that passes through it is private and secure from piracy. It is already reassuring for the Internet user to navigate there.

When your SSL certificate is working properly, a padlock icon will appear next to the website address in the browser window. If you click on the padlock, a pop-up window will display a confirmation notice indicating that the website has been loaded over a secure connection and that any information sent to the server from your website (e.g. forms ) will also be transmitted securely.

Secure connection
Secure connection

These days, most website visitors expect site-wide HTTPS connections. Gone are the days when the only secure pages on your site were limited and specific areas such as administration, login, and shopping cart.

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Traditionally, it has been considered unnecessary (and overkill) to use a secure site-wide connection, in part due to the prohibitive costs of SSL certificates. All that has changed since with the advent of free SSL certificates, so HTTPS has become standard practice.

Take stock of your site

Before examining some of the possible underlying causes of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, it would be helpful if you could take a few moments to remind yourself of any recent changes that may have been made to your site.

Usually, once you have a secure connection up and running, it’s pretty stable. And most of the time, issues arise when something has been changed, either on the server side for existing websites or when setting up your site for the first time.

Have you recently changed your host or tried to install a new SSL certificate? This is the most common reason why this error occurs.

Being aware of recent changes to the site can give you a clear indication of what could be causing the secure connection issue.


Go through the solutions in the following sections, one at a time, until your secure connection error is corrected.

This type of error can occur locally or on the server, and therefore some steps focus on your local computer / browser settings, while other steps take into account issues related to server configuration and setup. how the SSL certificate was configured.

Clear SSL state

The first thing to try is to clear the SSL state in Chrome. The browser stores SSL certificates in a cache to speed up subsequent connections after a first secure connection has been established with a website.

This is to optimize page load times because otherwise each HTTPS request would require the download and authentication of the SSL certificate, which would not be ideal for performance.

When migrating a website to Kinsta, issues can arise when the DNS settings have been updated to point to Kinsta servers and the free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate has been installed.

After the DNS settings have propagated and a secure connection has been established in a browser to access the site, the error may sometimes appear because the browser cache stores an outdated version of the SSL certificate.

To resolve this problem, try to clear the SSL state cache. When done, restart your browser and try to sign in to your website again.

If you’re using macOS, see these instructions for removing an SSL certificate.

Check SSL certificate

A similar problem occurs when an SSL certificate is generated but the DNS settings have not yet fully propagated. In this case, the SSL certificate will not be associated with the correct domain at the time of creation.

If you are a cpanel customer, you can check if your SSL certificate is installed by visiting the cpanel dashboard and making sure there is a green check mark next to the certificate settings.

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SSL certificate correctly installed
SSL certificate correctly installed

You can also perform a site-wide scan using an online SSL checker tool to verify that there are no issues with your SSL certificate. This type of verification is quite reliable and bypasses your browser’s cache to determine if the certificate is valid.

SSL Server Test

Simply enter your domain in the Hostname field and click the Submit button When the scan is complete, a report containing the results of the SSL certificate checks is displayed. If all is well you should see something like this:

Qualys SSL Report

Check the system time and date

If the SSL certificate is valid and clearing the SSL state does not work, it is time to look at your local computer to identify the source of your ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error.

(Suggested reading: if you’re using older TLS versions, you might want to prevent ERR_SSL_OBSOLETE_VERSION notifications in Chrome).

First, check if the operating system time and date are set correctly, otherwise your SSL certificate might have authentication issues.

This is because SSL certificates have a fixed expiration date, and if the time and date on your current system is not correct, they may conflict with the authentication process.

A valid date and time is always assumed when a secure connection is established, which is why it is important to ensure that the correct value is retrieved from your local system.

To check the time and date in Windows 10, press Windows key + X key and select System from the pop-up menu. The Settings window appears .

In the Find a setting text box , type “time” and select Change date and time from the drop-down options. Then, in the Date and Time Settings window , verify that the time and date are correct before continuing.

Date and time preferences in Windows 10
Date and time preferences in Windows 10

In macOS, click the Apple icon in the upper left corner of the screen and select System Preferences from the drop-down menu, then select Date & Time from the list.

System Preferences In macOS

You can then update your system time if necessary.

Clear browser cache and cookies

You can also try to clear your browser’s cache if it has been a while since it was cleared. We also recommend that you delete cookies from your browser, but keep in mind that any sites you are currently logged in to will ask you to log in again on your next visit.

Disable browser extensions

If more than one browser extension is enabled, this could be the source of the error. Temporarily disable browser extensions one at a time to see if there is one that is causing issues with HTTPS requests.

To turn off Chrome extensions, click the three-dot icon at the top right of the browser window and select More tools> Extensions from the context menu.

Chrome extensions window

Toggle all enabled browser extensions one at a time to disable them, going to your site in between. If an extension seems to be causing the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR problem, remove it or leave it disabled until you get more information about the nature of the error.

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If no update is available to fix the issue, it’s probably best to remove the extension completely.

Updating browsers to the latest version

The final browser related step is updating Chrome to its latest version.

Using older versions of a browser increases the risk of secure connection issues such as ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

New security features and updates are always added to modern browsers and bugs are fixed regularly and updating is a best practice to follow.

The Chrome browser makes this task easier because it automatically checks for updates every time you launch the software. However, if you keep the browser tabs always open then you should remember to restart the browser from time to time to trigger the update checks.

Update your operating system

Keeping your operating system up to date is also important, especially if it has been a while since the last update.

If you have automatic updates enabled for Windows 10 then you don’t need to worry about this. But not all operating systems automatically apply updates, so it’s worth checking to see if there are any for your operating system.

In macOS, click on the Apple icon and select About This Mac which will open a tabbed window:

About this Mac

If a system update is available, you will see a Software Update button Click here to install the latest updates. You can also check for macOS updates through the App Store just like you would any other app.

If you are facing a long operating system update, you might just need to restart your computer before running it as a quick fix. This is much faster than installing full operating system updates and could potentially fix the secure connection issue.

Temporarily disable antivirus and firewall

It is very important to have antivirus and firewall software active on your system. These tools do a great job of protecting you against all kinds of online security issues.

As part of this protection, your antivirus software typically checks for HTTPS connection issues to make sure nothing unexpected happens. Sometimes, however, the software may incorrectly block a secure connection when it shouldn’t.

To verify that it is not, temporarily turn it off and check your website again. If necessary, also turn off your firewall and check your website again.

Remember to always reactivate your antivirus software and firewall as soon as possible because you should not leave your system unprotected.

Check server logs for error messages

If you’ve reached this point and still haven’t fixed the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR issue, things might be a bit trickier than we initially thought.

To help identify general website issues, including connection errors, it’s often helpful to check your server logs and take a look at recent activity. This just might give better insight into what is causing the problem.

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SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

The blog of a computer enthusiast who shares news, tutorials, tips, online tools and software for Windows, macOS, Linux, Web designer and Video games.

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