How To Fix SSL Protocol Error?

Every day, you rely on internet browsers like Firefox or Google Chrome to navigate the web for work, school, or leisure. However, there are times when you may encounter an issue known as ERR_SSL_Protocol_Error while trying to access a particular website. This error, related to the SSL Protocol, can prevent you from reaching the desired webpage. Although the specific error message may vary depending on the browser you're using; the core problem remains the same: a barrier in the SSL Protocol obstructs your access to the site.

In this guide, you will learn what ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is and what the common reasons behind ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR errors are. In addition, we will explore detailed solutions to tackle this prevalent SSL connection problem. Let’s get started!

What Is ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR? (Err SSL Protocol Error)

Many Google Chrome users may have encountered the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error, a common issue arising when the browser fails to establish a secure connection with a website. This error is typically attributed to problems with the website's SSL certificate or the user's browser. Despite its complex nature, there are straightforward methods to address it.

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, is a vital security measure on the web, ensuring that data remains confidential and accessible only to intended recipients. However, when this encryption protocol encounters a flaw, such as the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, the Err SSL Protocol Error prohibits data from being transferred securely. This error is often signaled when accessing websites secured with HTTPS, which combines the SSL/TLS protocol with HTTP.

What Are the Potential Causes of ERR SSL Protocol Error?

Whenever you visit a website, your browser requests its SSL certificate to establish a secure connection. SSL, a crucial part of HTTPS, verifies a website's authenticity.

During the initiation of an SSL connection, web browsers provide a client authentication certificate to the website server, known as the TLS handshake.

Once the authentication process is complete, data transmission and webpage display begin. If this process fails, various error messages, like ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR chrome, appear in Google Chrome.

Identifying the cause of ERR SSL Protocol Error can be challenging, as it might originate from visitor or website issues. Visitor-related causes include outdated SSL caches, browser extensions, or problems with the QUIC protocol. 

Antivirus programs or Windows Defender Firewall might also block secure connections. If visitor-related fixes don't work, the issue could be with the website itself.

To troubleshoot website issues, use website checker tools to see if the website is down for everyone or just you. Incorrect SSL configurations on the website's end can trigger this error. One such configuration is demanding HTTPS without a proper SSL certificate. Similarly, not enforcing HTTPS on a website that has an SSL certificate can lead to similar problems.

How To Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR? (Possible Ways to Troubleshoot Err SSL Protocol Error)

Let's discuss some effective solutions for fixing the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR issue:

Ensure SSL Installation:

Ensure SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is properly installed on your website. Ensure you have obtained and assigned an SSL certificate to your domain through your hosting provider or website administrator. Also, ensure that the certificate is valid and has not expired. If needed, reinstall or update the SSL certificate to ensure the correct configuration.

Force HTTPS Connection:

It's advisable to force HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) connections to prevent ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR and ensure secure communication between your website and visitors. This involves redirecting all HTTP requests to HTTPS. You can enforce HTTPS by adjusting your website's settings or configuration. For instance, if you're using an Apache web server, you can modify the .htaccess file to enforce HTTPS. Similarly, if you're using a CMS like WordPress, there are plugins available to help enable HTTPS and manage redirection.

Verify System Date and Time:

Improper date and time settings on your system can sometimes cause ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Ensure that your system's date and time are accurate and synchronized with reality. Any discrepancy in time or date could affect the authentication process of SSL certificates, leading to this error.

Clear Browser Cache:

Clearing your browser's cache can resolve ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Cached data may sometimes interfere with SSL connections. In Google Chrome, you can clear the cache by accessing the browser settings, selecting "Clear browsing data," and checking the appropriate options. Additionally, clearing the SSL state in the Control Panel's Internet Options can also help resolve the issue. 

Once you've completed the previous steps, any issues on your website's end should be resolved. However, if the error persists, the problem likely lies with your browser.

Browsers store various data, including images, texts, files, and SSL information, as a cache to speed up website loading times. While this can be beneficial, an outdated cache may cause problems, particularly if there have been important changes to the website.

Clearing your browser cache forces it to update with fresh information, potentially resolving various issues, including SSL errors.

Here's how to clear the cache in Google Chrome:

  • Click the three-dot icon next to the address bar in Chrome.
  • Go to "More tools" and select "Clear browsing data."
  • Choose the time range (selecting "All time" is recommended).
  • Check "Cached images and files."
  • Optionally, you can also delete browsing history and cookies.
  • Click "Clear data" and restart your browser.
  • For Windows users, pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete can access the browser's data deletion menu, while macOS users can use Command+Shift+Delete.

Clearing the SSL state in your browser is another method to resolve the error. This cache stores SSL certificates, and if a website updates its certificate, the outdated cache may cause an SSL connection failure.

Here's how to clear the SSL state in Google Chrome for Windows users:

  • Click the three dots icon in Chrome and select "Settings."
  • Go to "System" and click "Open proxy settings."
  • In the "Internet Properties" window, go to the "Content" tab and click "Clear SSL state."
  • Confirm by clicking "OK."

Alternatively, you can manage SSL certificates in Chrome:

  • In Chrome's settings, go to "Privacy and Security" and then "Security."
  • Click "Manage certificates" to view cached SSLs.
  • Select an SSL and click "Remove."
  • Close the window and restart Chrome.

If the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR persists after clearing the SSL or browser cache, try disabling antivirus programs, firewall software, and browser extensions temporarily. Also, ensure your system's date and time are correct.

Disable Antivirus Software and Browser Extensions:

Antivirus software and browser extensions may sometimes interfere with SSL protocols, leading to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Temporarily disable antivirus software and browser extensions to see if the error persists. You can manage browser extensions by accessing the browser's settings and disabling them one by one to identify any problematic extensions.

Check Firewall Settings:

Your firewall settings may block certain websites or IP addresses, causing ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Review your firewall settings and ensure that the website or its IP address is not blocked. Adjust the firewall settings accordingly to allow access to the website.

Disable QUIC Protocol:

Disabling the QUIC protocol in your browser settings can resolve ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. QUIC is a protocol developed by Google to improve web performance, but it may cause connection issues in some cases. Disabling QUIC forces the browser to use HTTP instead, potentially resolving the error.

Enable All SSL/TLS Versions:

Try enabling all SSL/TLS versions in your browser settings to troubleshoot ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. This can help in accessing websites that use outdated or insecure protocols. Access the advanced settings menu in your browser, enable all SSL/TLS versions, and reload the browser to check for improvements.

Reset the “Hosts” File:

Malware or unauthorized changes to the “hosts” file on your system can lead to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Resetting or restoring the “hosts” file to its default settings can resolve this issue. Access the “hosts” file location on your system (typically in the C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc directory for Windows), and remove or edit the file as needed to restore default settings.

These solutions can help address ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR and ensure secure and uninterrupted browsing experiences.

While the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is a common issue across various browsers, the error messages displayed can differ. Different browsers present the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in their unique ways. Here's a breakdown of how some popular browsers handle this error: 

Google Chrome

When Google Chrome encounters the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR chrome, it alerts users with a message like "Your connection is not private" or "This site can’t provide a secure connection," which usually defines the website sent an invalid response. These warnings aim to emphasize potential risks associated with continuing to the website. Chrome's error page typically includes details about the SSL protocol error and may suggest steps to resolve the issue. Since the QUIC protocol is primarily utilized by Google services, Chrome users may encounter specific error messages related to QUIC as well.

Opera

Opera handles the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in a manner similar to Chrome. Upon encountering this error, Opera displays a warning indicating that “the connection is not private” or that the site cannot provide a secure connection means the description sent an invalid response. Like Chrome, Opera's error page provides information about SSL protocol errors and offers potential solutions. It guides users through troubleshooting steps to address the issue and proceed safely to the website.

Microsoft Edge

When faced with the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, Microsoft Edge presents a warning akin to Chrome and Opera, alerting users that the connection is not safe or private. Edge's error page provides insights into the SSL protocol error encountered and may suggest troubleshooting methods. Users have the option to proceed to the website despite the error or take necessary actions to address it before continuing.

Mozilla Firefox

In Mozilla Firefox, encountering the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR leads to a "Secure Connection Failed" page. This page informs users about the SSL protocol problem, such as protocol version mismatches or cipher suite issues. Firefox's error page may offer recommendations for resolving the error or provide additional details about the certificate or error specifics. Users are guided through steps to address the issue and establish a secure connection.

While the core error message remains consistent across these browsers, each browser provides unique details, recommendations, and troubleshooting options tailored to its user interface and features. Users may find slight variations in the presentation and wording of the error messages, depending on the browser version and settings.

[Solution] How To Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR by Clearing SSL State? (Error Resolved: Err SSL Protocol Error)

To resolve the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR or “this site can’t provide a secure connection” error, you can try clearing your SSL state or browser cache. Chrome utilizes SSL status to distinguish HTTP and HTTPS connections. When a website uses HTTPS, the SSL state indicator turns green; otherwise, it displays a red X.

To clear your SSL state:

  1. Access the start menu on your computer.
  2. Navigate to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center from the start menu.
  3. In the Network and Sharing Center, click on the "Internet Options" link to open the Internet Properties panel.
  4. Within the Internet Properties panel, go to the "Content" tab.
  5. Find the "Clear SSL State" button under the "Content" tab and click on it.
  6. If a confirmation dialogue appears, confirm your action by selecting "OK" or "Yes."
  7. Once the SSL state is cleared, you can close the Internet Properties panel.

Common Err SSL Protocol Errors: Similar to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

There are several errors similar to ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR that users may encounter:

ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH

This error occurs when the SSL/TLS protocol versions or cipher suites used by the server and client are incompatible. It may happen if the client's browser or operating system doesn't support the encryption techniques used by the server.

Solution: To address this error, update your browser to the latest version or enable support for the required encryption techniques.

ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID

This error arises when the common name specified in the SSL certificate doesn't match the domain name of the website being accessed. It can occur due to misconfiguration of the certificate or accessing the website with a different domain name.

Solution: To resolve this issue, ensure that the SSL certificate is correctly configured with the appropriate common name corresponding to the accessed domain.

ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID

This error occurs when the SSL certificate has expired or its validity period doesn't align with the current date. It can happen if the certificate isn't renewed on time.

Solution: Resolve this issue by obtaining a new SSL certificate with a valid expiration date and installing it on your website.

ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID

This error occurs when the SSL certificate is issued by an untrusted or unrecognized certificate authority. It may happen if the certificate is self-signed or issued by a certificate authority that is not recognized by the client's browser or operating system.

Solution: Address this error by obtaining an SSL certificate from a reputable certificate authority and installing it on your website.

To resolve SSL-related issues, ensure the SSL certificate is properly installed, configured, and valid. Additionally, ensure that the encryption protocols and algorithms used are supported by the client's browser or operating system.

Conclusion

The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR arises when a website fails to establish a secure connection. This could result from website-related issues such as the absence of HTTPS enforcement or the lack of an SSL certificate. Additionally, browser-related issues can also trigger the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Furthermore, the appearance of the ERR SSL PROTOCOL error message may vary depending on the browser being used.

Though resolving the error may appear daunting, we've outlined three steps to assist you in fixing the Err SSL Protocol error, whether you're a website owner or a visitor:

  • Verify that your website has SSL installed. You can do this by checking your hosting control panel. Note that enabling HTTPS without the necessary SSL certificate can lead to an SSL connection error.
  • Enforce HTTPS on your website. Once SSL is installed, ensure HTTPS enforcement by configuring it through your hosting control panel, .htaccess file, or the WordPress dashboard.
  • Clear your browser cache. An old SSL cache stored by the browser might cause connection issues. Deleting the cache and SSL state allows the browser to refresh the stored information.

We trust that these steps will aid you in troubleshooting the Err SSL Protocol error. Should you have any queries or alternative solutions, feel free to leave a comment below.

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