SSL Certificate Errors: How to Fix Them & Why They Occur

SSL Certificate Errors: How to Fix Them and Why They Occur

SSL certificates help websites appear more trustworthy to users. But if your SSL certificate has an error, you may get a Not Secure label that may cause visitors to lose trust in your website and go to a competitor.

In this article, you will learn about SSL certificate errors, including their fundamental causes and potential consequences for web users. Then, we’ll give you detailed help on how to resolve SSL certificate errors, guaranteeing a secure and easy browsing experience.

 

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Takeaways
  • SSL certificates are a key element in ensuring the security of the data exchanged between a website and its users
  • When there is an error or issue in the certificate, it can cause messages of “insecure site” to appear before the visitor, damaging the reputation of the website
  • Detecting and fixing the certificate issues can restore the security of your website and prevent bouncing traffic
  • Learn how to detect and prevent SSL certificates’ errors in this complete guide

What Is an SSL Certificate Error?

An SSL certificate error happens when the web browser cannot verify the SSL certificate downloaded on a site.

It may result from an issue with the website’s certificate or the server configuration. When this happens, instead of connecting you to the site, the browser will show an error message warning those visitors that the site is insecure.

Common Types of SSL Errors

Many factors may cause SSL certificate errors, including expired certificates, incorrect server configurations, mismatched domain names, and certificates issued by untrusted or unknown certificate owners. These issues can lead to security warnings and browsing problems for users.

  1. SSL Certificate Not Trusted Error

When you see an SSL Certificate Not Trusted error, it means that your browser doesn’t recognize the certificate as coming from a trusted source.  As a result, your browser won’t establish a secure connection to the website.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

This can happen when the website is using a self-signed certificate or has been issued by an untrusted certificate authority.

A self-signed certificate happens when the server issues the certificate. Another cause for this error could be that your SSL certificate comes from a trusted source but the intermediate certificate is not installed properly.

In this case, you may see a message saying “Your connection is not private” error.

Final: SSL certificate errors and how to fix them

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How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

If the certificate is self-signed, it is generated by your server, not by a Certificate Authority. In this case, the solution is to instruct your browser to trust the certificate or install a new SSL Certificate from a trusted certificate authority.

If there is a problem with the chain certificate not being installed properly, you need to install one other chain certificate on the server.

  1. Mixed Content Error

Your web browser shows this message when the website you’re visiting has some elements that are not secure. This can occur when a website switches to using HTTPS (a secure connection) and not all its content is updated to be secure, which can trigger this warning.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

There are several causes of the “Mixed Content” Error. For instance, there may be an element loaded from an insecure page, like an image, snippet or JavaScript.

How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

  1. Find out which resources are loading over the HTTP
  2. Verify Whether HTTP Resources Are Accessible Over HTTPS
  3. You can use a tool to identify insecure elements on one page
  4. Edit the source code of the page and change the URLs to HTTPS
  1. Name Mismatch Error

The “Name Mismatch Error” happens when the website’s address in the SSL certificate doesn’t match the web address you’re trying to visit. This error occurs when the certificate was originally made for a different web address or a subdomain.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

This may happen when a website shares the IP address with other sites. This may also happen if you don’t add the website address as SAN to the certificate. If you have the website in a hosting platform, and it has pre-configured SSL settings.

How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

The easiest way to fix a name mismatch error is by getting a Wildcard SSL certificate. This certificate allows you to secure multiple subdomain names along with your main domain. Thus, you’ll match the IP address with the certificate.

  1. Expired SSL Certificate Error

The SSL certificate for your website has expired, which can happen to anyone who forgets to renew it. Paid SSLs are valid for a year, while free ones last for three months. Some hosting and certificate providers automatically renew the certificate.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

If the SSL certificate validity for your website expires you may get an Invalid certificate error message.

How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

The easiest way to fix this problem is to renew the certificate or purchase a new certificate with a longer validity period.

  1. “429 Too Many Requests”, “No Domains Authorized”, and “Certificate Is Not for the Chosen Domain”

The reason for the errors you’re getting is that your domain name is not set up correctly, or it’s been recently registered or updated.

When you change the settings for a domain, it can take up to 72 hours for those changes to take effect worldwide due to the DNS propagation period, during which time you may encounter errors.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

  • The domain name is not pointed out properly
  • The domain has been registered recently and still doesn’t propagate
  • The domain has been pointed correctly and is still in the process of DNS propagation

How do I fix the invalid SSL certificate?

  • Wait to send another request. Waiting an hour before sending another request can usually do the trick because it gives the server time to catch up.
  • Clear browser cache. By clearing your stored requests, your next request may go through.
  • Flush DNS cache. The DNS cache saves the domain name server requests. If you made several requests before the DNS cache’s time expired, your next request may be blocked. Flushing your cache will clear IP addresses and DNS records stored in your cache.

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  1. Generic SSL Protocol Error

A generic SSL protocol error is an error that happens when there is a problem with the SSL/TLS connection between a website and a user’s browser..

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

There are a number of reasons you may be seeing this error. For instance, if the website’s certificate has been revoked or expired. It may also happen if the certificate is missing.

How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

Because of the dynamic nature of this error, there may be several ways to fix it.

  • Clear browser cache and the SSL state
  • Fix the timezone, time, and date
  • Temporarily disable browser extensions and antivirus. Extensions can cause issues with protocol settings.
  • Verify that your SSL certificate is not missing or expired
  1. SSL Certificate Revoked Error

SSL revocation is when a previously issued SSL certificate is canceled and the HTTPS connection is removed from a website.

It’s a serious issue for website owners as it could indicate compromised certificate keys or a mistake by the Certificate Authority during issuance.

What Causes the SSL Certificate Error?

  • The certificate keys may have been compromised
  • The CA may have issued the certificate to the wrong site
  • The site owner may have asked for the certificate to be revoked
  • There could be a network or DNS issue

How to Fix the Invalid SSL Certificate?

Besides common fixings such as checking the date and time, and verifying your certificate is issued to the right website there are other ways you can fix this error.

For instance, you may try to disable firewall or antivirus or disable browser extensions, as well as clearing IP addresses and DNS requests from the cache.

How to Fix SSL Certificate Error on Android

The most common error on Android comes from a browser message that says, “your connection is not private.”. Any issue with SSL certificates can be problematic for mobile devices because it means all data exchanged with the web page you’re visiting is open and vulnerable to third parties.

Final: SSL certificate errors and how to fix them

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Here are some ways you can fix the problem:

  • Correct the date and time of the device: Go to Settings/Date and Time. Select the option for “automatic date & time”.
  • Clear browsing data on Chrome: If fixing the date and time didn’t work, you may have to clear the browsing history. Open Chrome and press Menu/Privacy/Settings. Select “clear browsing data”. Check all the boxes and click on “Clear”.

Final: SSL certificate errors and how to fix them

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  • Change your Internet connection:  It may be a problem with your WiFi connection on your device. Switch temporarily to mobile data or another private WiFi connection and see if it works.
  • Temporarily turn off antivirus: Try to disable it momentarily and start browsing again.
  • Reset your phone if nothing else works: Remember to back up your phone first to prevent losing what you have in storage.

How to Fix SSL Certificate Error on Mac or PC

First, you need to know whether the certificate error is from the computer or from the server. The following messages will appear if the problem is with the website:

  • NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
  • NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
  • NET::ERR_CERT_REVOKED
  • NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
  • ERR_SSL_WEAK_EPHEMERAL_DH_KEY
  • ERR_SSL_VERSION_OR_CIPHER_MISMATCH

If you don’t see any of the previous messages, the problem could be with your computer. Some quick fixes:

  1. Check that the date and time are correct. Whether in Windows or Mac, you should select the option to set time automatically, and this should do the trick.
  2. Clearing the cache and cookies can fix browsing errors and certificate issues.
  3. Update your browser. If the previous two don’t work, it may be that you’re using an old version of the web browser.
  4. Cleaning the computer’s SSL state can fix if your computer saved an incorrect version of the SSL certificate. Search for the certificate and delete the incorrectly saved version, or press Keychain Access to open the app on a Mac. Open the left panel and select “Category”. Delete the wrong certificate.
  5. If all of these fail, try restoring your browser’s default settings.

How to Fix SSL Certificate Errors: General Procedure

Stating a general procedure for fixing SSL certificate errors is tricky because there are a number of causes for these issues. In this case, you can see a message like this:

Final: SSL certificate errors and how to fix them

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  1. Confirm That You Have an SSL Certificate Installed on Your Website

To confirm that you have the SSL certificate installed on your website, one way to do so is to access your website using your browser and look at the address bar. If your website has an SSL certificate installed the web address should start with “https://” instead of ”http://”.

  1. Edit Your Whois Email Address to Validate Your SSL

If you have your website with a hosting provider and have an SSL error, it could be because there is no whois email connected to your website. Hosting providers usually give you an SSL certificate, but you can have a problem with the information you sent for registering.

To solve this, you should update your Whois email in the DNS provider’s website.

  1. Check for SSL Certificate Errors With an Online Tool

You can use an online tool to detect the problem causing the SSL certificate error. Some common tools include

Best SSL Certificate Checkers

  • SolarWinds Pingdom: It offers a free trial, and continuous SSL certificate monitoring
  • StatusCake: This platform has free and paid versions, providing SSL certificate monitoring, availability tests, and DNS tracking.
  • Acunetix: It offers vulnerability scanning, reporting, and monitoring of TLS/SSL certificates.
  • Qualys SSL Labs: A free online SSL checker that allows you to check your site’s SSL certification by entering the URL.
  • Comodo SSL Checker: An online SSL checker you can use to search for the certificate’s status by URL.
  1. Install an Intermediate Certificate on Your Browser

If your CA is not trusted, then you need to install at least one intermediate certificate on your web server. By doing this, you can show you have a certificate issued by a trusted authority.

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  1. Generate a New Certificate Signing Request

If you are still getting an error message, it could be that your certificate is installed incorrectly. In that case, you should generate a new Certificate Signing Request (CSR), and ask for a reissue of a certificate. The process varies with the different servers.

  1. Change All URLs to HTTPS

Secure URLS read HTTPS, not HTTP. If you still have error messages, it could be that some of the URLs are not secure.  Pasting the web address into WhyNoPadLock.com can detect what elements are insecure. Then, you can change the URLs to HTTPs by editing the source code of the page.

  1. Upgrade to a Dedicated IP Address

The problem could be the IP address if you get a “name mismatch” error. This happens if your site shares an IP address with other sites. Switching to a dedicated IP address may do the trick.

  1. Install a Wildcard SSL Certificate

Another potential fix is to get a Wildcard SSL certificate, that will allow you to secure multiple subdomain names.

  1. Renew Your SSL Certificate

You may get an error message if your SSL certificate validity has expired. In this case, renew your SSL certificate. The renewal process may change between different Certificate Authorities (CAs) or web hosting services, so it’s important to check their specific guidelines.

How to Bypass SSL Certificate Errors in Chrome

If anything else works, you may have to disable the warnings about SSL certificate errors in Google Chrome. While disabling security features is never a recommended practice, it can be necessary if you keep getting error messages.

Here are the steps:

  1. In Chrome, right-click and select Properties.
  2. Look for the Target field and append this parameter after the quoted string: –ignore-certificate-errors
  3. The field should look like this: “C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe” –ignore-certificate-errors.

Final Word: Resolving an Invalid SSL Certificate

An SSL error can damage your website reputation and make your traffic bounce. That’s why it is critical to detect what is causing it and fix it.

While there are many possible explanations for an SSL error, you should try to restore your encryption as soon as possible. The methods above may help. If not, you can ask for support from your hosting provider.

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 Next Steps: What Now?

  • If you still don’t have an SSL certificate, you should purchase one
  • Alternatively, you can choose to get a free SSL, for example, included with web hosting
  • Explore the available SSL Certificate Providers
  • If you are building your website, check the best website builders of this year

Learn More About Domain Privacy and Security

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fix certificate errors in Chrome?

Run an SSL Server Test. If there is a problem with the CA, get a certificate from a trusted authority. If this doesn’t work, try reloading the page. 

You can also try to clear your browser’s cache and cookies, fix your computer’s clock or change your network connection. If anything else works, you can disable your VPN or antivirus. 

Why am I getting certificate errors on all websites?

This could be caused by a firewall or other local system settings disrupting the SSL connection. The local firewall may mark an SSL certificate invalid, and block the website. 

How do I remove the SSL error from Chrome?

If you want to fix the error you can try to update your browser, ensure the SSL certificate has been installed properly, or verify the date your certificate expires. Otherwise, you can try to disable the error message by adding the following parameter to the Target source code: –ignore-certificate-errors. 

Sonja Vitas
Edited By:
Sonja Vitas
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