ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR on Google Chrome

Google Chrome is by far the most used web browser owing to its high speed and secure, user-friendly interface. However, it has its fair share of errors. If chrome is your preferred browser, then you must have seen the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error before. This is also called the ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’.

The ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ error usually clears itself when you reload the page but if that does not happen you will need to fix it yourself.

From an inaccurate date and time, lack of client authentication to other complex server issues, there are many reasons for not connecting to a server or website. While it is usually not possible to narrow it down to one cause, this error can, however, be fixed by following a series of steps.

Here’s a step by step guide on how to fix the ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ on Google Chrome. Try these eight methods one after the other until the error is resolved.

How to Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

Given below are some of the most effective methods to get rid of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. Let’s have a look at all of them one by one.

Method 1 – Syncing the system date 

Not having the system date in sync with the date of the website’s server can cause all kinds of problems during authentication but don’t worry, this situation can very easily be fixed by adjusting the date of your system.

You can either do this manually or you can auto-sync your system date and time with the internet. Reload the website after doing this and if the error hasn’t been cleared then move on to the next step.

Method 2 – Clearing the cache of the browser

Clearing the cache is very simple. To do so;

Step 1 – First of all, press Cltr + Shift + Delete. Select ‘AA range’ in the time range section.

Step 2 – You can clear your browsing data excluding the browser history by selecting the ‘select all’ option and uncheck the ‘browser history’ checkbox. This is done because the CSS changes are not reflected if the cache is not clear.

Even if this method does not fix the error, it is highly recommended to clear your browsing data regularly.

Method 3 – Deleting the host file and restoring it to default 

The host file can be restored in two different ways. The first way entails downloading a host file store tool. This tool fixes the error automatically. On the other hand, you have to create the host file manually in a second way. The link to this file is C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\. When this file gets infected it shows incorrect information and so you have to delete this and update it with the correct code.

Method 4 – Clearing the SSL state of the system 

Clearing the SSL state of the system helps in fixing the issue quickly. The following steps are to be followed to clear the SSL state:

Step 1 –  Go to the Google Chrome setting by clicking on the three dots that appear on the top right corner of your screen.

Step 2 – Select the ‘Settings’ option from the dropdown. Then select the ‘System’ option from the advanced dropdown that you will see when you scroll down.

Step 3 – Go to ‘Open proxy settings’ and a new window of ‘Internet Properties’ will pop up.

Step 4 – Go to the Content window and click on the ‘Clear SSL State’ button.

Reload the website again. The error must have been sorted but if that hasn’t happened then move on to the next step.

Method 5 –Adjusting the antivirus settings 

Antivirus software checks the web pages that you visit and protects you against websites that might still be using older, insecure SSL/TSL protocols. Hence, this step is not entirely safe as it might result in you negotiating a connection with one of these harmful websites.

In spite of this if you want to access the website, you can alter the antivirus settings of the software. Since these settings are different for different antiviruses, there is no exact method to deal with it. On the whole, you can check the antivirus settings and find the SSL protocol in the ‘advanced settings’ option. Under these settings, check whether the software scans the SSL protocols and if you find that it does, then disable the feature and change to ‘Ask about non-visited sites’ option.

Reload the website to check if the issue has been resolved. Move on to the next method if the error persists.

Remember that if the antivirus has blocked the site then it is probably because the website uses insecure SSL protocol and hence it is better to not tamper with the antivirus settings. You can always skip this method and try the next one.

Method 6 – Disabling the QUIC protocol 

QUIC stands for Quick UDP Internet Connections. QUIC is enabled in Chrome by default and it creates a TSL/SSL equivalent secure connection to the server. However, it sometimes conflicts with the SSL protocol and displays the ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ error message.

To disable this, firstly type ‘chrome://flags/#enable-quic’ in the address bar and press ‘Enter’. You will find that the ‘Experimental QUIC Protocol’ would be set as the default option. Disable this option and reload your website. Move on to the next method if the error still persists.

Method 7 – Changing Internet Security and Privacy settings 

Nowadays, everyone who browses the internet is worried about their system’s security and their privacy. To protect the system and the information in it, ‘high’ level security and privacy settings are preferred. However, this can at times result in the SSL connection being blocked. These settings can be changed by following the procedure given below:

Step 1 – Open the Control Panel. Then navigate to ‘Internet Options’ tab.

Step 2 – Now, go to the ‘Security’ tab and change the security level to ‘medium’. Then go to the ‘Privacy’ tab and change its level to ‘medium’ as well.

Step 3 – At last, reload the website again to check if the error has been cleared.

Method 8 – Activating all TSL/SSL versions

Sometimes, the SSL/TSL version that a website uses to communicate with the server might not be compatible with your Chrome version. As Chrome does not support these versions by default, you would have to change the settings.

This method is a last resort as it can be harmful in some cases. Activating all TSL/SSL versions would give access to sites with older, insecure SSL protocols which can at times be hazardous. In spite of this, if you choose to activate all versions, then this is the procedure to be followed:

Step 1 – Go to Chrome settings by clicking on the three dots on the top right corner of the screen.

Step 2 – Select the ‘System’ option in the advanced settings of the Chrome settings. After that, select the ‘Open Proxy settings’ and navigate to the ‘advanced’ tab.

Step 3 – Then select the ‘Security’ option. Now, select all the TLS/SSL versions.

Step 4 – Click ‘Apply’. Reload the website again to check if the error has been resolved.

Note: that browsers do not enable support to previous TSL versions for security reasons. Hence it is advisable to not support TSL and SSL versions which are known to be susceptible to attack.

Conclusion

Start with the first method and keep moving to the next one until the error is resolved. Remember the risks associated with a few steps and unless you trust the website completely, it is better to avoid these steps entirely. Risking your system’s security to interact with a website is not advisable and no credible organization would expect you to do the same.

Hope this article has helped you resolve your issues regarding the ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ or the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error.

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