12 Ways to Fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Google Chrome

fix-the-err_ssl_protocol_error-in-google-chrome

Coming across an ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR while browsing can be a pesky obstacle, halting your internet exploration. It’s a common problem when trying to access websites using HTTPS, and it signals an issue with the site’s SSL/TLS protocol. The browser simply cannot provide a secure connection.

This guide provides you with a quick, practical roadmap to navigate around this error and resume your seamless web journey. Read on; clear seas are only a few scrolls away!

Understanding ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

This is a common error message that occurs when trying to visit a website using HTTPS (HTTP combined with SSL/TLS protocol).

Common Causes of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, often a bane for many users and developers, can occur due to several reasons. Addressing these causes can provide a clear pathway to resolving the error proficiently. Here are some of the common root causes:

  1. Incorrect System Clock: If your system displays an incorrect date or time, it could obstruct SSL connections leading to the error.
  2. Browser Cache Issues: Accumulated cache and cookies can disrupt SSL connections, causing this protocol error.
  3. Conflicting Browser Extensions: Certain third-party extensions may not be compatible with SSL protocols, prompting the error.
  4. Antivirus Software Interference: Over-protective antivirus software might block dubious SSL certificates which inadvertently leads to this error.
  5. Outdated Browsers: An out-of-date browser could generate this issue as they might not support newer versions of encryption algorithms used in SSL certificates.
  6. Inaccurate or Misconfigured SSL Settings: Incorrectly installed or configured SSL certificates on a website can cause this error.

Outdated system clock

An inaccurate or outdated system clock can trigger the encounter of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. The SSL/TLS encryption process relies heavily on time stamps to ensure the security and validity of data exchanges.

If your computer’s date and settings are off, it may produce conflicts between what the server expects and what your browser delivers causing a mismatch in encryption protocols that generate this error.

To nip this problem in the bud, always keep an eye on your device’s system clock synchronization. Ensure it accurately reflects the current date and time as well as region since these play a pivotal role in facilitating correct HTTPS protocol operations for secure web browsing.

Browser cache and SSL state issues

Your web browser stores a vast amount of data known as cache to enhance your browsing experience, speeding up load times by saving elements from websites you’ve visited.

However, if this stored information conflicts with live content on a website or is outdated, it can hinder an effective SSL handshake causing an SSL connection error. Similarly, problems arise when your browser has an incorrect SSL state — its memory of past secure connections — which may obstruct new secure connections leading to this vexing protocol error.

Top-notch troubleshooting includes clearing Chrome’s cache and cookies and resetting the SSL state for resolving these critical issues efficiently.

Conflicts with third-party extensions and antivirus software

These conflicts occur when certain browser extensions or antivirus programs interfere with the SSL connection, resulting in the error message.

To resolve this issue, it is recommended to temporarily disable any third-party extensions or antivirus software that might be causing the conflict. By doing so, you can eliminate any potential conflicts and allow for a smooth SSL connection without encountering the protocol error.

Impact of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

When ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error occurs, it means that the encryption protocol between your browser and the website you’re trying to access is not functioning correctly.

This can lead to your sensitive information being exposed or compromised.

One of the main consequences of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is that it prevents you from accessing websites with HTTPS encryption. Since HTTPS ensures secure communication by encrypting data, a failure in the SSL/TLS protocol can leave your personal information vulnerable to interception or unauthorized access.

Additionally, an invalid SSL certificate or mismatched encryption protocols can cause trust issues, leading browsers like Chrome to display warning messages or block access altogether.

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Google Chrome Browser

1. Setting the correct system date, time, and region

One of the first steps you should take is to ensure that your system’s date, time, and region settings are accurate. An incorrect system clock can cause conflicts with SSL certificates, leading to this error message.

By double-checking and adjusting these settings as necessary, you can potentially resolve the issue and regain secure access to websites. Additionally, keeping your system clock up to date helps maintain overall security for online transactions and data transmissions.

Taking this simple step can go a long way in troubleshooting SSL protocol errors on Chrome.

2. Clearing Chrome’s cache and cookies

Next step you can take is to clear Chrome’s cache and cookies. This is because outdated or corrupted data in the browser’s cache can sometimes interfere with SSL connections. This can also fix other issues like DNS_PROBE_STARTED error.

By removing this stored information, you allow Chrome to retrieve fresh data from websites, potentially resolving any protocol errors. To clear your cache and cookies in Chrome, simply go to the browser’s settings menu, select “Privacy and security,” then click on “Clear browsing data.” From there, choose the desired time range for which you want to clear data (e.g., “All time”), make sure both “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” are selected, then click on “Clear data.” This will purge your browser’s cache and cookies, giving you a cleaner slate for establishing secure SSL connections. 

This will also clear your SSL cache.

3. Disabling QUIC protocol

One potential solution is to disable the QUIC protocol. The QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) protocol is a transport layer protocol developed by Google that aims to improve web browsing speed and security.

However, in some cases, it can cause conflicts with SSL connections and result in the message.

Disabling the QUIC protocol can be done by following a few simple steps. First, open a new tab in your Chrome browser and type “chrome://flags” into the address bar. Press Enter to access Chrome’s experimental features settings.

On this page, you will see various options; use Ctrl+F on your keyboard to search for “QUIC.” Once you find it, click on the drop-down menu next to it and select “Disabled.”.

After disabling the QUIC protocol, close and reopen your Chrome browser for the changes to take effect. This should help resolve any conflicts between SSL connections and the QUIC protocol.

Remember, if you still encounter issues after disabling QUIC or if this solution doesn’t apply to your specific error case, there are other troubleshooting steps outlined in this article that you can follow for further assistance.

4. Temporarily disabling third-party Chrome extensions and antivirus software

Another effective step is to temporarily disable any third-party extensions and antivirus software. These additional browser tools and security programs can sometimes interfere with the encryption protocols used by websites, leading to SSL errors.

By disabling them temporarily, you can troubleshoot whether any conflicts or compatibility issues are causing the error.

When encountering an SSL protocol error, it’s important to rule out any potential external factors that may be contributing to the problem. Third-party browser extensions and antivirus software often have their own security measures in place that could conflict with the website’s SSL certificate or encryption protocols.

To disable Chrome extensions

  1. Click on the three dots on the top right corner of Google Chrome.
  2. Goto Extension -> Manage Extensions
  3. Click on the blue button to disable each one of them.

By disabling these temporarily, you can determine if they are causing or exacerbating the issue.

5. Verifying SSL certificate

To ensure a secure and error-free SSL connection, it is crucial to verify the SSL certificate of the website you are visiting. A valid SSL certificate guarantees that your data will be transmitted securely.

To verify the certificate

  1. Look for the padlock icon in the address bar of your browser
  2. Clicking on it should display information about the website’s SSL certificate, including its validity and issuer.

Additionally, you can check whether the SSL certificate has been revoked or compromised by using online tools such as Certificate Transparency logs or CRL (Certificate Revocation List). Verifying the SSL certificate is an essential step in troubleshooting such error messages and ensuring a safe browsing experience.

6. Enable All SSL/TLS Versions

This will allow your browser to load sites that may be using outdated or insecure protocols. 

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open Google Chrome and click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner.
  • Select “Settings” from the drop-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on “Advanced” to expand more options.
  • Under the “Privacy and security” section, click on “Security.”
  • Look for the option that says “Enable SSL/TLS protocol filtering.”
  • Toggle it on to enable all SSL/TLS versions.

That’s it! By enabling all SSL/TLS versions, you’re giving your browser more flexibility in loading websites with different encryption protocols. This can help identify any compatibility issues causing the issue.

Remember, ensuring secure and error-free SSL connections is crucial for a safe browsing experience. Taking these steps to resolve any issues will help protect your sensitive information online.

7. Change Your Internet Security and Privacy Level

Review your internet security and privacy settings: High-security levels set on browsers can sometimes block certain websites. Lowering these levels may help resolve the error. Check and adjust your browser’s security and privacy settings accordingly.

Remember, changing internet security and privacy levels should only be done as a troubleshooting step. It is important to set them back to their original levels once you have identified and resolved the issue.

8. Make Sure SSL Is Installed on Your Website

It is crucial to ensure that SSL is properly installed on your website. Here are the steps you can take:.

  • Check if your website has an SSL certificate installed.
  • Ensure that the SSL certificate is up to date and not expired.
  • Verify that the SSL certificate matches the domain name of your website.
  • Confirm that your server supports SSL/TLS protocol and has it enabled.
  • Double-check that all web pages on your site are loading via HTTPS and not HTTP.

Remember, having a properly installed and functioning SSL certificate is essential for establishing a secure connection between your website and its visitors. This will help protect sensitive information transmitted over the internet, such as personal data or financial transactions.

By following these steps, you can make sure that SSL is correctly set up on your website, providing a secure browsing experience for your users while avoiding any potential issues.

9. Force HTTPS Connection on Your Website

To ensure a secure and error-free SSL connection on your website, you can force an HTTPS connection. This will require all traffic to your site to use the encrypted HTTPS protocol.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Update your website configuration: Make sure that your website is set up with an SSL certificate and has the necessary configurations in place for HTTPS connections.
  • Redirect HTTP traffic to HTTPS: Set up redirects so that any HTTP requests are automatically redirected to their corresponding HTTPS versions.
  • Use HSTS (HTTP Strict Transport Security): Implementing HSTS ensures that browsers always connect to your website using the secure HTTPS protocol, even if users type “http://” instead of “https://”.
  • Update internal links: Ensure that all internal links within your website point to their respective HTTPS URLs. This will avoid mixed content warnings and potential security issues when visitors navigate between pages.
  • Update external links: If you have control over external websites or directories linking to yours, request that they update their links from HTTP to HTTPS versions for consistent security throughout.

10. Check Your Firewall

It’s important to check your firewall settings.

Here are some steps you can take:

  • Ensure that your firewall is not blocking SSL/TLS encryption protocols.
  • Check if your firewall has any rules that restrict access to certain websites or specific ports used for secure connections.
  • Make sure that your firewall software is up-to-date and compatible with the latest SSL/TLS encryption standards.
  • Temporarily disable your firewall to see if it resolves the error. If it does, then you may need to adjust the settings or add exceptions for secure connections.
  • Consult the documentation or support resources provided by your firewall software vendor for guidance on configuring SSL/TLS settings.

11. Update Your Operating System

Updating your device’s operating system can fix most issues – whether it’s a Windows PC, Mac, or iPhone/Android.

12. Try another browser like Firefox or Microsoft Edge

Try opening the same website in Firefox or Edge and test if you get the same ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR message in Google Chrome.

Conclusion: Ensuring Secure and Error-Free SSL Connections

In conclusion, resolving the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is essential to ensure secure and error-free SSL connections. By following the step-by-step guide mentioned above, including clearing the browser cache, checking system clock settings, disabling third-party extensions and antivirus software, verifying SSL certificates, and adjusting internet security levels, you can effectively troubleshoot this error.

Restoring a smooth browsing experience while maintaining strong encryption protocols will help protect your online activities and data.

Author:
I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...