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ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR | 7 Ways to Fix It

How to Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Google Chrome

If you’re getting the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, there’s likely something wrong with your SSL certificate. This article will overview what causes this error and provide several proven methods to fix it.

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR

What is ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

When a user tries to access an SSL-enabled website and the secure connection fails, the user is shown the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error code and a message that says, “This site can’t provide a secure connection.”

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR occurs when the browser cannot establish a connection with an SSL certificate-enabled website. In most cases, this error occurs due to server issues and a lack of client authentication.

What Causes This Error?

  • The SSL or web browser cache contains obsolete certificates.
  • The system time or date is incorrect.
  • The QUIC protocol is blocking the connection setup.
  • The Hosts file is corrupted.
  • The website’s IP address is blocked by a firewall or anti-virus program.
  • SSL/TLS connections are blocked by a firewall or anti-virus program.
  • One or more Chrome extensions are causing the error.

Here are some tips before you try any of our fixes:

  • Temporarily disable your anti-virus or firewall software.
  • Turn off your VPN app or browser extension. However, if you don’t use a VPN, try installing a VPN app or browser extension and see if that resolves the problem.
  • Disable browser extensions.
  • Update Google Chrome.

Video on How to Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Chrome

Table of Contents:

Method 1. Clear SSL State

Your browser stores SSL certificates in a cache to speed up the subsequent connections to a website, but your PC may store an outdated SSL certificate. Clearing the SSL state may fix the problem.

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in inetcpl.cpl in Run and click OK

2. In the Run dialog box, type in inetcpl.cpl and click OK.

Select the Content tab and click Clear SSL state

3. In the Internet Properties window, select the Content tab.

4. Under the Certificates section, click Clear SSL state.

Click OK

5. Once the SSL cache is successfully cleared, click OK.

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Method 2. Sync the Correct System Time and Date

You must sync your system’s time and date with the time and date of the website’s server.

Right-click the Windows Start button and click Settings

1. Right-click Start and select Settings.

Select Time & language and click Date & time

2. In the left pane, select Time & language and click Date & time.

Toggle on Set time automatically

3. Toggle on Set time automatically if it’s disabled.

Toggle off Set time automatically and click Change

4. If it's already enabled, you may fix the error by setting the correct time manually. Toggle off the Set time automatically slider.

5. Then, click Change next to Set the date and time manually.

Set the correct time and date and click Change

6. Set the correct time and date and click Change.

Note: If your PC shows the incorrect time the next time you boot it up, the battery on your motherboard may be dead. Consider replacing it.

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Method 3. Clear Google Chrome Browsing Data

Sometimes the information cached in the browser cache may cause the error. You may fix this error by clearing your browser’s cache.

Click the ellipsis, select More tools and click Clear browsing data

1. Open Google Chrome. Click the ellipsis at the top-right corner, select More tools, and click Clear browsing data.

Select the Advanced tab, open the Time range drop-down menu and select All time

2. Select the Advanced tab.

3. Open the Time range drop-down menu and select All time.

Mark all browsing data checkboxes and click Clear data

4. Mark Browsing history, Download history, Cookies and other site data, and Cached images and files.

5. Click Clear data.

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Method 4. Clear DNS Cache

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in CMD in Run and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the Command Prompt as an administrator

2. In the Run dialog box, type in CMD and hold down Ctrl+Shift+Enter keys to open the elevated Command Prompt.

Type in ipconfig /flushdns in the Comamnd Promt window and hit Enter

3. In the Command Prompt window, type in ipconfig /flushdns and press the Enter key.

This command will clear the DNS cache files and reset the DNS resolver cache.

4. Close the Command Prompt.

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Method 5. Disable the QUIC Protocol in Chrome

The experimental QUIC protocol is supposed to make browsing faster, but in some cases, it can cause ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. If the QUIC protocol is enabled on your browser, try disabling it to fix the error.

Open the Experimental QUIC protocol drop-down menu and select Disabled

1. Open Google Chrome. Type in chrome://flags/#enable-quic in the Omnibox and press Enter.

2. Open the Experimental QUIC Protocol drop-down menu and click Disabled.

Click Relaunch

3. Click Relaunch.

If disabling the QUIC protocol didn’t fix the error, go back and re-enable it.

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Method 6. Disable Proxy Server

If you use a proxy server, it may be blacklisted by the website that you’re trying to access. Disable your proxy server and see if that fixes the issue.

1. Hold down Windows+R keys to open Run.

Type in inetcpl.cpl in Run and click OK

2. In the Run dialog box, type in inetcpl.cpl and click OK.

Select the Connections tab and click LAN settings

3. In the Internet Properties window, select the Connections tab.

4. Click LAN settings.

Unmark Use a proxy server for your LAn and mark the Automatically detect settings checkboxes, and click OK

5. Unmark the Use a proxy server for your LAN checkbox.

6. Mark the Automatically detect settings checkbox.

7. Click OK.

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Method 7. Remove the Hosts File

You may fix the error by deleting the entries associated with your web browser in the hosts file. Renaming the hosts file will render it unusable by the operating system.

1. Hold down Windows+E keys to open File Explorer.

Navigate to C:WindowsSystem32driversetc

2. In the File Explorer address bar, type in C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc and press the Enter key.

Right-click the hosts file and click Rename

3. Right-click the hosts file and click Rename.

rename the hosts file to hosts.old and save the new name

4. Rename the file to hosts.old and save the new name. Renaming the file will render it unusable by the operating system. Also, renaming it will give you the option to reinstate the file by renaming it back to its original file name.

5. Alternatively, you can right-click the hosts file and click Delete. However, you won't have a backup file.

Did this article help you fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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About the author:

Rimvydas Iliavicius

Rimvydas is a researcher with over four years of experience in the cybersecurity industry. He attended Kaunas University of Technology and graduated with a Master's degree in Translation and Localization of Technical texts. His interests in computers and technology led him to become a versatile author in the IT industry. At PCrisk, he's responsible for writing in-depth how-to articles for Microsoft Windows. Contact Rimvydas Iliavicius.

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