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This site can’t provide a secure connection: Explained 

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  • 7 min read

When you are casually browsing the internet and suddenly you come across a ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error on your screen, don’t be alarmed as it is one of the common errors.+

You can see this error in a variety of ways depending on the platform that you are using:

  • In Google Chrome, you will see ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’.
  • On Mozilla Firefox, you will get a ‘Warning: Potential Security Risk Ahead’ notification.
  • On Edge, you get a ‘Can’t connect securely to this page’ screen.
  • If you are using Android, you can witness the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection in Android’ message.

All of these error messages mean one thing — there’s a problem with the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection. Either the SSL Certificates have not been installed on the website or they are invalid or expired.

Depending on the platform and the browser, you can troubleshoot this error easily. Here are some of the troubleshooting options.

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Change your device’s time and date settings

When you open a website on the browser, it checks the SSL certificate’s signed and expiry dates using the system’s current date and time settings. If there is any mismatch between the two, the certificates will no longer be valid and you will see a ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error.

We have given a list of devices and the steps to tweak the date and time settings.


Android

To rectify this error, here’s how to check the date and time on your Android:

  • Tap on Settings > System > Date and time.
  • Turn on the toggle in front of the Set time automatically option.

Windows

To check the date and time on Windows, follow the instructions given below:

  • Go to Settings > Time and Language > Date and time.
  • Make sure that the toggle corresponding to the Set time automatically option is on.

macOS

Follow the steps given below:

  • Click on the Apple button and then go to System Settings.
  • Select General > Date and time.
  • Turn on the Set time and date automatically option.

Update the browser

If your browser has not been updated in a while, then there is a high probability that you will see a ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error. So, make it a habit of updating your apps as soon as you are notified of it.

Follow this article to update Google Chrome on PC as well as on Android

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Install an SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate protects the website against any malicious transactions of the data. Obtaining an SSL certificate is one of the most effective methods to fix the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error. SSL certificates are both free and paid.

What is SSL (Secure Sockets Layer)? How does it protect a website?
Here is how to get a free SSL certificate for your website

Force an HTTPS connection

When you force an HTTPS connection, you typically redirect the website audience to a secure URL. Here are the steps to force an HTTPS connection:

  • Locate the .htaccess file in the /httpdocs folder. Remember, this file is hidden. So, you will have to tweak the settings via your FTP client’s settings. After you have located that file, download it on your computer and open it with any text editor.
  • To force all traffic to use HTTPS, use the following codes:
RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]
  • Once, you have updated the .htaccess file, upload the file back to the /httpdocs folder.

For more information on how to force specific domains or specific folders, follow the link here.

Also read: Windows does not have enough information to verify this certificate: 6 Fixes


Reset the SSL cache and browsing history

It might happen that the SSL cache has been corrupted. In such situations, resetting the SSL cache might work.

Follow the instructions given below:

Step 1: Go to Control Panel > Network and Internet.

Step 2: Click on View network status and tasks and then select Internet Options at the bottom left of the screen.

Step 3: Click on Internet Options at the bottom left of the screen.

Step 4: In the Internet properties tab, select Content and then click on Clear SSL State.

While you are at it, clear the browser’s cache and history. Head to this article for instructions on how to clear the cache on Google Chrome.

And here’s an article on how to clear browsing history on Firefox. Microsoft Edge users can head to this article to clear cache and browsing history.


Check the browser extensions

Faulty browser extensions might cause the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error. So, you should check the browser extensions and disable the malfunctioning ones.

Here’s how to do that on Google Chrome:

Step 1: Click on the three-dot button and then go to More tools > Extensions.

Step 2: Now, individually click on the Remove tab or turn off the toggle in front of the extensions.

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Turn off or change the anti-virus app

An overzealous anti-virus might be blocking the website. So, you must turn off the antivirus either temporarily or if the problem persists, you can uninstall the antivirus and then install a new one.


Turn off the QUIC protocol

You should disable the QUIC protocol support via Flags on Google Chrome to troubleshoot the ‘This site can’t provide a secure connection’ error.

Here are the steps to do it:

  • Type chrome://flags/#enable-quic on the address bar.
  • Locate the Experimental QUIC protocol option. Click on the side menu, and then select Disabled.

Also read: What is Encrypted Search? Top 3 encrypted searche

Kumar Hemant

Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: kumarhemant@pm.me

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