These days, the vast majority of online users demand complete secure connections across all of their internet sites by default. Now that free SSL certificates are widely available, HTTPS has replaced most older protocols.
When using Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge or any other browsers which are based on Chromium, you may sometimes get “ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR”. In this short article, we will show you why the error happens, as well as 6 ways to fix the “ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR” error.
Simply put, ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR means there is an error which made the system failed to validate the SSL certificate or there is a “misunderstanding” somewhere between the server and the client (browser).
The cause of ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR
The cause of the error “ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR” is varies between different setups. However, we were able to pinpoint the most common reasons for it:
- The time on the device is not synced, which makes it display the wrong time and date.
- Anti-virus software is actively protect you from accessing sites that do not have SSL certificates or expired certificates, which are less secure.
- Error due to firewall, Windows hosts file
- Because the connection of public wifi is not secure
- Some browser errors
- Browser extensions like Chrome cause errors
- QUIC protocol crashes
ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR quick fixes
If you’re in a hurry and needs some keywords to quickly fix the problem, here are the summary of all of the solutions in the post:
- Refresh the website, Restart browser and computer
- Check the system time and sync it with the internet time (if needed) by accessing Setting => Time and Date => Set time automatically
- Inspect and disable extensions in your browser to see if they are mixing services.
- Check your firewall or antivirus software.
- Have your browser updated. Also check if Windows is properly updated, too.
- Clear all cache and cookies on your browser.
- Temporarily turn off anti-virus software.
- Check if you have a corporate proxy or VPN which filters the traffic coming from and to your computer.
Check System Date and Time
The most popular reason for ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is that your device is not synced with the Internet time. Therefore, the first thing you should do is check your system time. In order to do that, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Press the
Windows + I keyboard shortcut to access Settings
Step 2: Access Time & Language => Date & Time
Step 3: Click Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically so that the computer automatically updates the correct time from the internet.
Step 4 (optional): Restart the computer so that the changes take effect.
Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error on Google Chrome
Clear Cache and Cookies
Step 1 : Clicking the 3 dots icon on the upper right corner, then select More tools => Clear browsing data .
Step 2 : Choose your preferred timeframe to clear the data, which varies from the last hour to all time. To ensure that the entire cache memory is erased, we recommend selecting All time.
Step 3: Click the Clear Data / Clean Data button to let Chrome automatically delete all saved Cache and Cookies.
Step 3 : Restart the browser and access the website again to see if the error has gone or not.
Clear SSL State
The next thing to do is to clear the SSL state in Chrome. After making an initial secure connection to a website, Chrome caches SSL certificates so that further connections would not have to download the same certificate again.
The procedures for clearing the SSL state differ based on the operating system and browser. For Google Chrome on Windows, follow the instructions below:
- Open Chrome, click the three tiny dots icon in the upper right corner , and then select Settings.
- Navigate to System -> Open proxy settings in the left sidebar.
- In the Internet Properties the just pop-up, go to the Content tab and choose Clear SSL status.
- Press OK to confirm.
Disable Chrome QUIC protocol
QUIC, which stands for “Quick UDP Internet Connections,” is an experimental transport layer network protocol, which was made to make sure Chrome uses as little latency and bandwidth as possible.
QUIC is a better way to send data over the internet than TCP. UDP optimizes transport layer techniques and cryptography (in comparison to TLS on HTTPS on TCP). Users who have UDP blocked are automatically switched to TCP by QUIC.
But sometimes, QUIC can be the root cause of SSL errors such as ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. In order to disable QUIC in Chrome, follow the instructions below:
- Open a fresh blank browser in Chrome and go to
- The Experimental QUIC protocol option should then appear at the top. The value should be Default out of the box.
- From the drop down option, choose Disabled.
It is possible that one of your browser extensions is getting in the way, which cause ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. In order to verify if this is really the case, open up an Incognito mode window and try to open the same URL.
Since Incognito mode disables all extensions by default, if you can access the site, one of your extensions is to blame. It’s difficult to tell which extension is responsible for the problem, so you should remove or disable one extension at a time until ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR goes away.
In order to pinpoint which extension is causing problems, follow the instructions below:
- In the URL bar, enter
chrome:/extensions/to see all Chrome Extensions.
- Click on Extensions and deactivate the various extensions before returning to the URL.
- If you find disabling an extension solves the problem, then simply remove it.
Disable anti-virus or firewall software
While rarely being the case, antivirus software or firewall software can actively blocking the website you’re trying to access.
When a website does not have an SSL certificate, or the website’s SSL certificate has expired, anti-virus or firewall software will prevent you from accessing it to ensure information security.
Therefore, you can temporarily disable these anti-virus or firewall software to access your website.
- In ESET NOD32 Antivirus, turn off the Enable SSL/TLS protocol filtering and SSL/TLS protocol filtering option.
- In Avast, access Settings -> Active Protection -> Web Shield -> Customize -> Main Settings and uncheck Enable HTTPS scanning.
- Dr.Web antivirus’s built-in firewall (Spider Gate) may block websites. In order to disable it, access SpIDer Gate-> Settings. Clear the Block known source check box and press OK.
- In Kaspersky Internet Security Antivirus, go to Settings -> Advanced -> Network, then add the website to exclusions or choose the Do not scan encrypted connections option.
The instructions varies between different setups, so it’s best that you consult the official support of the software you’re using for the most precise tutorial.
Keep your operating system up to date.
Also, it’s important to keep your operating system up to date, especially if it’s been a long time since the last update.
If Windows 10 is set to update itself automatically, you won’t have to worry about this. But not all operating systems have the ability to install updates automatically, so it’s a good idea to check to see if there are any for yours.
On macOS, click the apple icon and choose About This Mac. This will bring up a window with tabs. If there is an update for the system, a button called Software Update will show up. Alternatively, you can check for updates to macOS through the App Store, just like you would with any other app.
ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR on Android
Similar to what’s being shown on Chrome on computers, Google Chrome on Android may also show ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error. This indicates that there may be a problem with the server, or the site may be requiring a client authentication certificate that you don’t have.
On Android, you should take a look at these aspect:
- System time may be wrong. In other words, the time on Android is different from the time on the browser.
- The corporate firewall or corporate VPN or ISP level traffic filtering server may have blocked the website and IP address.
- Keeping cookies and cache for too long. Regularly clearing cookies and cache is recommended, especially on heavily used devices. You can do so on Google Chrome for Android by accessing Settings > Privacy > Clear browsing data.
- The Transport Layer Security (TSL) and Security Socket Layer (SSL) protocols may not have been set up correctly on the website server. This is the website owner’s problem and not yours.
- Using both HTTP and HTTPS at the same time (HTTPS), without HTTPS redirects. Again, this problem can only be fixed by website owners.
- Wrong APN proxy settings of your data network provider. Access Point Name (APN) is the name of a gateway between a GPRS, 3G, or 4G mobile network and the public Internet. A mobile device that wants to connect to the Internet must be set up with an APN to show the carrier. In order to fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR on Android, access Settings > Mobile networks > Access Point Names and remove Proxy address/Proxy port settings.
For site owners: Check your server certificate
Forcing HTTPS without SSL will render your website unavailable, displaying the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR. This occurs when a website lacks the certificate necessary to allow HTTPS connections.
Below are a few guides on how to do so on popular platforms:
- Install an SSL Certificate on cPanel
- How to Set Up End-to-End CloudFlare SSL Encryption
- How To Secure Nginx with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu
- How To Secure Apache with Let’s Encrypt on Ubuntu
We hope that the information above is useful and helped you successfully fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR problem on Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
We’ve also written a few other guides on fixing common Chrome error messages, such as How to fix ERR_BLOCKED_BY_CLIENT, ERR_CLEARTEXT_NOT_PERMITTED, and ERR_RESPONSE_HEADERS_MULTIPLE_CONTENT_DISPOSITION.
If you have any questions, then please feel free to ask in the comments below.