How to Fix Err_SSL_Protocol_Error

Written By John Ravi

On September 9, 2021

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If you use Google Chrome regularly, chances are you may have seen the err_ssl_protocol_error appear when accessing a site. This error is often displayed with the message that says “This site cannot provide a secure connection”. This is a common error and can pop up due to several reasons. Although this error like ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT Error is fixable. But, the err_ssl_protocol_error can be frustrating at times. Since there is no trackable cause behind this error, fixing it can be a bit tough. Many users and even website owners experience this error quite a few times in their journey. 

As we have discussed the err_ssl_protocol_error does not have a single cause, it becomes almost impossible to track down the problem. However, that does not mean you will need a professional expert to help you fix this error. This error can pop up due to simple reasons and by resolving these issues you can fix the error. Even simple issues like incorrect data and time can be reasons behind this error. If you are experiencing the err_ssl_protocol_error when accessing a website, instead of diagnosing the issue you should focus on a solution. 

In this guide, we will look at a few solutions on how you can fix the err_ssl_protocol_error. We have put together the most common solutions to resolve this error, and the list below will cover all the major ones. 


What Exactly is SSL or Secure Connection?


Before we get into solving the SSL error, we should get a little background about it. As a user, you may know that all website addresses typically begin with either HTTP or HTTPS. These two are known as protocols and are a set of rules that determine how a web page is transmitted from the server to the browser. HTTPS is considered a secure protocol that is based on HTTP. Since it is widely used, it has several advantages including a high level of security and an improved SEO. 

The only limitation of using HTTPS is the strict rules that are placed. These rules must adhere before a secure webpage could be displayed to the end-user.  This increases the chances of issues when compared to the non-secure HTTP connections. A user must have a valid SSL certificate installed before they are allowed to make the website work with HTTPS. Since invalid SSL certificates can cause issues and prevent users from accessing websites. This might be a reason why you are getting the err_ssl_protocol_error message when you try to access a website. Some quick fixes for this error are:


Verify SSL Certificate (DNS)


One of the reasons behind the SSL protocol error can be due to DNS settings. Most users confuse it with other DNS errors, but the incomplete propagation of DNS settings can cause SSL errors as well. If DNS is the cause behind your issue, the SSL certificate will not be associated with the correct domain when it is created and eventually cause errors. You can perform a scan on your website with an online SSL checker to verify if there is an issue with your SSL certificate. We would recommend using the Quality SSL Lab tool to conduct this scan. Using this tool is not that difficult. Since this tool is used to check your website’s SSL certificates, it will notify you if the certificates are somehow interfering with DNS and are causing DNS errors and err_ssl_protocol_errors.


Clear Browser Cookies and Cache 


Stocking up on browser cookies and cache can give rise to several errors, including the err_ssl_protocol_error. Thus, you should keep your browser and even WordPress database clean to ensure maximum speed and performance. So, if you want to fix the issue, start by deleting your browser cookies and cache. If you have a lot of cookies and cache, it will make your browser slow and increase the chances of err_ssl_protocol_error. To delete the cookies and cache, navigate to Google chrome and tap on settings. After you have opened the setting, go to additional settings, and find the options marked with browser cache. Once you have located this option, delete the cache and ensure you delete it at all times. This will clean your database and may help resolve the err_ssl_protocol_error.


Try Updating Your Operating System


The cause of err_ssl_protocol_error doesn’t always lie in the browser, it can be due to your operating system. Thus, keeping the operating system up-to-date is essential. So, if you have not updated your operating system in a while, it may be time to do it. You can also set up automatic updates on your operating system to ensure you are always using the latest version. If you are experiencing the err_ssl_protocol_error, updating your operating system might be the answer to your question. So, try updating the operating system to resolve the err_ssl_protocol_error. To update the operating system, first, go to settings and check for updates. And if you find an update available, download and install it. Once you have updated the system, try to access the website to check if the error is gone. 


Clear SSL State 


This is one of the most common fixes for the err_ssl_protocol_error. Since every browser stores, SSL certificates in a cache to speed up the connections after the initial connection is established to a website. The browser does this to optimize your page load time. Since every request requires the SSL certificate to be downloaded and authenticated, it can affect the website’s performance. Thus, clearing your SSL state may help you restore the performance and get rid of the err_ssl_protocol_error. After you have cleared the SSL state, restart your browser and connect to the website again. 

This fix may help clear the SSL certificate within the system and resolve this error. Additionally, SSL certificates can cause major performance issues on your website. So, if you are looking for a solution to fix your WordPress website’s speed, we would recommend checking out CloudInnovare. It is a cloud-based, lightweight plugin that can assist you in restoring the website’s speed. This plugin can also do all the caching operations like Javascript minification, CSS, and image compression to keep your website lighter and more optimized. 


Check The Time and Date of Your System 


If none of the above fixes are working, then the problem may be more simple than we anticipated. Clearing SSL state and verifying SSL certificates are the most frequent fixes for err_ssl_protocol_error. However, the problem is not that complex every time. If all of the above solutions are not working, you should try checking the date and time of your operating system. If the date and time are not accurate, the SSL server will not be able to authenticate and give rise to err_ssl_protocol_error. 

The SSL certificate comes with an expiry date and if the date and time are not accurate, it will affect the authentication process. Thus, fixing the time and date of your operating system may help the SSL with authentication and resolve the error. You can check the date and time in Windows by clicking the Windows key and X at the same time. A pop-up menu will be displayed, select the system from this and go to settings. In the settings you will find a search bar, simply type “date” and check if the time and date are correct. 


Disable Browser Extensions 


In case you are using multiple browser extensions chances are any one of them is hindering your experience and is responsible for the err_ssl_protocol_error. Thus, you should try to check if extensions are the root cause of your problem. To check, disable all the browser extensions and try to access the website, if the error is resolved, it is due to the extension. You can identify the extension by turning them on one at a time and checking your website after turning on each extension. Once you have identified which extension is the cause behind this error, you can uninstall it. However, if you absolutely need that extension, try and find another alternative.  Removing the faulty extension will resolve your error and enable you to access websites without any issues. 


Try Disabling Antivirus and Firewalls


Having an antivirus and a working firewall is essential. If you disable it, you may download malware and compromise your security. Thus, we would not recommend disabling your antivirus or firewall for a long time. However, if no amount of solutions are fixing the issue, you can try to check if it is caused by antivirus. To check, disable your antivirus and firewall for a moment, and after disabling them check if the website becomes accessible. If the website does become accessible, the err_ssl_protocol_error is because the security measures are blocking the website. Antivirus must be blocking the website because of a security threat, and you should not access the website. However, if you really want to access the website, you can try to update your antivirus and firewall or replace it. 


Update Your Browser To The Latest Version 


The final solution is updating your browser. If your operating system, extension, and SSL are not the cause. Then, it may be your browser that is causing the err_ssl_protocol_error. If you are running an older version of Chrome, chances are your files may have become obsolete and it is causing problems with the website’s SSL. It can be a reason behind the error, and updating your browser may help you resolve it. Since Chrome and Mozilla browsers are regularly updated with the latest security and bug fixes, staying up-to-date will prevent these errors in the future. 

For now, you can manually update your browser to resolve the error. To update, you should first go to settings, and check if a new software update is available. And if you find one, download and install it. Once that is done, restart your browser and try to access the same site. In case the issue is resolved, make sure you keep your browser updated to prevent experiencing the err_ssl_protocol_error in the future. 


Final Words


Now that we have discussed all the possible solutions to fix the err_ssl_protocol_error. We really hope one of them has worked for you. If the issue is still unresolved then it may be time to contact your provider. You can contact the hosting provider to check if they are blocking the website. Just try to remain calm, and follow the solutions accurately. Since the err_ssl_protocol_error is not that huge, it will be resolved. 

We have discussed everything about the SSL protocol error in this guide and we hope we have answered all of your questions from what is SSL protocol error? to the solutions for fixing it. If you are a website owner facing this issue with your own website, then it becomes all the more important for you to fix it soon. You can also check out our article about 20 Ways To Speed Up Your Website | Practical Tips to optimize your website. We hope this article has helped you in some ways. Happy Reading!

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