Fixing ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR: A Comprehensive Guide

by parker
YouTube video

Facing the dreaded ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR when trying to access a website can be both annoying and concerning. This error essentially tells us that our web browser cannot verify the website’s SSL certificate. Consequently, different browsers might showcase this warning in various ways. For instance, Google Chrome warns you with “this site can’t provide a secure connection”, while Microsoft Edge mentions “can’t connect securely to this page”, and Mozilla Firefox displays “warning: potential security risk ahead”.

The root cause of this issue can be diverse, spanning from issues at the website’s server to problems on your device.

Key Points:

  1. Understanding the Error: When a web browser can’t verify a website’s SSL certificate, the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is displayed.
  2. Different Browsers, Different Warnings: Each browser has its unique way of notifying users about this error.

Let’s delve into the various methods to troubleshoot and fix this error:

1. Reset System Time

SSL certificates often depend on your device’s current date and time. If this is misconfigured, you might encounter an SSL connection error.

For Windows:

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Click on Time & Language > Date & Time.
  • Use the “Sync Now” button to synchronize your system’s time.

For MacOS:

  • Click the Apple menu icon.
  • Choose System Preferences > Date & Time.
  • Unlock preferences (if necessary) using the lock icon at the bottom left.
  • Set the date and time automatically or manually, depending on your preference.

2. Clear Browser Cookies and Cache

Cached data can sometimes cause inconsistencies and errors. Clearing this data might solve the problem.

In Google Chrome:

  • Click on the three-dotted menu.
  • Navigate to Settings > Privacy and Security.
  • Click “Clear Browsing Data”.
  • Select “All Time” range, and ensure both “Cookies and Other Site Data” and “Cached Images and Files” are checked.
  • Click “Clear Data”.

3. Clear DNS Cache

Corrupted DNS caches can lead to connection issues.

For Windows:

  • Open the Run window (Windows + R).
  • Type “CMD” to open Command Prompt.
  • Input the command ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.

For MacOS:

  • Check your MacOS version via Apple icon > About This Mac.
  • Open Terminal (use F4 and type ‘Terminal’ in spotlight).
  • Insert the specific command for your MacOS version.

Resource: Commands for various MacOS versions can be found in the description of the Hostinger Academy’s video on this topic.

4. Clear SSL State

Like the DNS cache, an outdated SSL cache can also cause connection issues.

For Windows:

  • Open Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Options.
  • Under the Certificates section in the Content tab, click “Clear SSL State”.

For MacOS:

  • Navigate to Applications > Utilities > Keychain Access.
  • Select “System” to view SSL certificates.
  • Delete the problematic certificate, if identified.

5. Consider Your Antivirus

Antivirus software can sometimes interfere with SSL connections. Consider temporarily disabling it to troubleshoot. Remember to re-enable it afterwards!

6. Examine the Host File

A corrupted host file can be the culprit.

For Windows:

  • Press Win + R and enter the host file’s location.
  • Right-click on the host file and select “Delete”.
  • Restart your web browser.

7. VPN Configuration

Sometimes, a VPN can cause this SSL connection error. Try disabling it. Conversely, if your ISP is blocking a website, using a VPN might fix the issue.

8. Enable QUIC Protocol in Chrome

QUIC is an experimental protocol in Chrome aiming to make connections more efficient.

  • In Google Chrome’s address bar, type chrome://flags.
  • Search for “experimental QUIC protocol”.
  • Click the dropdown menu and select “Enable”.
  • Relaunch Chrome.

After trying these methods, if the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR persists, consider reaching out to the website’s administrator for assistance. The Hostinger Academy team also offers support for such issues, so don’t hesitate to drop your questions in their comment section.


  • SSL Checker Tool: Verifies a website’s SSL certificate.
  • Hostinger Academy: Offers a plethora of tutorials and solutions for such technical challenges.

Remember, perseverance is key in troubleshooting. Best of luck on your online journey!

Keyword Focus: clear ssl cache chrome mac.

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