How to Fix the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in 8 Easy Steps

Error

When dreaded error messages and alerts appear on a website, it is one of the most irritating experiences for users. When Google Chrome detects a problem with a website’s SSL/TLS certificate, it displays the “Your link is not private” message. However, the root causes of certain errors remain unclear, like the ERR SSL PROTOCOL ERROR message.

Changing Browsers May Be Enough in Some Cases…

Even when accessing well-known and reliable sites like Gmail, Pinterest, Twitter, ClearTrip, and YouTube, users often report encountering the ERR SSL PROTOCOL ERROR. You can remove this error and enter the website you’re trying to link to by changing some security settings in your browsers or operating systems.

Try these fast fixes before we begin:

  • Using a separate browser, such as Firefox or Safari, to access the website. There may be a security setting in your browser that prevents the site from connecting securely through Chrome.
  • In Incognito mode, go to the website. If the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR is caused by cache memory or cookies, you can easily solve the problem by using Chrome’s Incognito mode.
  • Check that your device’s date and time settings are right and that they automatically match. If the date and time on your device are wrong and not automatically synced, certain errors occur. Despite the fact that there is no clear explanation for this, many readers say that this easy move has helped them get rid of the Chrome error “Your link is not private.”
  • Instead of HTTPS://, use HTTP:// to access the website. Remove the “s” from HTTPS by double-clicking the domain name in the address bar. However, since HTTP is an unreliable protocol, this is not a safe or recommended practise. When you use HTTP, the data is sent in plaintext (unencrypted) and can be easily stolen by hackers. On an HTTP-based website, don’t disclose any personal or financial information.

Don’t worry if none of the above suggestions work. Try each of the suggestions below until you are no longer seeing the error page. Only one of the options on the list will work.

8 Quick Tricks to Fix the ‘ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR’ in Chrome

Browser and operating system protection settings are in place to shield you from malicious websites. If you are absolutely certain that the website you want to visit is secure, then just change the security settings in the ways listed below and access the website.

In Chrome, clear your cache memory and cookies.

Your browser could remember if the website you’re visiting had any SSL-related issues in the past. Even if the website fixes the issue, Chrome will display the ERR SSL PROTOCOL ERROR message.

To see if this is the source of your problem, clear the cookies and cache memory:

  • Navigate to the menu (three vertical dots on the right side of the screen).
  • Go to the Settings tab.
  • Check for the term “security” in the top search bar.
  • Clear your browsing data by pressing the Clear browsing data button.
  • Clear data after selecting all three choices (history, cookies, and cache).

Open the Website Using a Virtual Private Network

Your browsers may display a variety of error messages (including the ERR SSL PROTOCOL ERROR) if your government or internet provider blocks a website, or if the website blocks you. However, if you use a virtual private network, you can still access the web (VPN). To see if you can access the website, simply change your VPN’s default country.

Note: Only proceed to this stage if you are certain that accessing the website you are attempting to visit would not result in a legal penalty from the government.

Clear the SSL State in Chrome

The SSL state saves the cache memory of SSL certificates built on previous sites you’ve visited. Even if the website has fixed the issue, the browser can display the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR message if it previously used an unsafe SSL certificate. You can not only get rid of SSL-related cache memory but also improve the efficiency of your browser by removing the SSL state.

  • Navigate to the menu (three vertical dots on the right side of the screen).
  • Go to the Settings tab.
  • Select Advanced from the drop-down menu. On the right-hand side of the screen, there’s a navigation bar.
  • Locate the Device choice in the dropdown and pick Open your computer’s proxy settings.
  • There will be a new window open. Look up Internet Options.
  • To clear the SSL state, go to Content and select Clear SSL State.

Clear the DNS Cache in Chrome

A domain name system (DNS) is a list of DNS servers that maintain a database of all domain names and their associated IP addresses. It functions similarly to a phone book. When you type a domain name into the address bar, DNS translates it into an IP address and sends the request to the server. Simply put, a DNS serves as a conduit between a browser and a server.

The DNS cache keeps track of the websites you’ve visited in the past, as well as their technical components. If the website had some SSL problems when you visited it previously, or if the certificate was modified, your DNS cache could still be storing it. The issue goes away after you uninstall the DNS cache.

To clear the DNS cache, follow these steps:

  • In Chrome’s address bar, type chrome:/net-internals/#dns.
  • From the left-hand menu, choose DNS.
  • Click the Clear Host Cache button where it says Host Resolver Cache.

Change Your Antivirus and Firewall Settings

Some antivirus programmes and firewalls prevent you from accessing websites that they find unsafe. There are a number of explanations why security software thinks a website is vulnerable, and one of them is SSL/TLS certificates.

This error can be resolved by disabling your antivirus programme and firewalls. Alternatively, you should look for SSL, TLS, and HTTPS-related settings.

Note: We do not suggest disabling your firewall or antivirus programme because it leaves you vulnerable to assault. If you must, be cautious when visiting any website on the internet when your protection programmes are turned off. Downloads from unknown emails and websites should be avoided. Don’t forget to turn on your protection programmes and search your laptop after you’ve finished browsing the website.

Disable the QUIC Protocol

QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connection) is a transport layer protocol that accelerates and enhances HTTP traffic efficiency. It employs a one-step SSL handshake procedure. It will trigger issues with your current SSL certificate if your browser is actively using it. You can disable it manually to see if it helps with the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR.

To access Chrome’s Experimental Features tab, type chrome:/flags/#enable-quic into the address bar.
Select Disabled from the Default drop-down menu on the right-hand side.
Restart your browser.

This graphic is a screenshot of how to disable QUIC in Google Chrome to eliminate the ERR_SSL _PROTOCOL_ ERROR

Enable An Older Version of SSL/TLS

Websites that use SSL certificates with older cyphers are blocked by browsers and operating systems. Cybercriminals can easily use such certificates to eavesdrop on data transfers between websites and their users because old algorithms have security flaws. By disabling the browser’s TLS-related settings, you can allow it to access such pages.

  • In the address bar, type chrome:/flags.
  • A new search bar will appear at the top of the page.
  • Disable #show-legacy-tls-warnings by searching for it.
  • Allow #legacy-tls-enforced by searching for it.
  • Restart your browser.

Note: This method is extremely dangerous, and we’re just sharing it for educational or instructional purposes. It’s never a good idea to allow support for SSL/TLS versions that are no longer supported. (After all, there’s a reason they’re frowned upon!)

Remove Your Host Files

Some websites and IP addresses are blocked using host files. The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error can be resolved by removing the hosts file if it has unintentionally blocked the website you are trying to access.

  • Look for C:WindowsSystem32driversetc in your Windows operating system.
  • Delete the Hosts file from your device.

Final Thoughts on Resolving the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR in Chrome

I hope one of these suggestions assists you in permanently resolving the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error. If none of the above measures resolve the problem, it is likely that the issue is on a deeper level. To report this issue, contact Google Chrome’s support team or the website’s customer service.

Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards & w-se. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.