ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR on Google Chrome [SOLVED]

Google Chrome has 310 Million active users across the world. Its smooth user interface has kept old users happy and attracted many new users. However, sometimes it is possible that the browser displays an error saying ERR_SLL_PROTOCOL_ERROR or “This site can’t provide a secure connection”. This can happen even to the most visited and well-known sites with stable and secure SSL connections.

What Causes ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR?

Chrome is fast, secure, and reliable. It protects users from insecure websites and ensures client authentication before allowing access to servers. The most common causes for ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR error message to appear are:

  • A firewall may be blocking the website.
  • Date and time are not synced.
  • Cache of the Browser is not clear.

Mostly, just reloading the page works and the website opens, but it is possible that this error message persists. In this article, we will go through some ways that can help you fix this problem on your Google Chrome Browser.

8 Ways to Fix ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR on Google Chrome

1. Sync The System Date

Oftentimes, the date of the system may not be the same as that of the website server you are trying to access. In this case the browser will show an error. This is a common cause for this error message and can be easily fixed by adjusting the date of your system.

You can either let the system do it automatically or set it manually:

Step 1: Open system “Settings”.

Step 2: Search for “Date and Time” settings.

Step 3: Select time zone manually or let the system do it automatically by selecting the appropriate option available on your device.

Now, when you go back to the page and reload it, it should work just fine and you will be able to access the website.

2. Clear Cache Of Browser

If the error message persists after correcting the date of your system, your browsing cache needs your attention next.

Web-developers and others in the field can relate to the problem, when changes in the CSS do not reflect in the system due to cluttered caches.

To resolve this issue, follow these simple steps on your Chrome browser:

Step 1: Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

Step 2: Under the Time Range drop down menu, select “All time”.

Step 3: Check all the checkboxes, except for “Browsing history”.

Step 4: Press “Enter”.

Now, you can reload the page to check if clearing the cache fixed the issue.

3. Delete Hosts File Or Restore To Default

Sometimes, the host files in your system may get corrupted and malfunction. This can be fixed in one of two ways:

Option 1 Download the host file store tool. This tool will automatically fix the error message and you can access the website easily.

Option 2 Create the host file manually.

Step 1: Locate the host file at: “C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\.

Step 2: In case it is infected, delete it and enter the correct code manually.

It is possible that this file gets corrupted and is causing the error by showing incorrect information.

Once the correct code is updated in the system, the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR will disappear.

4. Clear The SSL State of System

If neither of the above steps seem to be of any effect, try clearing the SSL State of the system.

This will come very handy if you follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Find the three dots on the Google Chrome browser, at the top-right corner just below the “X”.

Step 2: On clicking this, select the “Settings” option.

Step 3: In the Google Chrome settings page, under the Settings bar on the left of the page, press on the “Advanced” option.

Step 4: Next, select “System”.

Step 5: Select “Open Proxy Settings”.

Step 6: From the new pop-up window of your system “Proxy” settings, move into the “Content” tab.

Step 7: Finally, find the “Clear SSL State” button, click it and “Apply”.

Now, when you reload the website you have been trying to access, the error message should not appear.

5. Adjust Antivirus Settings

Your Antivirus Software is always on the look-out for any malicious site. All modern antivirus softwares scan the SSL/TLS protocol used by a website. In case the protocol is outdated or unsafe, the antivirus blocks the website and does not allow you to access it for security reasons.

It is generally not advisable to turn off these settings but can be carried very easily.

Since, all antivirus softwares are slightly different, the general process would be:

Step 1: Open your antivirus software settings. 

Step 2: Find the Advanced Settings option.

Step 3: Under that, find the SSL protocol.

Step 4: Check if the antivirus is scanning the SSL protocol of websites. If so, disable the feature and adjust it to “Ask about non-visited sites”.

If you go back and reload the website and it still shows the error, make sure to undo the setting changes you made. It is necessary for you to keep your system safe and secure, and the antivirus does that for you.

6. Disable The QUIC Protocol

Now, you can try disabling the QUIC Protocol.

QUIC is somewhat equivalent to SSL/TLS protocol, which is enabled by default in Google Chrome. Quick UDP Internet Connections or QUIC protocol ensures a secure connection to the server.

In case this is not accepting the SSL/TLS protocol of the site, the ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR will be displayed.

A quick fix for this is:

#Step 1: Type “chrome://flags/#enable-quic” into the address bar of the Chrome Browser and press Enter. 

#Step 2: The first setting “Experimental QUIC Protocol” is set at Default. From the drop-down menu, select “Disable”.

#Step 3: Reload your webpage.

This is again, not an advisable method since it protects your system, but may work in your case.

7. Change Internet Security And Privacy Settings

Generally, our security and privacy settings for internet use are set at “high”. This may be blocking the SSL of some of the websites.

You can easily power-down these settings, following these simple steps:

Step 1: Open Control Panel. 

Step 2: Find “Internet Options”.

Step 3: Click on the “Security” tab, set the security level to “Medium”.

Step 4: Similarly, under the “Privacy” tab, set the privacy level to “Medium”.

Now, reload the page to see if the error is eliminated.

8. Activate All TLS/SSL Versions

If none of the above-mentioned methods worked, this should be your last resort.

SSL-enabled websites communicate with the server using the TLS/SSL protocol. If the SSL/TLS protocol of the website is not compatible with your version of Chrome, then Chrome does not allow it to run. Deprecated, outdated and unsafe protocols are automatically prevented from running.

However, you can change settings to access the website. This method can cause insecure sites to run as well and is hence not recommended.

Here are the steps for activating all the TLS/SSL versions:

Step 1: Find the three dots on the Google Chrome browser, at the top-right corner just below the “X”.

 Step 2: On clicking this, select the “Settings” option.

Step 3: In the Google Chrome settings page, under the Settings bar on the left of the page, press on the “Advanced” option.

Step 4: Next, select “System”.

Step 5: Select “Open Proxy Settings”.

Step 6: Navigate to the “Advanced” tab.

Step 7: Under this, select “Security”.

Step 8: Check all the boxes under TLS/SSL versions.

Now, restart your browser, and this one should have worked the magic!

Conclusion

ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR or “This site can’t provide a secure connection” messages on Chrome appear all the time. But when they persist, one of these methods can help you eliminate it.

Try to start from the first method and move down. Generally, the simplest of the solutions work the best. But if that is not the case, move to the next. Be cautious, as some of the solutions are not advisable and may hamper your system’s security and privacy.