Jul 27, 2023
How to Fix NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID: 10 Proven Solutions
NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID is a common error encountered when visiting websites with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) issues. For website owners, the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error can harm traffic and conversions, rendering the site inaccessible to visitors.
In this article, we’ll explain what the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error is, explore its main causes, and present ten effective solutions to resolve it.
|Error type||SSL connection issue|
|Error causes||Expired SSL certificates|
Invalid domain name
Unsecured internet connection
What Is NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID?
NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID is an error message that shows up when a browser can’t validate a site’s SSL certificate. A few SSL-related errors can trigger this invalid code, such as:
- Using a self-signed SSL certificate. A self-signed certificate might be cost-effective but doesn’t provide authority and trust.
- Untrustworthy certificate authority. When accessing websites, the browser will run a background check of the SSL certificate. If the certificate authority is untrusted, the browser will return an invalid error message.
- Improper installation of the certificate. This error often happens if you recently switched from HTTP to HTTPS.
- Expired SSL certificates. The expiration date of an SSL certificate can vary. Some last for a lifetime, while others need annual renewals. Check with the provider to see if your certificate has expired.
Important! For WordPress website owners, implementing WordPress SSL is important to keep your site data secure from cyber attacks.
However, SSL certificates aren’t the only reason behind this error. Sometimes, it is caused by issues on the client-side, including:
- Unsecured network connection. While free, WiFi in public places doesn’t route traffic securely. As a result, using public internet access might trigger your browser to return a NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error code.
- Outdated operating system. If your operating system is outdated, the browser might refuse to load pages for security reasons.
- Expired browser cache. Expired cookies and cache might prevent browsers from validating an SSL certificate.
- Third-party apps. Third-party programs, such as a virtual private network (VPN), antivirus software, and browser extensions, might also cause connectivity issues.
Most of the time, you can resolve this error by simply changing the settings on your computer or browser. Before diving deeper into the solutions, let’s see how this invalid code is displayed on multiple browsers.
NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID in Google Chrome, Safari, and Other Browsers
This section will show you how this particular error looks on Google Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
When you access websites with SSL errors, the Google Chrome browser will display a message saying, “Your connection is not private.”
Below the message, Google Chrome also warns users that attackers might steal their information and shows the actual NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error code.
You can still access the website at your own risk by clicking Proceed to (domain name). Other variations of this error message include:
- SSL CERTIFICATE ERROR
Each variation of these SSL error codes hints at the actual issue. For instance, NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID indicates that the domain name doesn’t match the SSL certificate.
For Safari users, the error message displayed is quite different from Google Chrome and other browsers.
When Safari can’t validate the website’s identity, it will warn users that they might be accessing a fraudulent site with a similar address.
Safari will then ask whether you want to continue. You can also click Show Certificate to find more details about the SSL certificate.
In Microsoft Edge, the error message is almost identical to the one in Google Chrome. You’ll see error warnings that your connection isn’t private, followed by the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error code.
Other error codes displayed by Microsoft Edge include:
Similar to Google Chrome, each of those codes indicate the root cause of the SSL error.
In terms of giving detailed information about the error, Firefox does a better job than Google Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.
Instead of the usual “attackers might be trying to steal your information” message, this browser provides the actual causes of the error. Then, you can either continue at your own risk or go back to the previous page.
However, Firefox doesn’t use the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID code to indicate SSL errors. Instead, the browser uses one of the following error messages:
How to Fix the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID Error: 4 Solutions for SSL-Related Issues
After learning what causes the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error and how it looks on multiple browsers, let’s explore how to fix it.
We’ll cover possible solutions for both the server-side (SSL errors) and client-side (browser errors). Let’s start with SSL-related issues.
1. Run an SSL Test
First, conduct an SSL check to see where the problem is using a free tool like SSL Shopper. Simply enter the domain name and wait for a few minutes as the tool analyzes it.
Once finished, SSL Shopper will provide a report of the site’s SSL installation, such as the IP address, certificate trustworthiness, expiry date, and domain name validity. If the tool finds no issues, it will show green checkmarks that indicate:
- Major web browsers trust the SSL certificate.
- The SSL certificate hasn’t expired.
- The domain name is correctly listed in the SSL certificate.
It will also show if you’re using a self-signed SSL certificate or if the domain name doesn’t match the one in the certificate, and how to fix those issues.
2. Obtain an SSL Certificate From a Legitimate Provider
If the result shows that your current SSL certificate isn’t valid, consider obtaining one from a trusted certificate authority. Hostinger includes this free SSL certificate in every hosting plan.
However, certain types of websites, such as eCommerce stores, need a higher level of protection. If that’s your case, purchasing a premium SSL certificate is a better option, as it offers more features.
3. Clear the SSL State
When visiting a website, your computer stores a copy of that site’s certificate. Sometimes, it may store incorrect or outdated details, leading to errors.
You can remove all cached certificates from your computer by clearing the SSL state. Here is how to do it on Windows:
- Open the Search Box.
- Type in Internet Options.
- When a dialog box appears, go to Content.
- Click Clear SSL State.
On macOS, you need to delete any untrusted certificate that’s causing problems:
- Click on the Spotlight search icon at the top of your screen.
- Type Keychain Access.
- Under the Category section, select Certificates.
- Untrusted certificates are identified with a red “X” icon.
- Right-click on it and select Delete.
4. Renew the SSL Certificate
SSL certificates need to be renewed to re-confirm a domain’s validity and keep the encryption updated.
The SSL certificate renewal period varies between providers. For instance, Let’s Encrypt’s free SSL certificate must be renewed every 90 days, while premium certificates usually last longer.
To check the certificate’s expiry date, go to your website and click on the padlock icon in the address bar. If you have an expired SSL certificate, check with your web hosting provider and certificate authority on how to renew it.
The steps usually involve generating a new certificate signing request (CSR), activating the new certificate, and installing it.
If you use Hostinger, access hPanel to check all information about your SSL certificate. However, all our certificates come with an auto-renew feature to keep your site protected 24/7.
How to Fix NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID: 6 Solutions for Browser-Related Issues
If nothing is wrong with the SSL certificate, the problem might be in your browser or computer. If that’s the case, try one of the following solutions:
1. Adjust the Time and Date Settings on Your PC
Browsers rely on the operating system’s time to check a certificate’s validity period. If the date is set incorrectly, the browser can misidentify the certificate as expired.
To adjust the time and date on Windows:
- Open the Start menu.
- Type in Adjust time/date.
- Under the Synchronize your clock section, click Sync now.
- Turn on Set time automatically to ensure your computer’s time is always right.
If you’re on macOS, follow these steps:
- Open the Apple menu.
- Go to System Preferences -> Date & Time.
- Activate Set date & time automatically.
- Go to Time Zone and check whether you’re using the correct time zone.
After you’ve correctly set the time and date on your operating system, refresh the browser to see if the error has been resolved.
2. Update Your Browser
Sometimes, using an older version of a browser can cause the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error.
If you’re a Chrome user, access Settings -> About Chrome. If you see a “Chrome is up to date” notification, that means you already have the latest version installed.
If your Chrome browser is outdated, it will show the Update Google Chrome button instead. Click the button and wait for it to finish downloading. Then, click Relaunch.
3. Clear Browser Cache and Cookies
While cache and cookies help browsers load web pages faster, they can also contain outdated or corrupted files that cause SSL errors. Access the private or incognito mode to see if your browser cache is the main issue.
If the website is accessible through the incognito mode, that means the browser is storing expired cache. To fix this, clear browser cache and cookies.
The process of clearing browsing data on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Edge is usually very similar. On Google Chrome:
- Access the menu on the top right.
- Go to More Tools and select Clear browsing data.
- Select the time range and click Clear data.
4. Temporarily Disable Browser Extensions
While extensions enhance the browsing experience, they can also cause SSL errors.
To deactivate browser extensions on Chrome, follow these steps:
- Go to More Tools -> Extensions.
- Toggle off all of your Chrome extensions.
The steps are similar if you’re using Mozilla Firefox or Safari. Locate the extensions or add-ons, then deactivate them by switching the toggle from blue to gray.
However, the disable feature is not available in Microsoft Edge. You will need to delete the extensions and reinstall them later on.
After disabling the extensions, reload the website to see if the error message still pops up. If the page loads just fine, turn the extensions back one by one to identify what’s causing the problem.
5. Disable VPN
VPN masks your IP address and provides an added layer of security. It also enables you to change virtual server locations and access geo-blocked content.
However, this added layer of security can block some SSL certificates, preventing your browser from retrieving the web pages.
If you’re using a virtual private network, we recommend turning it off temporarily to see if it’s causing the error. If that’s the case, you can either contact the support team or use other VPN providers.
6. Disable Firewall or Antivirus
As a last resort, try to temporarily disable the firewall or antivirus software. To deactivate Windows Firewall:
Proceed with caution as turning off the firewall might expose your computer to malware.
- Open the Start menu.
- Type in Control Panel.
- Go to System and Security -> Windows Defender Firewall.
- On the left side, click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
- Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) on the private and public network settings.
Here’s how to disable your antivirus software on macOS:
- Open the Apple menu.
- Select System Preferences -> Security & Privacy.
- Go to the Firewall tab.
- Click on the lock icon on the bottom left and enter your password.
- Click Turn Off Firewall.
Once you’ve disabled the antivirus software, restart your operating system and try to reaccess the website. If the error message disappears, you know the software is at fault.
Update your antivirus to the latest version or look for alternatives.
Other Errors Related to NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID
If you’re a website owner, having an SSL certificate installed is essential to keep your site protected. Unfortunately, some issues on the browser or the SSL certificate itself can trigger the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error code.
This error message will make your site inaccessible, affecting its conversion rates and user experience. Thus, we’ve covered the primary causes and 10 solutions to fix the NET::ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID error.
Contact your web host or SSL provider if the error persists. For website visitors, notify the administrator as they might not know of such errors.
Take a look at the following frequently asked questions.
Is ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID a Common Error?
Yes, ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID is a common error that occurs when the SSL/TLS certificate presented by a website is not recognized by the browser as being issued by a trusted Certificate Authority. This can happen due to various reasons, such as an expired or self-signed certificate or incorrect configuration.
What Is the Difference Between an ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID Error and a Certificate Authority Error?
Nothing. A certificate authority error is the same as ERR_CERT_AUTHORITY_INVALID. This error encompasses various issues related to certificate validation, including but not limited to invalid or expired certificates, revoked certificates, or mismatched hostnames.