Fix Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection To The Server

Is there anything more frustrating than getting computer errors? Well, they actually are cleaning up things more frustrating than that.

But if you are experiencing a connection problem right now (or have experienced some before), knowing that there are other really frustrating things in the world might not be of much help.

There could also be lots of different possible errors but we want to focus on just one specific error: Safari can’t establish a secure connection to server.

This error will prevent you from going to any websites.

This article is intended for people who use the Safari Internet web browser.

Understanding Safari

The Safari web browser is the default browser on Apple devices, from their computers (both desktop and laptop) to their iOS devices (iPad, iPod, iPhone).

What this means is that if you have any of those devices or, basically made by Apple and you go to the Internet app, you will be using Safari.

That is, of course, unless you have purposefully downloaded and installed a different web browser, which is also possible.

You will not be able to download any web browser of your choice, however, as there are some restrictions (for example, you will not be able to download hard as you may try Windows Internet Explorer on a Mac computer for, more generally an Apple device).

So, unless you have gone ahead and downloaded and installed a different web browser you will be using a Safari.

Also, because Safari was developed by Apple it is the best price or if you could use on an Apple device (we do realize that there may be some disagreement here, some people prefer to use different web browser’s for very personal reasons that we just merely talking hear about technical advantages).

What Does This Error Mean?

Before we go into how to fix this problem and, trust us, this error does have a solution, it might be a good idea to talk a little bit about how it might affect you.

This will help you understand it a little bit more which, in our experience, at the very least help us reduce stress and frustration with dealing with any computer related problems. If, however, you would just like to go straight to how to fix it you might as well skip over the section go straight into the next one.

But if you would like to have some additional information, then read on.

  • So, as we have already established in the introduction, you will only get this error when you are using Safari to browse the Internet.
  • However, you will not always get it consistently. But we mean by this is that you might be okay to visit in certain websites but not others. In other words, you mine you Safari and not get this message on most websites and then noticed it comes up when you try to visit. Why did this happen? Why would you only get this error message when trying to visit certain websites?
  • Well, that we do not know. What we do know if that will not necessarily affect your connection for all websites but only for specific ones. Having said that, and as we will see in the next section, the problem since I have something to do with website certificates. More on that next

What Do You Need to Do When You Get This Safari Error?

If you want to verify that there is indeed nothing wrong with the website that you are trying to visit, you can go ahead and use an alternative web browser, switches Google Chrome or any others that you may have had access to on your Mac or Apple device. In fact, this is a very simple solution for the problem.

Video Fix

A YouTube commenter provided a handy summary of the instructions- but be sure to watch the video for the full tutorial.

  1. The first step, click your Wireless icon and select “turn WiFi off”
  2. The second step click on the WiFi icon and select “open network preferences”
  3. Step three highlight exactly where it says WiFi and displays the WiFi icon off to the right of the window and underneath that you’ll notice a + and – click on the – to remove the entire WiFi out of your Macintosh.
  4. Step four click on the + and when the dialog box shows up where it says “interface” click on the ‘down’ arrow and select Wi-Fi and then make sure service name says Wi-Fi, as well. If the service name says something other than WiFi or has a number after then remove it and type in “Wi-Fi” and then click “create” after which click on “apply”.
  5. The Fifth step is to switch your Wireless network back on, pick the network you employ for your internet and hook up to it. And that is it- it should be fixed!
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If you are not able to use Safari for Twitter, Facebook, or any other website (and we are not saying that those websites would necessarily be the ones affected by this error. We are just using them as an example to illustrate what he would do), you can always head over to a different web browser when you need to visit those specific websites.

Of course, this is not so much a fax as a way to getting around the problem. Do not worry, we will go over how to fix the problem on Safari.

But, if you need to access whichever websites the error is not letting you to quickly and you do not have any time to waste trying to fix it, the most effective and quickest thing to do would be to just use an alternative web browser.

Of course, for this to be a really quick solution you will have to already have a second web browser already installed. Apart from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox is also popular among Apple users as an alternative to Safari.

There are also other available web browsers that there are much less known.

“My Safari bookmarks only synch intermittently across my Apple devices. Unlike Amazon’s Kindle app for Apple products, the company’s iBooks doesn’t remember where I left off unless I set a bookmark”. – Walt Mossberg

If using a different web browser is not acceptable to you or if you would like to fix the problem and keep using Safari then you will have to do the following. The most common reason for this problem our website certificates.

Before going into the website certificate issue, you may want to check a few things that may be causing this problem. It is really just a matter of ruling things out and trying to really simple things first before you go ahead and try to do something that will take a little bit more time and effort.

After all, if you can solve it quickly and without much effort, why would you want to spend a lot of time on it.

So you should check if you have a DNS server and change it or updated if necessary, you could also flash your DNS cache.

If that does not work make sure that you don’t have a firewall enabled that may be stopping you from accessing those websites. If again, this does not fix the problem then you could check your parental controls. If the parental controls are not the issue, then go ahead and reset Safari.

It goes without saying, of course, that every time you try one of these fixes you should go back and try to access, let’s say, the problematic website on Safari to check if you have fixed the problem or not.

Other things that you might want to try if none of the things we’ve already covered where it would be setting your clock to be automatically updated as opposed to manually update it is this, believe it or not, may be what is causing the problem.

OK, so if nothing we have suggested works then you need to deal with certificates. We do not recommend you try this fixed unless you have tried every single of the things we have already suggested.

You do not necessarily have to do them in the order in which we have presented them but you do need to make sure that you’ve tried every single one of them. Dealing with the certificates it is not difficult and we will explain how to do it in the easiest way possible but it just requires some time and effort so we do believe it is best to leave that until you have tried everything else.

You will need an alternative web browser to do this, as well, which add some extra time. So, if you do not have an alternative web browser already installed. You will have to do this now before you can proceed with the fix. Just search for Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and download the latest version of one of them from their official website.

Once you have installed an alternative web browser you will need to open it and enter the URL of the website that you are trying to visit (I.e., the one that is prompting the error message). If there is nothing wrong with the website its self you should be able to access it from a different browser (as we indeed already suggested earlier).

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You will need to do it for this fix. You will notice a little icon that looks like a padlock in the browser field (next to the name of the website you are trying to visit). Click on it and you will notice that a little box will display. Click on more information, which will then open a separate window.

The new window will have different options, just click on the safety security tab and ignore all the other options. Then look for a button that says show certificate and click on it. you will then be presented with other options click on details. Check with the details for that website’s certificate are.

Next, you will need to open your keychain. If you do not know how to do this simply search for key change on your computer. Once you open your keychain you will need to click or tap on system roots.

Look for the certificate for the website that is causing the problem and double-click on it. This will bring a separate window. You will be given different options on that window. You will be able to choose whether you want to use always approve are always rejected. You will have to choose always approve or else you will not be able to use or visit that website using Safari.

If you have encountered this error message and would like to share your experience fixing it and any tips you may have with our readers, please leave us a message in the comment section below!

5 thoughts on “Fix Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection To The Server”

  1. The instructions you gave at the end was related to computer not iPhone. And I can’t get any other browser (Firefox) to bring up any website either. I’ve tried on wifi at home, wifi at friend house and cell data, still won’t work.

  2. In 99 Restaurant I am now getting the Safari cannot establish a secure connection error, both for the 99 Wi-Fi or my Verizon data plan.

  3. Bottom line, don’t use Safari. It’s a very restrictive browser and won’t work on all websites. It’s never really been a good choice. Firefox and Google Chrome are better overall, have less issues with HTML5 and also have the latest programing to rule out these false reports of “insecure” sites. Safari is a throw away browser that Apple got for nothing and they really haven’t done anything to it but add a few features (that have existed in other browsers for a long time. Seriously, just download another browser and don’t mess with your OS (except to keep it upgraded).

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