How to Fix the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error (6 Solutions)

When you’re browsing the web, the last thing you want is to run into an error message. If you’re a macOS user, one of the issues you might come across is: “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server” error.

While it may seem intimidating at first, this is a relatively common problem with a few simple solutions. All it usually takes is a little bit of troubleshooting before you’re able to effectively (and safely) access the site.

This post will explain what this Safari error message is and some of its common causes. Then we’ll provide you with six easy ways to fix the problem.

Let’s get started!

What’s the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error?

Some of the best features of Mac devices are their built-in security settings . Apple has created an experience designed to keep you and your device safe, especially while browsing the web.

This is why its native browser, Safari, will sometimes prevent you from accessing a website that it doesn’t deem as secure. When this happens, you’ll likely see an error message that says, “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server.”

A screenshot of the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server” error.

The specific wording of the error may vary. For example, as you can see in the image above, you might also come across a notification letting you know that “Safari Can’t Open the Page.”

In a nutshell, this error message means that the browser doesn’t trust the encrypted data on the site. Alternatively, Safari could not access and verify the information successfully. For example, this might happen when a site doesn’t have a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate  properly configured.

Using SSL and Secure Shell Access (SSH)  is critical for websites today. This is especially true when you have a site that handles sensitive customer data, such as a WooCommerce store .

However, if you know the site that you’re accessing is secure, the problem is likely with Safari. Many people experience this error message when accessing popular websites, such as Facebook, YouTube, and Google.

What Causes “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error?

There are many different reasons you might be seeing this error message. As we mentioned, the main explanation is that Safari can’t verify that the website you’re trying to access is secure enough to protect your data.

However, it’s essential to understand  why it deems the site unsecured to know how to resolve it. Sometimes, you may not know what the culprit is until you try troubleshooting it.

With that said, there are a handful of common causes behind the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” message. For example, the issue may be attributed to a third-party extension or add-on you have installed on your browser. It could be something as simple as having outdated cache data. However, it could be a more complicated problem, such as the Internet Protocol (IP) version you’re using.

How To Fix the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error (6 Solutions)

Now that we understand more about the issue and its potential causes, it’s time to look at how to fix it. Below are six solutions you can use to resolve the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” error.

1. Clear Your Browser Data

When you visit websites, Safari will store some of the information in the browser cache and cookies. If this data includes outdated details relating to the site’s SSL or encryption , it can be the reason you see the error message.

Therefore, one of the quickest and simplest methods you can use to resolve this error is to clear your browser cache . To do that in Safari, you can start by opening up the browser.

Next, click on Preferences  > Privacy , then select Remove All Website Data .

Clearing the browser cache in Safari.

After it finishes loading (it may take a minute or two), you can decide which websites to clear the data from. For example, you can select them all or simply the one you’re having trouble accessing.

When done, click on the Done  button at the bottom of the screen.

Next, to clear your entire browsing history, you can navigate to  Safari  > History  > Clear History .

Clearing your entire browsing history in Safari.

When finished, try revisiting the site that was showing the error message. If it’s still there, you can move on to the next solution.

2. Check Your Device’s Date and Time

While it may seem odd, sometimes having the incorrect date and time on your Mac device can cause some issues within Safari. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that yours is set to the correct time zone and date.

To get started, you can click on the Apple icon, then navigate to System Preferences  > Date & Time .

Find the date and time option in preferences

From here, you can verify that you’re using the right date and time.

Verify you are using the right date and time.

Under the  Time Zone tab, you can also enable your device to sync to your current location automatically. When you’re done, you can exit the window and try re-accessing the site.

3. Change Your DNS Settings

If the error is still there, you might want to check out your Domain Name Server (DNS)  settings. In a nutshell, your DNS acts like a phonebook that allows devices and sites to reach each other. Safari uses your DNS settings to connect to websites.

If there are issues with your DNS settings, it might be why you see the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server” message. To see if this is the case (and resolve it), you can try changing your DNS addresses. For example, you could use Google’s Public DNS.

To get started, browse to Apple  >  System Preferences  > Network .

Find the network option in preferences

From this window, select your connection, then click on the Advanced tab, followed by DNS . Next, click on the (+) icon next to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses .

Click on the DNS tab

Then you can enter the new DNS IP addresses. For example, if you want to use Google’s Public DNS, you can enter “8.8.8.8” and “8.8.4.4”.

Enter the new DNS IP addresses.

When you’re finished, click on the OK  button. Recheck the website to see if this process removed the error message.

4. Uninstall or Disable Your Browser Extensions

As we mentioned earlier, an extension or add-on in your browser may be conflicting with Safari’s ability to connect to a site securely. Sometimes, this is common with anti-virus programs and security-related extensions.

Therefore, the next step is to try deactivating all your browser extensions. To do this, you can open Safari, then navigate to Preferences  and click on the Extensions  tab.

Try disabling browser extensions

A list of your extensions will display in the left column. You can click on the checkmark next to the add-on name to disable it.

Once you’re done, try revisiting the site. If this solves the problem, you’ll need to pinpoint which extension was to blame. You can do this by systematically enabling each add-on and visiting the site after each time.

5. Disable IPv6

Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that controls how data moves across the internet. IPv6 is a newer protocol version. However, some websites still use the older version, IPv4. If this is the case, it might be why you’re running into the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” message.

Therefore, you can try disabling IPv6 on your network. To do so, navigate to System Preferences > Network once again, then click on your network connection, followed by the Advanced  button.

Under the TC P/IP tab, click on the dropdown menu under  Configure IPv6  and select Manually .

Configure IPv6 and select Manually

When you’re done, click on the OK button. This should resolve the issue if IPv6 were the problem. If not, there’s one last solution you can try.

6. Make Sure Keychain Trusts the Certificate

Earlier, we mentioned how Safari could sometimes present the connection error message if it cannot verify the validity of the site’s SSL certificate. If this is the case, you can bypass the issue by configuring settings in your macOS’s Keychain Access app.

Keychain Access is the application that stores your passwords , account details, and application certificates. It keeps your data secure and can control which sites are trusted by your device. As such, you can tell it to accept a site’s SSL certificate moving forward.

To do this, you can go to the website showing the error message, then click on the lock icon to the left of the address bar, followed by View/Show Certificate  > Details .

Check if Keychain trusts the certificate in preferences

With the Details panel expanded, click Control + Space Bar . A Spotlight Search bar will appear in the top right-hand corner of your screen. Enter “Keychain” in the search field.

Next, on the left, click on System Roots . Search for the website’s certificate. Once you locate it, go to the Trust section. Then click on the dropdown menu next to When using this certificate section  and select Always trust :

Select the Always Trust option under certificates

That’s it! You should now be able to access the site successfully.

Trying to access a website only to be met with an error message can be highly frustrating. While Safari is simply trying to keep your data protected, sometimes it can get misconfigured. In this case, the browser may unnecessarily present a security notification such as “Safari can’t establish a secure connection.”

There are six methods you can use to fix this issue when it happens:

  • Clear your browser data, including the cache and cookies.
  • Check your device’s data and time.
  • Change your DNS settings.
  • Uninstall or disable your browser extensions and add-ons.
  • Disable IPv6.
  • Make sure Keychain trusts the SSL certificate.

Do you have any questions about fixing the Safari secure connection issue? Let us know in the comments section below!

safari cannot open page secure connection

Content & Marketing Editor at Kinsta, WordPress Web Developer, and Content Writer. Outside of all things WordPress, I enjoy the beach, golf, and movies. I also have tall people problems ;).

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Tried as much of this as possible, and Safari still doesn’t work. Couldn’t try some things, because I’m running it on a PC, and not on a Mac.

However, I am able to access all sites with FireFox, so teh problem does seem to be with Safari. Too bad.

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Thank you so much!!! My date was wrong and it fixed the issue thank u ❤️👍

Gravatar for this comment's author

I tried all six of the fixes you offered. All seemed to work – except I did not fully grasp the extensions one. Also cannot get to the lock on the website I’m trying to open (gov.uk) because that website won’t open so no lock is shown.

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Fixing date and time worked for me

Gravatar for this comment's author

Great information. I went through every step and got to the SSl certificate section. There is no certificate for the site I’m attempting to visit. Safari will not allow me to visit many sites. So it isn’t just the one site.

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Guiding Tech

How to Fix Can’t Establish Secure Connection Error in Safari

safari cannot open page secure connection

Samir works as a Senior Editor for Guiding Tech to guide writers towards the best approach for their ideas in solving the tech problems for people. While writing for over a decade and a half, his work appears on HowToGeek, MakeUseOf, GSMArena, BGR India, The Inquisitr, TechinAsia, MySmartPrice, Digit India, and other media sites. Whenever time permits, he tackles how-tos, tutorials, and guides on Mac, iOS, Windows, and Internet tools. He prides in using Windows 11 and macOS for work.

That nagging feeling of someone looking over your shoulder is quite discomforting. The same is being replicated by the nasty ad trackers that track your browsing activities and and the way you consume content. As much as I wish not to spook you, you need to be aware of what is really going on with your favorite websites.

How To Fix Secure Connection Safari Macos

Thankfully, Apple is cracking down on the creepy websites that track your behavior whether you click on their site or not. Besides that, Apple’s latest version of Safari incorporates the Intelligent Tracking Protection 2.0, which scrutinizes and wards off third-party as well as first-party cookies with a potential of tracking your browsing activities.

That’s why Safari may throw errors while opening a suspicious or improperly designed page. If you have been facing the “Can’t Establish Secure Connection” error with your frequently visited sites, then you are not alone. Here are the best working solutions to help you fix that error and continue browsing peacefully.

1. Check for Proper Certificate

To keep it simple, make sure you are accessing the correct website by clicking on the address bar. You should scrutinize the URLs, and look for the green lock icon in front of the site address. If it appears grey, then it is possibly a smartly crafted phishing site with the exact logo and layout of a bank or another website you frequently visit.

2. Clear the Browser History

Safari’s option to clear the Browser History is like a double-edged sword. Usually, the Clear Browser History option would remove the list of websites you visited. However, the latest iteration of Safari removes the related data such as cookies and content of the respective sites. So tread with caution.

Step 1: In Safari, click on History form the menu options at the top of the window.

Step 1 Remove History Safari Settings Mac Os

Step 2: From the drop-down menu next to the word Clear, select All History. Then click Clear History.

Step 2 Remove History Settings Mac Os

3. Uninstall Suspicious Extensions and Plugins

Extensions, Plugins, and Add-ons are like little helpers that speed up the process of undertaking specific tasks with a click or two. However, installing too many of them does affect Safari’s performance. So, it is only wise for you to remove the unwanted and unused plugins or extensions.

Step 1: Click on the Safari menu and select Preferences.

Step 1 Uninstall Plugins Add Ons Safari Macos

Step 2: From the pop-up window, click on Extensions to view the list of extensions you have installed for Safari. I did not install any extensions. However, if you see any, then select and remove them.

Step 2 Uninstall Extensions Add Ons Safari Macos

4. Unblock All Cookies

It might be an honest mistake that you accidentally clicked on the box that appears right below the one that states – Prevent cross-site tracking. If that is the case, then that box is essentially blocking all cookies.

Step 1: Open Safari’s Preferences, and click on Privacy.

Step 1 Unblock The Cookies Safari Macos

Step 2: Clicking on Manage Website Data will bring up a new window. From that you can select and remove the cookies of the sites you think you no longer need or want.

Step 2 Unblock The Cookies Safari Macos

5. Check Permissions

Besides going overboard on plugins, some of them do force Content Blocking for websites that are known to carry unsolicited pop-ups and misleading ads with some code on them. If you believe that Safari is hitting a false-positive, then you better check the permissions for the Content Blockers and other elements such as Location.

Step 1: Click on Safari’s menu and select Preferences. From the window that pops up, click on the Websites tab.

Step 1 Check Permissions Safari Macos

Step 2: Click on the Content Blockers in the left pane and see if you have blocked any particular element of the site you are trying to access.

Step 2 Check Permissions Safari Macos

6. Flush DNS Cache

At times, flushing the DNS cache helps to fix a lot of connection and website speed related issues. This solution is quite simple provided you write the command accurately.

Flush Dns Cache

Make sure that Safari is not running, and if it is, then you can quit it. Launch the Terminal app on your Mac and feed the following command:

You will have to enter the Admin password and then tit the Enter key. Now relaunch the Safari to check if that helped.

7. Firewall Settings

Firewall protections you from nefarious requests to steal your data and resources. It is possible that some software has enforced strict Firewall policies and barring Safari from any Internet connectivity. Well, it happens when parents or office environment don’t want you to browse the web. There’s a safe way to check whether the Firewall is blocking Safari.

Step 1: Hit Command+Space keys together to launch the Spotlight Search bar.

Step 1 Reset Firewall Settings Safari Mac Os

Step 2: Type Firewall in the Spotlight Search and hit Enter.

Step 3: Click the lock at the bottom-left corner, type your system password, and tap on Unlock button to make changes in the Firewall settings. Once you get the access, click on the Firewall Options button.

Step 3 Firewall Settings Check Safari Macos

Step 4: On the Firewall Options window, ensure that the box for Block all incoming connections is unchecked.

Step 4 Firewall Settings Check Safari Macos

Also, check if Safari appears in the exceptions list and has Allow incoming connections enabled for it. If Safari does not appear there, then proceed to the next solution.

8. Sync the System Time

Though it sounds unlikely that the system time on your Mac is wrong, it’s best to check it once. Here’s how you can verify and change system time.

System Time Settings Change Safari Mac Os

Click on the Apple Menu and select System Preferences. From the window that pops up, click Date & Time. Then click on the Time Zone to check if you have selected the correct one. If you want to make any change, then you must click on the lock icon at the bottom-left corner and enter your macOS account password.

9. Remove All Website Data

Apple removed the Reset Safari button since the Yosemite update. Thankfully, there are two easy ways to achieve stock Safari experience.

Step 1: Launch Safari, click on the Safari menu, and choose Preferences.

Step 1 Reset Safari Settings Mac Os

Step 2: Click the Privacy tab from the pop-up window and then hit the button that says – Manage Website Data.

Step 2 Reset Safari Settings Mac Os

Step 3: Wait for the pop-up window to populate the list of websites. Now you can either remove data of select sites or all. You can also hit the Remove all button and wipe the data clean.

Step 3 Reset Safari Settings Mac Os

Performing this solution, along with the first one, should be good enough to set the Safari to the factory state. You can quit Safari and relaunch it to try accessing the site giving you so much grief.

10. Use a Different Browser

If nothing works and you need to use a browser, then it’s better to use another browser like the Firefox or Chrome.

Download Firefox for macOS

Download Chrome for macOS

Pursue Secure Browsing

If none of the solutions mentioned above work, then the problem might be with the site. Reinstalling the macOS is the last resort, and I bet it won’t come to that. One of the solutions mentioned above should work for your Mac. It is entirely possible that the site you are trying to access is not available and is facing a downtime.

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Last updated on 15 February, 2023

The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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7 Ways to Fix Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection on Mac

With Privacy Reports and iCloud Private Rely , Safari continuous to be one of the most secure browsers in the Mac ecosystem. However, those added security protocols can be too much for some websites out there and users might face Safari can’t establish a secure connection on Mac. If the error is bothering you, read along to learn how to fix Safari can’t establish a secure connection on Mac.

Fix Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection on Mac

Safari showcasing can’t establish a secure connection should be an indicator to not trust the website you are trying to visit. However, if you are sure about the website’s authenticity and want to bypass the limitation then the error might be bothersome to you. Let’s fix the issue.

Before we go ahead, let’s understand why it’s happening in the first place.

Why Can’t Safari Establish a Secure Connection

Most modern websites use encryption to protect user data and identity from hackers. If the website you are trying to browse doesn’t offer encryption, you might face the Safari can’t establish a secure connection error.

That way, Safari is advising you against visiting the website with personal info as the information will be available in plain text for others to steal.

The browser also checks the SSL certificate of a website. If it’s expired then, you will face an error while browsing the website. We recommend you learn more about SSL certificates and other security settings .

1. Check Web URL Again

You must have heard of hackers stealing information from users by creating scam website versions of the original and popular websites. They cleverly change a word or two and send you to a fake website to steal your login, password, card details, and other info.

Let’s say, you are trying to visit adidas.com and make a single mistake and visit abidas.com instead. Most of these fake websites don’t follow security protocols and you might end up facing Safari can’t establish a secure connection error.

Check the address bar at the top and inspect the web URL again. If there are any typos, then fix them and try to visit the original website again.

2. Check Current Date and Time

You might be surprised but using the wrong date and time on your Mac might lead to Safari can’t establish a secure connection error on Mac. Here’s how to fix it. Click on the little Apple icon in the upper left corner.

1. Click on the System Preferences menu.

open system preferences menu

2. Select Date & Time .

open date and time menu

3. Enable Set date and time automatically toggle.

set date and time

Make sure Mac is displaying the correct time and date. Open Safari and try to browse the same website again.

3. Disable iCloud Private Relay

For iCloud+ subscribers, the Private Relay automatically enables the Safari browser. iCloud Private Relay shields your online location and routes the traffic from an Apple-branded server. That way, the website provider won’t have your actual location through the IP address.

The behavior might mess up the experience where your actual location is needed to visit the website. You should disable iCloud Private Relay from the System Preferences menu.

open apple ID menu

Open the System Preferences menu on Mac and click on Apple ID . Disable Private Relay from the following menu.

disable private relay

4. Disable Private Relay for a Wi-Fi Connection

You can also disable iCloud Private Relay on Mac for a specific Wi-Fi connection. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open the System Preferences menu on Mac and go to Network .

open network menu

2. Select your connected Wi-Fi connection and disable Use iCloud Private Relay toggle.

disable private relay for wifi

Now go ahead and try browsing the web again.

5. Change DNS

DNS acts like a phone directory on your Mac to check the location of the website. You can change the default DNS settings to Google’s public DNS and browse the web without any issues.

Here’s how to do it.

1. Open the System Preferences menu and click on Network .

2. Go to Advanced > DNS menu.

select advanced menu

3. Click on the + icon at the bottom and add Google’s public DNS servers.

add DNS server

Here are they.

6. Disable Antivirus

If you are using any antivirus on Mac, then disable it and try to browse Safari again. Normally, you don’t need an antivirus on Mac, but even if you are using it on Mac, you should turn it off for a time being.

7. Disable IPv6 for Your Network

Internet Protocol version (IP) identifies and locates everything that’s connected to the internet. The previous version was IPv4 and the latest one is IPv6. Some websites still use the IPv4 protocol and that might trigger the error in the Safari browser.

You need to temporarily disable IPv6 on your Mac. Here’s how to do it. Go to System Preferences > Network and select the Advanced menu at the bottom. From the following menu, click on TCP/IP and select Manually from the Configure IPv6 menu.

change IPv6

Hit ok at the bottom and start browsing the web in Safari.

Wrapping Up: Fix Safari Can’t Establish Secure Connection on Mac

Sometimes, due to a sketchy internet connection, Safari fails to check the SSL certification of the website. You can simply reload the webpage and try again. Before you switch to a Safari alternative , Go through the tips above and fix the issue.

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Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at TechWiser, Android Police, and GuidingTech writing about apps comparisons, tutorials, software tips and tricks, and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.

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What To Do When Safari Cant Establish A Secure Connection

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Check Your Internet Connection

The first step in troubleshooting Safari's inability to establish a secure connection is to check your internet connection. A stable and reliable internet connection is crucial for secure browsing. Here's how you can ensure that your internet connection is not the culprit behind the issue:

Wi-Fi or Data Connection : If you are using Wi-Fi, ensure that your router is functioning properly and that you are within range. If you are using mobile data, check your signal strength and consider switching to a different network to see if the issue persists.

Speed Test : Conduct a speed test to determine the quality of your internet connection. There are various online tools and apps available that can help you assess your internet speed. A slow or unstable connection can lead to difficulties in establishing secure connections.

Network Settings : Verify that your network settings are configured correctly. Check for any proxy settings or VPN configurations that might be interfering with the secure connection process.

Restart Your Router : Sometimes, a simple restart of your router can resolve connectivity issues. Power off your router, wait for a few minutes, and then power it back on to see if this resolves the problem.

By ensuring that your internet connection is stable and properly configured, you can eliminate potential connectivity issues as the cause of Safari's inability to establish a secure connection. If the problem persists after confirming that your internet connection is functioning as it should, you can proceed to the next troubleshooting steps to address the issue.

Verify the Website's Security Certificate

When encountering issues with Safari's inability to establish a secure connection, it's essential to verify the website's security certificate. A security certificate, also known as an SSL certificate, plays a pivotal role in ensuring secure and encrypted communication between your browser and the website's server. Here's a detailed look at how you can verify the website's security certificate and address any potential issues:

Check the URL : Start by examining the website's URL. Secure websites typically begin with "https://" instead of "http://". The added "s" indicates that the website is using a secure connection. However, it's important to note that the absence of "https://" doesn't necessarily indicate a security concern, as some websites may not require encryption for all content.

Inspect the Padlock Icon : When you visit a secure website, Safari displays a padlock icon in the address bar. Click on the padlock to view the website's security details. This allows you to verify the authenticity of the security certificate and ensure that it is issued by a trusted certificate authority.

Examine Certificate Details : Safari provides the option to view the website's certificate details. By accessing this information, you can inspect the validity of the certificate, its expiration date, and the certificate authority that issued it. If any discrepancies or irregularities are observed, it could indicate a potential security issue.

Certificate Trust Settings : Safari maintains a list of trusted certificate authorities. If the website's certificate is issued by a trusted authority, it should be automatically validated. However, if the certificate is self-signed or issued by an untrusted authority, Safari may prompt a security warning, indicating that the website's identity cannot be verified.

Potential Security Warnings : In some cases, Safari may display security warnings when encountering issues with a website's certificate. These warnings serve as indicators of potential security risks and should be taken seriously. Understanding and interpreting these warnings can provide insights into the nature of the security concern.

By meticulously verifying the website's security certificate, you can gain valuable insights into the integrity of the website's encryption and authentication mechanisms. Addressing any discrepancies or security warnings related to the certificate can contribute to resolving Safari's challenges in establishing a secure connection. If issues persist after verifying the security certificate, further troubleshooting steps can be explored to ensure a secure and seamless browsing experience.

Clear Safari's Cache and Cookies

Clearing Safari's cache and cookies can often resolve issues related to the browser's inability to establish a secure connection. The cache and cookies stored by Safari serve various purposes, such as storing website data to enhance browsing speed and retaining login information for convenience. However, over time, this stored data can become outdated or corrupted, potentially leading to connectivity and security issues. Here's a detailed look at the process of clearing Safari's cache and cookies and its potential impact on resolving secure connection problems:

Accessing Safari's Preferences : To initiate the process of clearing the cache and cookies, start by opening Safari and accessing the "Preferences" from the Safari menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Command + ," to access the Preferences window.

Navigating to Privacy Settings : Within the Preferences window, navigate to the "Privacy" tab. This section of Safari's settings allows you to manage website data, including cache and cookies. Click on the "Manage Website Data" button to proceed to the next step.

Removing Cache and Cookies : Upon clicking the "Manage Website Data" button, Safari presents a list of websites with stored data. You have the option to remove individual website data by selecting specific entries or clear all website data at once. Click on the "Remove All" button to clear the cache and cookies stored by Safari.

Confirmation and Restart : After clearing the cache and cookies, Safari may prompt for confirmation. Once confirmed, it is advisable to restart the browser to ensure that the changes take effect. Close and reopen Safari to initiate a fresh browsing session with cleared cache and cookies.

Impact on Secure Connection : Clearing Safari's cache and cookies can have a positive impact on the browser's ability to establish secure connections. By removing outdated or corrupted data, you eliminate potential obstacles that may have been hindering the secure communication between Safari and websites. This process can effectively reset the browsing environment, allowing for a clean slate when establishing secure connections.

Potential Login Implications : It's important to note that clearing cookies may result in the loss of saved login information for websites. After clearing the cache and cookies, you may need to re-enter login credentials for various websites. Additionally, website preferences and settings associated with stored cookies may be reset.

By following the steps to clear Safari's cache and cookies, you can effectively address potential issues hindering the browser's ability to establish secure connections. This process serves as a fundamental troubleshooting step in maintaining a secure and optimized browsing experience with Safari. If the issue persists, further investigation and troubleshooting may be necessary to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the connectivity challenge.

Update Safari to the Latest Version

Ensuring that Safari is running the latest version is crucial in addressing potential issues related to secure connections. Updates often include bug fixes, security enhancements, and compatibility improvements, all of which can contribute to a more reliable and secure browsing experience. Here's a detailed exploration of the process of updating Safari to the latest version and its significance in resolving secure connection challenges:

Accessing the App Store : To initiate the update process, launch the App Store on your Mac. The App Store serves as the central hub for managing and updating various applications, including Safari.

Navigating to Updates : Within the App Store, navigate to the "Updates" tab located in the toolbar at the top of the window. This section provides a comprehensive list of available updates for installed applications, including Safari.

Locating Safari Update : In the list of available updates, locate Safari and check if a new version is available for installation. If an update for Safari is listed, click on the "Update" button next to the Safari entry to commence the update process.

Installation and Restart : Upon initiating the update, the App Store will begin downloading and installing the latest version of Safari . Depending on the size of the update and your internet connection speed, the process may take some time. Once the update is installed, it is advisable to restart your Mac to ensure that the changes are fully applied.

Enhancements and Security Patches : Updating Safari to the latest version brings forth a range of benefits, including performance enhancements, feature updates, and crucial security patches. Security vulnerabilities that may have been present in previous versions are often addressed in the latest updates, bolstering the browser's ability to establish secure connections with websites.

Compatibility and Stability : Newer versions of Safari are optimized for compatibility with evolving web standards and technologies. By staying up to date with the latest version, you ensure that Safari is equipped to handle modern web environments, thereby contributing to the stability and reliability of secure connections.

User Experience Improvements : In addition to security and performance enhancements, updates to Safari may introduce user interface improvements and new features that can enrich the browsing experience. These updates contribute to a more seamless and intuitive browsing environment, complementing the browser's ability to establish secure connections effectively.

By proactively updating Safari to the latest version, you harness the benefits of improved security, enhanced performance, and optimized compatibility, all of which play a pivotal role in addressing challenges related to secure connections. This fundamental step in maintaining a secure browsing environment empowers users to leverage the full potential of Safari while mitigating potential security risks associated with outdated browser versions. If issues persist after updating Safari, further troubleshooting and support options can be explored to ensure a secure and uninterrupted browsing experience.

Disable Browser Extensions and Plugins

Disabling browser extensions and plugins can be a crucial step in troubleshooting Safari's inability to establish a secure connection. While extensions and plugins can enhance the browsing experience by adding functionality and features to the browser, they can also introduce compatibility issues, security vulnerabilities, and conflicts that may hinder the establishment of secure connections. Here's a detailed exploration of the process of disabling browser extensions and plugins and its significance in addressing secure connection challenges:

Accessing Safari's Preferences : To begin the process of disabling extensions and plugins, open Safari and navigate to the "Preferences" from the Safari menu. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut "Command + ," to access the Preferences window.

Selecting the Extensions Tab : Within the Preferences window, click on the "Extensions" tab. This section provides a comprehensive list of installed extensions that augment Safari's functionality. Disable all extensions by unchecking the box next to "Enable [Extension Name]."

Managing Plugins : After addressing extensions, proceed to the "Websites" tab within the Preferences window. From the left-hand sidebar, select "Plug-ins." Here, you can manage various web plugins that Safari utilizes for displaying content such as Flash, Java, and other multimedia elements. Disable unnecessary or outdated plugins that may pose security risks or compatibility issues.

Restarting Safari : After disabling extensions and plugins, it is advisable to restart Safari to ensure that the changes take effect. Close and reopen the browser to initiate a fresh browsing session with disabled extensions and plugins.

Impact on Secure Connection : Disabling extensions and plugins can mitigate potential conflicts and security vulnerabilities that may have been impeding Safari's ability to establish secure connections. By removing third-party elements that interact with web content, you create a more controlled and streamlined browsing environment, reducing the likelihood of connectivity issues.

Security and Performance Considerations : Many security incidents and performance issues can be attributed to problematic browser extensions and plugins. Disabling these elements not only addresses immediate connectivity challenges but also contributes to a more secure and efficient browsing experience overall.

By meticulously disabling browser extensions and plugins, you can effectively address potential obstacles hindering Safari's ability to establish secure connections. This fundamental troubleshooting step empowers users to create a more controlled and secure browsing environment, thereby enhancing the overall reliability and security of the browsing experience. If the issue persists, further investigation and support options can be explored to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the connectivity challenge.

Restart Your Device

Restarting your device is a fundamental yet often overlooked troubleshooting step that can effectively address a wide range of technical issues, including Safari's inability to establish a secure connection. This simple yet powerful action can clear temporary system glitches, refresh network configurations, and reset various software components, potentially resolving the underlying causes of connectivity challenges. Here's a detailed exploration of the significance of restarting your device and its impact on addressing secure connection issues:

Addressing System Glitches

When your device runs continuously for extended periods, it may encounter temporary glitches and software hiccups that can impact its overall performance, including the ability to establish secure connections. Restarting the device allows it to undergo a clean shutdown and subsequent boot-up, effectively clearing any transient system issues that may have been affecting Safari's functionality.

Network Configuration Refresh

Restarting your device prompts a reinitialization of network configurations, which can be instrumental in resolving connectivity challenges. By restarting, your device renegotiates network connections, refreshes IP settings, and reestablishes communication with network components, potentially eliminating obstacles that hinder secure connections in Safari.

Software Component Reset

Various software components and background processes on your device may encounter errors or become unresponsive over time, leading to potential connectivity issues. A device restart initiates a comprehensive reset of these components, allowing for a fresh start and potentially resolving underlying software-related issues that impact Safari's secure connection capabilities.

Memory and Resource Optimization

Restarting your device clears the system's memory and optimizes resource allocation, which can have a positive impact on Safari's performance and its ability to establish secure connections. By freeing up memory and resetting resource usage, a device restart creates a more conducive environment for Safari to operate efficiently and securely.

Comprehensive Troubleshooting Step

In many cases, a simple restart can serve as a comprehensive troubleshooting step that addresses a myriad of potential issues, including those related to secure connections. It is often recommended by technical support professionals as an initial action to take when encountering various device and software-related challenges.

By incorporating the practice of restarting your device into your troubleshooting routine, you can harness its potential to effectively address secure connection issues in Safari, contributing to a more reliable and secure browsing experience. If the problem persists after restarting your device, further investigation and support options can be explored to identify and resolve the underlying causes of the connectivity challenge.

Contact the Website's Support Team

If you have exhausted all the troubleshooting steps and continue to encounter issues with Safari's secure connection to a specific website, reaching out to the website's support team can provide valuable insights and assistance in resolving the issue. The website's support team is equipped to address site-specific concerns and can offer guidance tailored to the intricacies of their platform. Here's a detailed look at the significance of contacting the website's support team and the potential benefits it can yield:

Site-Specific Expertise : The support team possesses in-depth knowledge of the website's infrastructure, security protocols, and technical intricacies. By reaching out to them, you gain access to individuals who are well-versed in the specific configurations and requirements of their platform, allowing for targeted troubleshooting and resolution strategies.

Security Protocol Alignment : Websites may have unique security protocols and configurations that can impact the establishment of secure connections with Safari. Engaging the support team enables you to align Safari's security settings with the website's requirements, ensuring compatibility and adherence to the site's security standards.

Diagnostic Insights : The support team can conduct diagnostic assessments to identify any site-specific issues that may be impeding secure connections with Safari. By leveraging their expertise, you can gain insights into potential server-side configurations, security certificate nuances, or other factors that may be contributing to the connectivity challenge.

Guided Troubleshooting : Support representatives can provide guided troubleshooting steps tailored to the website's environment. This personalized assistance can encompass specific browser settings, compatibility checks, and targeted actions to address any site-specific elements that may be affecting secure connections.

Timely Updates and Notifications : Contacting the website's support team allows you to stay informed about any ongoing maintenance, security updates, or known issues that may impact secure connections. This proactive communication ensures that you are aware of relevant developments and can adjust your browsing approach accordingly.

Feedback and Collaboration : Engaging with the support team fosters a collaborative approach to resolving secure connection issues. By providing feedback on your experiences and actively participating in the troubleshooting process, you contribute to the site's ongoing optimization and security enhancement efforts.

By proactively reaching out to the website's support team, you can leverage their expertise and site-specific insights to address challenges related to Safari's secure connections effectively. This collaborative approach not only facilitates issue resolution but also contributes to a more secure and optimized browsing experience for all users. If the issue persists, the support team can offer further assistance and escalate the matter as needed, ensuring that your browsing interactions with the website remain secure and seamless.

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If Safari doesn't open a page or work as expected on your Mac

If Safari doesn't load a webpage, stops responding, quits unexpectedly, or otherwise doesn't work as expected, these solutions might help.

These solutions are for issues that can affect Safari on Mac, including issues such as these:

A webpage is blank, doesn't load all of its content, or otherwise doesn't work as expected.

You can't sign in to a webpage, despite using the correct sign-in information.

A webpage asks you to remove or reset cookies.

Safari slows down, stops responding, or quits unexpectedly.

If you're using an iPhone or iPad, learn about solutions for Safari on iPhone and iPad .

Reload the page

From the menu bar in Safari, choose View > Reload Page. Or press Command-R.

If Safari doesn't reload the page, quit Safari, then try again. If Safari doesn't quit, you can press Option-Command-Esc to force Safari to quit .

If Safari automatically reopens unwanted pages, quit Safari, then press and hold the Shift key while opening Safari. Learn how to control which windows Safari automatically reopens .

Install software updates and restart

Update macOS , which can include updates for Safari. If your Mac didn't restart automatically, choose Apple menu  > Restart. Some important background updates take effect only after restarting.

Check Safari extensions

If you installed any Safari extensions, turn extensions off. From the menu bar in Safari, choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences). Click Extensions, then deselect each extension to turn it off. Learn more about Safari extensions .

If you find that an extension is causing the issue, make sure that the extension is up to date.

Test with a private window

A website can store cookies, caches, and other data on your Mac, and issues with that data can affect your use of the website. To prevent the website from using that data, view it in a private window: From the menu bar in Safari, choose File > New Private Window, or press Shift-Command-N.

If that works, use the following steps to remove the website's data, including its caches and cookies. The website can then create new data as needed. If it's a website that you sign in to, make sure that you know your sign-in information before continuing.

Choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences), then click Privacy.

Click Manage Website Data.

Select the affected website from the list shown.

Click Remove.

Click Done.

Open the website again in a non-private browser window.

Check Safari settings

The webpage might not be compatible with one or more browser settings, which you can turn on or off as needed. From the menu bar in Safari, choose Safari > Settings (or Preferences). Then click Websites, Privacy, or Security to access these settings:

Privacy settings . These settings apply to all websites. For example, a website might require that you allow cross-site tracking, show your IP address, or allow cookies.

Security settings . These settings apply to all websites. For example, a website might require that you enable JavaScript.

Websites settings . These settings can be configured for specific websites. For example, a website might require that you allow pop-up windows, allow downloads, allow access to your camera or microphone, or turn off content blockers.

Check iCloud Private Relay

If you subscribe to iCloud+ and are using its Private Relay feature, try reloading the page without Private Relay: From the menu bar in Safari, choose View > Reload and Show IP Address. This menu item appears only when Private Relay is turned on for your network. Learn more about iCloud Private Relay .

Check VPN or other security software

If you installed VPN or other software that monitors or interacts with your network connections, that software could affect your use of the website or the internet. Learn about network issues related to VPN and other software .

Check network settings

Certain network settings, such as custom proxy settings or custom DNS settings , can affect access to content on the internet. Even if you haven't changed these or other network settings yourself, you might have installed software that changed them for you.

To find out whether the issue is with the network settings on your Mac, try viewing the page from a different web browser or different device on the same network. Or reset your network settings by setting up a new network location on your Mac.

If the issue affects other devices and web browsers on the same network, the issue is probably with the website, and you should contact the website developer for help.

If the issue continues to affect only a particular webpage, contact the website developer for help.

Learn how to block pop-up ads and windows in Safari .

Learn what to do if your iCloud or Safari bookmarks aren't syncing .

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Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection Error

"Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection" error may prevent you from accessing the sites

The “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” error message appears when browsing the web on a Mac . It may be met by anyone during their daily routine browsing. These messages often state that Safari has been unable to connect to the server securely. There are multiple reasons why many people encounter this error message in their Safari browser. This post will help you understand the issue and its common causes. It also explains several solutions that can remedy the situation.

What’s the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error?

Apple devices come with a security feature that ensures they’re safe and secure while browsing the web. This makes Apple computers one of the safest options for using the Internet.

This is why Safari, the browser that this website was originally intended to be viewed in, sometimes blocks users from accessing a website that it believes isn’t secure. When this happens, the error message displayed will typically state Safari Cannot Open the Page Cannot Establish a Secure Connection.” Error notifications may include different wordings and may appear in any format. As an example, the image above shows a notification that reads “Safari Can’t Open This Page.”

Related Content for Users: Many problems with the Internet and downloading can be triggered by the problem of the computer freezing. How to prevent PC crashes randomly ?

Such notification may appear when you are visiting the site with an SSL certificate expired and an unsecure connection. It means the browser doesn’t trust the encrypted data on the site and also indicates that Safari could not successfully access and verify the information. This can happen if a site doesn’t have its SSL certificate configured properly . It’s important to use Secure Socket Layer (SSL) and the SSH protocol on websites these days. This is especially true for any websites hosting sensitive data such as a WooCommerce store.

What Causes “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error?

This error message is usually due to one of two reasons: the website you’re trying to access isn’t secure enough or Safari can’t verify that it is.

To properly fix the “Unable to establish a secure connection” problem and solve it, you need to understand why the site is considered unsecured. Sometimes you may not know what the root cause of a problem is until you investigate different possible solutions.

Several common third-party extensions and add-ons cause the error “Safari cannot establish a secure connection to the server” . This error can occur if you have one of these extensions or add-ins installed. Even a minor error can cause “No secure connection to the server” problems. However, it may be something more complicated, like the version of the Internet protocol you use. The most common reason for the error is the expiration of the SSL site certificate .

How To Fix the “Safari Could Not Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error (6 Solutions)

Now that we know what the problem is, and its causes, then we can look at a few ways to fix it. With these tips, you can forget about this bug in your browser.

1. Clear Your Browser Data

Every time you visit a browser, Safari saves some of your data in cookies and caches in your browser. If this data contains outdated data that relates to site encryption or SSL, then this may be the reason for the error message. So to fix the “Safari Cannot Establish Secure Connection to the Server” problem, you should first clear the cache . Then, tap on Preferences > Privacy , then choose Remove All Website Data .

Clear cache to deal with Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection error

After you have uploaded, you can choose which sites you want to delete the data from. When you finish, click the Done button at the bottom of the screen. After that, to clear your entire browsing history, you can navigate to Safari > History > Clear History .

Clear history to remove Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection error

When you are finished, try visiting the site where the error was displayed. If the error has not disappeared, go to the next solution.

2. Check Your Device’s Date and Time

As odd as it may seem, if your Mac device displays an incorrect date and time, it can sometimes cause problems with Safari. Therefore, it is very important to make sure your time zone and date are set correctly.

To do it, you can tap on the Apple icon , then navigate to System Preferences > Date & Time .

Set the proper date to eliminate Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection error

After that, you can confirm that you’re using the right date and time.

Set date and time

You can also have your device automatically sync to your current location on the Time Zone tab . Once done, you can close the window and try accessing the site again.

3. Change Your DNS Settings

If the error persists, you should check your DNS (Domain Name Server) settings. In short, your DNS is like a phone book, allowing devices and websites to access each other. Safari uses your DNS settings to connect to websites.

If there is a problem with your DNS settings, you may see the “Safari cannot open page secure connection” message. To see if this is the case (and fix it), you can try changing your DNS address. For example, you can use Google’s public DNS. Go to Apple > System Preferences > Network .

Network options

From this window, choose your connection, then tap on the Advanced tab, followed by DNS. Next, click on the (+) icon next to IPv4 or IPv6 addresses .

DNS settings macOS

After that you can enter the new DNS IP addresses. For example, if you want to use Google’s Public DNS, you can type “8.8.8.8” and “8.8.4.4” .

Change DNS settings to remove Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection error

When you’re finished, tap on the OK button . Recheck the website to see if this process deleted the error message.

4. Uninstall or Disable Your Browser Extensions

As mentioned earlier, extensions or add-ons in your browser can interfere with Safari’s ability to securely connect to websites. This is sometimes common with antivirus programs and security-related extensions.

So, in the next step, try disabling all browser extensions. You can do this by opening Safari, then navigating to Preferences and clicking the Extensions tab .

Disable browser extensions Safari

A list of your extensions will appear in the left column. You can disable an add-on by clicking the check mark next to its name.

Once done, try accessing the site again. If this fixes the “Cannot secure connection to server” problem, you need to determine which extension is to blame. You can do this by systematically activating each plugin and visiting the website each time.

5. Disable IPv6

Internet Protocol (IP) is a set of rules that govern how data moves across the Internet. IPv6 is a newer protocol version. However, some websites still use the old version of IPv4. If this is the case, you may see the “Safari cannot establish a secure connection” message.

So you can try disabling IPv6 on your network . To do this, navigate to System Preferences > Network again, then click your network connection, then click the Advanced button .

On the TCP/IP tab, click the drop-down menu under Configure IPv6 and select Manual .

IPv6 configurations macOS

When done, click the OK button. If IPv6 is the problem, this should do the trick. If not, you can try the last solution.

6. Make Sure Keychain Trusts the Certificate

We’ve already mentioned that sometimes Safari may display a connection error message if it cannot verify the validity of a website’s SSL certificate. If this is the case, you can fix this by configuring the settings in the macOS Keychain Access app.

Keychain Access is an application that stores your passwords, account information, and application certificates. It protects your data and can control which websites your device trusts. So you can tell it to accept SSL certificates for websites in the future.

To do this, go to the website that displayed the error message, then click the lock icon to the left of the address bar, then click View/View Certificate > Details .

Check cert trust Keychain

With the details pane expanded, click Ctrl + Spacebar . The Spotlight search bar will appear in the upper right corner of the screen. In the search box, enter "keychain" .

Then click the system root directory on the left. Find the website’s certificate. Once you find it, go to the “Trust” section. Then click the drop-down menu next to the “When using this certificate” section and select “Always Trust” :

Change certificate trust settings

That’s it! You should now be able to successfully access the website without the “Safari Cannot Open the Page Secure Connection” error.

Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection Error

By Stephanie Adlam

I write about how to make your Internet browsing comfortable and safe. The modern digital world is worth being a part of, and I want to show you how to do it properly.

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Home > News Tips

Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection, Try These Solutions!

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Anna Yuan

Approved by

To protect users' security and privacy, Apple enables websites to use strong encryption to provide a secure web connection, which makes Safari continuous to be one of the most secure browsers on Mac. However, if a webpage on a server doesn't meet Safari's secure cryptographic standards, the below warning message may show up:

  • Safari can't open the page because Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server .
  • Safari can't open the website because it's using weak encryption.

Safari cant establish a secure connection to the server

If you're facing the  Safari won't open  problem due to the unsafe connection to the server, just read along to learn how to fix Safari can't establish a secure connection on Mac.

Why can't Safari establish a secure connection?

There are many reasons why Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server you're trying to access. Namely, they're:

  • The webpage you're trying to access is under low encryption.
  • A third-party extension or add-on has been installed on your browser.
  • Your browser has outdated cache data.
  • The SSL certificate of a website is expired.

How to fix Safari can't establish a secure connection?

Now that you've understood the potential causes of Safari not establishing a secure connection to the server , it's time to look at how to fix it. Below are 8 solutions you can use to resolve the error.

Fix 1: Double-check the URL

The first thing you should do when Safari can't establish a secure connection is to check the URL again. Click the URL to view the full web address to make sure the web address is correct. Any small mistakes (like .cn should be .com) could bring you to a wrong and unsafe site.

Sometimes, the website you're trying to open isn't actually the one you want to visit. Fake websites are often designed to look like the real one to steal your precious personal data.

Fix 2: Check the current date and time

You may not know using the wrong date and time on your Mac can cause some unexpected issues. It might stop you from installing the latest software update, downloading new apps, or loading secure web pages. Thus, to fix the  Safari not working  issue you're facing, make sure the date & time you set is correct.

Click the Apple menu and go to System Preferences > Date & Time . Click the padlock to unlock changes, then tick the option named Set date and time automatically .

Set correct date and time on Mac

Fix 3: Disable iCloud Private Relay

If you're an iCloud+ subscriber, the  iCloud Private Relay  is automatically enabled for the Safari browser. iCloud Private Relay shields your online location and routes the traffic from an Apple-branded server. In that way, the website provider won't have your true location through the IP address.

However, the website may need your actual location to load. You need to disable iCloud Private Relay to fix Safari can't establish a secure connection . Simply open the Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID . Then, disable Private Relay from the list.

disable Private Relay on Mac

Fix 4: Disable your Safari browser extensions

An extension or add-on in your Safari browser may be conflicting with Safari's ability to connect to a site securely. Therefore, it may be helpful for troubleshooting the Safari issue if you disable all your browser extensions, especially those anti-virus programs and security-related extensions.

To do this, launch Safari first, then click Safari in the top menu bar and navigate to Preferences . Switch to the Extensions tab and cancel the checkmark next to the add-on name to disable it.

Fix 5: Clear the Safari browser history

As mentioned earlier, the outdated cache browser history may cause Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server . So let's see if  clearing the browser history on Mac  will resolve the Safari issue.

Step 1: Open Safari, and click on History from its menu bar.

Step 2: From the given list, select Clear History .

Step 3: A dialogue window shows up, select All History from the drop-down menu next to the word Clear . Then click Clear History again.

clear Safari history on Mac

Fix 6: Change to a different DNS

If the error is still there, you may need to check your Domain Name Server (DNS) settings since issues with your DNS settings might be responsible for Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server. To see if this is the case (and resolve it), you can try using a different DNS address. For example, you could use Google's Public DNS.

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network .
  • Select Advanced and switch to the DNS tab.

change DNS settings

Fix 7: Disable IPv6 for your network

Internet Protocol (IP) controls how data moves across the internet. Its previous version was IPv4 and the latest one is IPv6. Some websites still use the IPv4 protocol and cause you to face the Safari can't establish a secure connection message. So you need to temporarily disable IPv6 on your Mac. Here's how to do it.

  • Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Network and select the Advanced menu at the bottom.
  • Switch to TCP/IP this time and select Manually from the Configure IPv6 menu.

disable IPv6 settings on Mac

This should resolve the Safari issue if IPv6 were the problem. If not, there's one last fix you can try.

Fix 8: Make Keychain trust the certificate

Keychain Access in macOS  is the application that stores your passwords, account details, and application certificates. It also keeps your data secure and can control which sites are trusted by your Mac device. Thus, you need to make sure that Keychain Access trusts the certificate of the site you're trying to open.

Safari show URL certificates

  • With the Details panel expanded, click Command + Space keys to bring Spotlight Search bar, enter "Keychain" in the search field and open it.

make Keychain Access trust the certificate

Anna Yuan is a professional tech editor at iBoysoft who specializes in writing articles related to software, macOS, Windows OS, Apple products, and Windows computers. Furthermore, she writes articles for some well-known tech websites. And as she has been a Mac user for many years, she's highly willing to share information on Mac utilities and tips.

Jessica Shee is a senior tech editor at iBoysoft. Throughout her 4 years of experience, Jessica has written many informative and instructional articles in data recovery, data security, and disk management to help a lot of readers secure their important documents and take the best advantage of their devices.

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How to Fix “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” Error

  • Your iPhone, iPad or Mac’s Safari browser keeps you safe as you browse the web. One of the most notable security features of Safari is the fact that it won’t load an unsafe webpage.
  • You might not be able to access sites such as Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Apple, Facebook, and Twitter if Safari cannot establish a secure connection.
  • If Safari doesn’t load a website accidentally, there might be another reason to investigate. 

Safari Browser Featured

It is frustrating to receive “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” errors when trying to access websites securely. Safari usually encounters this error when it is unable to establish a secure connection with a website for a variety of reasons.

In this article, we will explore several troubleshooting steps to help you resolve this error and regain access to secure websites. In Safari, you can ensure a smooth browsing experience by following these methods.

How to Fix “Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection” Error

Content Table

Why Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection?

It is possible to encounter a “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” error for a variety of reasons. In order to effectively troubleshoot and resolve the issue, it helps to understand these reasons. Here are a few common causes:

  • Invalid or expired SSL certificate.
  • Time zone or date settings are incorrect.
  • Cookies and browser cache.
  • Safari browser is outdated.
  • Extensions and plug-ins for browsers.
  • Antivirus or firewall settings.
  • Problems with keychain access.
  • Network Issue.

How To Fix the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error 

So, here are some fixes that will help you fix Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server:

Fix 1: Check Your Device’s Date and Time

In some cases, Safari can have some issues when the date and time are incorrect on your Mac device. Therefore, you should always make sure yours is set to the right time zone and date. To begin, please follow these steps: 

  • Navigate to  System Settings > General > Date & Time  after clicking on the  Apple  icon.

Date and Time Mac Settings - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

  • Here, you can verify that you’ve entered the correct time and date.
  • In the Time Zone tab, you can also enable  automatic synchronization . Afterward, you can close the window and try to access the website again.

Auto Sync Date and Time Mac - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Fix 2: Uninstall or Disable Your Browser Extensions

There is a possibility that an extension or add-on inside your browser may be interfering with Safari’s ability to connect to a website securely. There are times when antivirus programs and security extensions cause this problem.

Safari Settings - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Hence, the next step would be to deactivate all of your browser extensions. Using Safari, navigate to Settings , then click on Extensions . In the left column, you’ll find a list of your extensions. To disable the add-on, click on the checkmark next to its name.

Safari Extensions - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Once you’re done, go back to the site and review it again. It will be necessary to pinpoint which extension was responsible for the problem if this resolves the issue. It is possible to accomplish this by systematically enabling each add-on and visiting the site afterward.

Fix 3: Make Sure your URL is Correct

Despite not being aware of it, website impersonation is one of the most common fraudulent activities online. In some cases, fake websites ask for your login information and other personal information to get your Mac infected with a malicious script. 

In some cases, you may have ended up on the wrong website because you mistyped the URL or top-level domain (for example, you wrote .co instead of .com). Safari (and other search engines) are trying to eliminate impersonating search results that occur when queries are typed incorrectly. 

URL Bar Safari - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

To avoid potential misspellings, double-check the URLs of websites before visiting and add them to your bookmarks if you visit them frequently. 

Fix 4: Clear Your Browser Data

In Safari, certain data is saved in caching files and cookies every time you visit a browser. There may be an error message associated with this data if outdated data relates to site encryption or SSL. You should clear Safari’s cache first to fix Safari Cannot Establish Secure Connection to the Server error. In Safari, follow these steps: 

  • Open a browser to get started.
  • Next, choose  Settings > Privacy > Website Data .

Safari Privacy Settings - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

  • Now, click on Remove All .

Remove Website Data Safari - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

  • Once the data-clearing process has finished loading (it may take a minute or two), you can decide which websites you want to delete your data from.
  • Once you’re finished, click the  Done  button.
  • Next, go to  Safari > History > Clear History  to clear your browsing history.

Clear History Safari - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Fix 5: Disable iCloud Private Relay

With iCloud+, the Safari browser is enabled automatically by the Private Relay. You are shielded from your online location by iCloud Private Relay, which routes traffic from an Apple server. By doing this, the website provider will not be able to determine your actual location through your IP address.

If the behavior persists, it might interfere with the website’s ability to identify your location. If you’re using Mac OS X, disable Apple’s iCloud Private Relay in the System Preferences.

  • On Mac, click the  System Settings  menu and select  Apple ID .
  • Now, navigate to iCloud > Private Relay (Under iCloud+) and then  Turn Off Private Relay  from this menu.

Turn Off Private Relay - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Fix 6: Change DNS

DNS is similar to a phone directory on your Mac for finding websites. It’s easy to switch your DNS settings to Google’s public DNS and browse the web without any problems.

You can do it by following these steps.

  • Go to the  System Settings  menu and click  Network .
  • Navigate to the Network Type(our case Wifi) > Details.

Network Settings Mac - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Fix 7: Disable IPv6

To provide connectivity throughout the world, the internet has relied heavily on the TCP/IP version 4 protocol, also known as IPv4, for most of its existence.

However, as time passed, the need for a more secure protocol that gave each device its own IP address became evident.

Unfortunately, IPv6 is not completely compatible with all systems. It generates several kinds of errors on a variety of devices and systems, including this error that we’re trying to resolve for Safari. If that’s the case, we should disable IPv6 and see if that helps. Here’s how to do it:

  • To change the network settings, go to the  Apple menu > System Settings > Network .
  • Navigate to the  Network Type (our case Wifi) > Details .
  • Select  Manually  for Configure IPv6 under  TCP/IP tab .
  • Then click  OK .

IPv6 Settings Mac - Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error

Fix 8: Update your Safari Browser

It is possible to experience compatibility issues with websites that require secure connections if your Safari version is outdated. Here are the steps you need to follow to update Safari to the latest version:

  • On your Mac, go to the  App Store .
  • If there are any Safari updates available, navigate to the  Updates  tab.
  • In Safari, click  Update  if an update is available.
  • Check if the error persists after relaunching Safari after the Update.

Fix 9: Check your Internet Connection

If your internet connection has been unstable or isn’t working correctly, the first step you must take is to correct it. To confirm whether the issue is specific to Safari or affects all platforms, you can access the site using a different browser, such as Chrome or Firefox.

Sum Up – Fix “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” Error

So, that’s how to fix Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server. It’s our hope that this guide has helped you. Moreover, comment below and let us know if you have any doubts or queries.

Further Reading:

  • How To Fix Safari Can’t Find Server Error?
  • How to Fix “This connection is not private” in Safari?
  • How to Block Websites in Safari Browser (iPhone, iPad, Mac)?

Safari Browser Featured

How to Fix the Safari Cannot Open the Page Error in Safari Web Browser

safari cannot open page secure connection

It happens to us all. You're browsing contentedly in Safari, when suddenly Safari can't open the page you're trying to navigate to. So what causes this Apple Safari issue, and what can you do about it? We’ve laid out five easy ways to fix the Safari Cannot Open the Page error. Let's get started.

  • Easiest Fix for Safari Not Working on Mac, iPhone, or iPad
  • Safari Can’t Open Page? Extensions May Be to Blame
  • Safari Can't Find Server Error
  • Clear Safari Cache to Fix Safari Won't Load Issues
  • How to Fix Safari Cannot Open Page Error If Above Steps Didn’t Work

1. Easiest Fix for Safari Not Working on Mac, iPhone, or iPad

Whenever there are internet issues and Safari can’t open pages or Safari is not working on iPhone , it’s best to try the most straightforward fixes first, such as swiping between tabs to see if the issue persists on all webpages or just one. Start with these steps before you move on to the more involved troubleshooting options. If they don't work, don't worry! There are plenty of other ways to fix the Safari Cannot Open the Page error.

  • First, check your Wi-Fi or data connection. Sometimes a loss of connection happens briefly and then resolves on its own, or you may need to reconnect manually.

safari cannot open page secure connection

  • If these methods fail, restart your iPhone or other Apple device, then try again.

If the above steps still haven't resolved the Safari Cannot Open the Page error, move on to the next section for further troubleshooting.

iPhone Life

2. Safari Can’t Open Page? Extensions May Be to Blame

While extensions are helpful sometimes, they may interrupt the connection to a website you’re trying to load, especially ad blockers or VPN extensions. You can  remove all your Safari extensions  or one or two and try to open pages again. Once you can open pages you’re trying to reach, you can re-enable the extensions using the same steps.

3. Safari Won’t Load? Anyone Can Do This Easy DNS Server Trick

Another common cause for the Safari Cannot Open Page error message is the DNS server, which helps your device connect to web pages correctly. If needed, you can manually change your DNS server in Settings to use Google’s DNS. This can sometimes help with the Safari Cannot Load Page error. Don't worry, it's easier than it sounds! For iPhone or iPad, use the steps below. To change DNS on Mac to Fix Safari issues, skip ahead .

How to Change DNS on iPhone or iPad

tap settings when safari not working on iphone

Try loading the page again and see if this helps. If not, skip to the next Safari troubleshooting step .

Fix Safari Cannot Open Page Error: Change DNS on Mac

open settings if safari not working on mac

In most cases, this will resolve your Safari Cannot Open Page error. If not, continue on to the next troubleshooting step.

4. Clear Safari Cache to Fix Safari Won't Load Issues

Another way to resolve the Safari cannot open the page error is to clear your Safari cache. Doing this saves valuable storage space and is key to fixing quite a few Apple Safari issues, but it does mean a little bit of extra work signing back into everything you used to be logged into online. Clear the Safari cache on iPhone or iPad and see if it helps. To clear teh cache in Safari on Mac, use the steps below.

click safari for safari web browser menu

Still having trouble with Safari loading? Read on.

5. How to Fix Safari Cannot Open Page Error If Above Steps Didn’t Work

If you're still getting the Safari Cannot Open the Page Error, you may need to use a different web browser, such as Chrome. If the webpage opens with another browser, the issue likely lies with Safari. If it does not open on any browser, it's probably a problem with the site itself, such as a temporary outage.

Hopefully these steps helped you fix Safari browser issues! Know of another trick we didn't cover here? we'd love to hear it in the comments below.

Author Details

Emma Chase's picture

Emma Chase is a freelance writer for iPhone Life. She has her Bachelors degree in Communication from the University of Northern Iowa. Emma has worked in many sectors in her professional career, including the higher education, finance, and nonprofit. Emma lives in small-town Iowa with her husband and two children. When she’s not geeking out over the newest Apple product or wrangling her kids, Emma enjoys a good book, crocheting, and trying new foods.

Master iOS 17 with our latest in-depth guide!

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Safari Can’t Open The Page Because Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection To The Server, Fix

safari cannot open page secure connection

Several users have reported that Safari refuses to load some websites on the Mac. Users see an error message saying when the problem is occurring:

Safari Can’t Open the Page. Safari can’t open the page “website.com” because Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server “website.com”.

Safari can't establish a secure connection to the server error

Some users say that they could not even view the major websites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Youtube, Wikipedia, or Apple because of this problem. It further appears that some users are unable to sign in to the websites that require usernames and passwords. Are you having this problem too? Is Safari not loading certain websites? This article explains how you can resolve the Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server issue.

There may be several reasons that you may not be able to open a website in Safari on your Mac. Use the steps in this article to fix it.

Related articles:

  • Safari not working?
  • Safari Isn’t Responding .
  • Safari Cannot Open The Page Because Too Many Redirects Occurred .
  • Safari won’t open .
  • Safari: Cannot Open Page, Fix

Update Safari

Make sure that you are using the latest versions of Safari. Since Safari is a part of the macOS software, updating your Mac’s software will also update Safari. Here is how:

  • Open System Preferences.
  • Click Software Update.
  • This will check for updates. If your Mac says that your Mac is up to date then Safari is up to date too. If not, click the Update Now button and then follow the onscreen instructions.

If you are running macOS High Sierra or earlier, you will need to open the App Store app on your Mac.

macOS Update

Remove cookies, cache, and other data

When you visit a website, Safari saves some information from the website in its cache and cookies. Removing them may resolve this issue. Here is how:

  • In Safari, click Safari and Preferences.
  • Click Privacy.
  • Click the Manage Website Data… button.
  • A new window will appear saying Loading Website Data. This may take a few minutes. Wait for Safari to load website data.
  • If you are having this problem with specific websites, you can remove their data individually. In the search field, enter the name of the website, then select the website and then click the Remove button.
  • If you want, you can also remove all website data, if you are having this problem with a lot of websites, and removing them individually may be difficult. You may try this option instead. Click the Remove All button.
  • Then click Done and exit Preferences.

Safari Remove Website Data

Please note that when you remove this, some of your site settings will be deleted. Also if you were signed in, you may also need to re-sign in again.

Third-party security software

Some third-party security software, such as firewalls, antivirus, may cause this problem. For example, some Avast Antivirus users have said that turning off the Web Shield setting fixed this problem for them.

What you can do is, to isolate the problem, to turn off your antivirus or similar software completely but temporarily. Then try to open the web site that gives this error. If now you can open the website, you know that your antivirus software is the problem. If this is the case, you have a few options:

  • Contact the virus software vendor for further help.
  • Permanently disable the software.
  • Keep adjusting and customizing your antivirus settings (e.g., turning off Web Shield) until you get rid of this problem.

If turning off your antivirus software does not change anything, this means that your problem is elsewhere. You can turn it back on if you want.

Apple logins

If you see this error message when you attempt to log into the Apple services such as iCloud, Apple Store, Apple Developer, or Apple Communities, the problem may be Apple’s security certificate.

  • Visit the Apple certificate page ( link ).
  • Under the Apple Intermediate Certificates section, download Apple IST CA 2 – G1 Certificate by clicking it.
  • When the download is completed, double click it to install or you can drag the certificate file onto the Keychain Access icon. This certificate will add the certificate to Keychain. If asked, enter your admin password.
  • When you are done, click OK.

See also: Keychain Access Not Responding, How to Fix Without Losing Your Passwords

Now try to open the website again.

See also: Safari “This Connection Is Not Private” Warning

safari cannot open page secure connection

Dr. Serhat Kurt worked as a Senior Technology Director specializing in Apple solutions for small and medium-sized educational institutions. He holds a doctoral degree (or doctorate) from the University of Illinois at Urbana / Champaign and a master’s degree from Purdue University. He is a former faculty member. Here is his LinkedIn profile and Google Scholar profile . Email Serhat Kurt .

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10 Comments

I have been using Wikipedia for years, suddenly “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to Wikipedia” etc. I have changed nothing – no OS updates (using 10.6.8), no new 3rd. party software. Both my iMac 9.1 and MacBook Pro 7.1 are locked out of Wikipedia – yet my iPad Air II is unaffected. My Firefox browser also refuses to connect.

So, why will Safari on iOS open a specific website, but Safari on Mac cites ‘unauthorized signature on Security Certificate’ & won’t open that same site?

I performed your suggestions to the point and still I’m getting the same error. This is driving me nuts. This started after I reset my iMac to its factory state. I upgraded my system up to OS X Lion (10.7.5) I need full access to the internet in order to collaborate with fellow musicians in Facebook, Tweeter etc. Please help!

Same problem here. I wiped my MacBook early 2008 and clean installed snow leopard and now this. Did you find a solution? I been working on this prob for days…

Thank you so much for publishing this article! Turns out my issue was because of a third party security software I had downloaded. I got the issue fixed! Thank you so much again!

If I clicked on a suspicious link on a text unintentionally but got prompted with the Siri couldn’t establish a secure connection does this mean that I have visited the website and I’m compromised or does this imply that I’ve not been on the site thanks in advance

After a disk wipe and new install on iMac G5 ppc running Leopard. Safari will connect to google fine and bring up all search results okay. But any attempt to connect to any of the sites thereafter results in the error, cannot connect to server.

I’m having the same issue after my reinstall of snow leopard on my early 2008 macbook. Did you find a solution?

The thing is I am aware of what I am doing and I really want to hit that website since I’m doing testing … need a way to bypass that or accept the certificate

Under: Remove cookies,cache, and other data. Will not allow me to remove a specfic website. I highlight it, click remove, and then done. It will remove from the screen and then sometimes comes back a second time to be deleted. before I hit done. The when I try to visit the site…error message is still there. I try it again, and when I go back, my specfic website is still there. Why won’t it disappear and stay gone? Thank you in advance for any information you can provide to help me with this problem. Ron

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How to Fix Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection Error?

Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection

How to fix the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” error?

Now that you have understood what the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error is and what potential causes can trigger it, it is time to explore the various troubleshooting methods you can try to fix it.

Here, we have provided you with the best six methods to resolve the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error.

  • Check your Internet Connection
  • Clear your Safari Browser data
  • Update your Safari Browser
  • Check your System Date and Time
  • Change DNS Settings
  • Deactivate/Disable IPv6 on Mac
  • Disable VPN or Proxy settings
  • Setup Keychain to trust the Certificate

Let’s check them out in detail.

1. Check your Internet Connection

The first and foremost troubleshooting step you must follow is to ensure that your internet connection is stable and functioning properly.

You can try accessing the website on another browser such as Chrome or Firefox, or even use a different device to confirm whether the issue is specific to Safari or affects all platforms.

If the issue is found to be specific to Safari only, proceed with the troubleshooting methods provided below.

2. Clear your Safari Browser data

Like any browser, Safari stores certain data in its cache and cookies to enhance user experience and facilitate faster page loading.

However, over time, this data can become outdated or corrupted, particularly the data related to a website’s SSL or encryption. When this occurs, it can trigger the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” error.

To resolve this issue, the easiest method you can do is to completely clear your Safari browser data or history. To do this follow the steps given below:

Step 1: First Open Safari on your device.

Step 2 : Click on the “Safari” menu located at the top-left corner of the screen.

Step 3: From the drop-down menu, select “Preferences.”

Step 4: In the Preferences window, navigate to the “Privacy” tab.

Step 5: You will see an option labeled “Manage Website Data.” Click on it.

Manage Website Data on Safari

Step 6: A new window will open, displaying a timeline of all the websites that have stored data on your Safari browser.

Step 7: To remove all the data, click on the “clear history” option.

Clear History on Safari

Step 8: Once the data is cleared, close the “Manage Website Data” window.

Step 9: Finally, click “Done” to close the Preferences window.

By following these steps, you will successfully clear the Safari browser data, including cache, cookies, and website data, which can help resolve various browsing issues.

3. Update your Safari Browser

An Outdated version of Safari can lead to compatibility issues with websites that require a secure connection. To update Safari to the latest version available, you need to follow the steps given below:

1. Open the App Store on your Mac.

2. Go to the “Updates” tab and check for any available Safari updates.

3. If an update is available, click on the “Update” button next to Safari to install it.

4. After the update is complete, relaunch Safari and check if the error persists.

4. Check your system’s date and time

An incorrect or unsynchronized date and time on your device can trigger SSL certificate errors, which ultimately result in the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” error.

To check and correct your date and time settings, follow the steps mentioned below:

1. Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of your screen and select “System Preferences.”

2. Choose “Date & Time” and ensure that the option to set the date and time automatically is Toggle on.

Date and Time settings on Mac

3. If the option is already Toggled on, Turn off it, wait a few seconds, and then ON it again.

4. Restart Safari and try accessing the website to see if the error is resolved.

5. Change DNS Settings

If the “safari can’t establish a secure connection” error still persists, you can try to change your DNS settings. If there is something wrong in your DNS settings, it may be the reason you are facing this error message.

To check if this is the case, try changing your DNS settings. For example, you can try Cloudflare’s free DNS Settings.

Step 1: First, navigate to the System Preferences on your Mac. You can find this by clicking on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen, and then selecting “ System Preferences “.

System preferences in Mac

Step 2: Once you’re in System Preferences, locate the “ Network ” icon and click on it. From there, select the network connection that you want to modify (e.g., Wi-Fi or Ethernet).

Step 3: In the Network settings, you should see a button labeled “ Advanced “. Click on that, and then navigate to the “ DNS ” tab.

DNS servers on Mac How to Fix Safari Can't Establish a Secure Connection Error?

Step 4: Here’s where you’ll add the DNS server addresses. Click on the “ + ” button at the bottom-left of the DNS settings window, and then type in the IPv4 address for Cloudflare’s DNS servers: 1.1.1.1. Press enter, then repeat the process to add another address: 1.0.0.1.

Step 5: Finally, click “OK” to save the changes you’ve made. You should now be all set with your new DNS settings!

6. Deactivate/Disable IPv6 on Mac

IPv6, or Internet Protocol version 6, is a set of rules that govern how data moves throughout the internet. While IPv6 is the latest version available, many websites still use IPv4. This can lead to compatibility issues and trigger the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” error.

To check if it is causing the issue, you must try to disable the IPv6 on your network. To do so, follow the steps given down below:

To configure IPv6 settings on macOS, follow these steps:

Step 1 : Navigate to System Preferences and click on “Network.”

Step 2 : Select your network connection from the list.

Step 3 : Click the “Advanced” button located at the bottom right corner of the window.

Step 4 : In the new window, go to the “TCP/IP” tab.

Step 5 : Under the “Configure IPv6” section, click on the drop-down menu and select “Manual.”

Configure IPv6 Manually on Safari

Step 6 : Once selected, click the “ OK ” button to save the changes.

If the issue is related to IPv6, this configuration should resolve it. If not, you can proceed to the next troubleshooting solution.

7. Disable VPN or Proxy settings

If you are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or proxy server, try disabling them temporarily. Sometimes, these services can interfere with secure connections. Disable the VPN or proxy settings and then attempt to access the website again.

For Mac Users, they can do the following steps to disable proxy settings:

Step 1:  Go to the Apple menu or click on the Apple icon located at the top left of your Mac screen.

Step 2:  Click on System Settings or System Preferences, whichever is applicable.

Step 3:  Now click on the “Network” in the sidebar.

Step 4:  From the right pane,  Select a network service > click the Advanced button .

Step 5:  Click on the Proxy tab and uncheck all the protocols under “ Select a protocol to configure ” and click on the “ Ok ” button when done.

Disable proxy on Mac

8. Setup Keychain to trust the Certificate

Sometimes, when a website updates its certificate, there can be errors during the installation process. The certificate may also expire or be completely replaced with a new one. In any case, the Safari browser will not trust the certificate, resulting in a refusal to establish a secure connection and leading to the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” error.

However, if you are certain that everything is in order and correct, you can override this blocking feature of Safari by compelling the Keychain to trust the website.

Keychain Access is a built-in application on macOS that serves as a password and credential management system. It securely stores various sensitive information such as passwords, encryption keys, certificates, and secure notes.

To override keychain access and force it to trust the website, you need to follow the steps given below:

Step 1: Visit the website showing the error message.

Step 2 : Click the lock icon to the left of the address bar.

Step 3 : Select “View” or “View Certificate” from the menu.

View Certificate of a website on Safari

Step 4: Press Ctrl + Spacebar to open the Spotlight search bar.

Step 5: Type “Keychain” in the search box and press Enter.

Step 6: In Keychain Access, locate the certificate in the “System” root directory.

Step 7 : Go to the “Trust” section and select “Always Trust” from the drop-down menu.

Select "always Trust" option in AAA Certificate Services

That’s all you can do to fix the “Safari can’t establish a secure connection” error. However, if it doesn’t work in any case, the last resort is to contact the website administrator and ask for help.

What’s the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server Error?

The “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” error is a message displayed by the Safari web browser when it encounters difficulties in establishing a secure connection with a particular website.

When you try to access a website that requires a secure connection, such as one that starts with “ https:// ,” Safari initiates a process to establish a secure and encrypted connection between your device and the server hosting the website.

However, if Safari encounters any issues during this process, it will display an error message stating that “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server”.

safari can't establish a secure connection Error message

This error indicates that Safari was unable to establish a secure connection with the website you are trying to visit due to various reasons, such as problems with SSL certificates, outdated browser versions, network connectivity issues, or interference from VPN or proxy settings.

When this error occurs, the Safari browser may not allow you to access the website or display a warning that the connection is not secure. This is intentionally done to make you aware of the consequences and protect your browsing experience, preventing potential security risks that may arise from an insecure connection.

Therefore, it becomes very important to address this error quickly, as it can hinder your ability to access the particular website you’re trying to reach or engage in any secure online transactions.

The best way to tackle this kind of issue is by trying to find out the underlying causes of the error first and then proceeding accordingly.

Read: 🚩 How to Fix Your Connection is Not Private Error in Chrome?

What Causes a “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” Error?

The “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” error can occur due to several reasons. Understanding these causes can help you troubleshoot and resolve the issue effectively. Here are some common causes of this error:

  • SSL Certificate Issues: Websites that use SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates to establish a secure connection may encounter errors if the certificate is expired, invalid, or misconfigured. Safari validates SSL certificates to ensure secure connections, and if it detects an issue with the certificate, it will display an error message.

Note: Get Free SSL and enterprise-level security included in WPOven’s WordPress Dedicated server hosting .

  • Outdated Safari Version: Using an outdated version of Safari can lead to compatibility issues with websites that require a secure connection. Newer versions of Safari often include updates and bug fixes that address security vulnerabilities and improve the browser’s functionality.
  • Incorrect Date and Time Settings: Safari relies on accurate date and time information to verify SSL certificates. If the date and time settings on your device are incorrect, Safari may fail to establish a secure connection with the server, triggering the error message.
  • Network Connectivity Problems: Unstable or unreliable internet connections can disrupt the establishment of secure connections. If there are issues with your network, such as a weak Wi-Fi signal, network congestion, or a faulty router, Safari may struggle to connect securely to the server.
  • VPN or Proxy Interference: If you are using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) or a proxy server, it can sometimes interfere with Safari’s ability to establish a secure connection. VPNs and proxies can modify network settings, redirect traffic, or cause conflicts with SSL certificates, leading to an error message.
  • Browser Cache and Cookies: Outdated or corrupted cache and cookies stored by Safari can interfere with the secure connection process. These files may conflict with the SSL certificate or contain outdated information, causing Safari to fail to establish a secure connection.

It’s important to note that the specific cause of the error may vary depending on the circumstances and the website you are trying to access. By understanding these common causes, you can narrow down the troubleshooting steps to fix the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection to the Server” error.

The “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” error can be frustrating when trying to access a website. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this article, you can resolve the issue and browse securely.

  • First, ensure that your internet connection is stable. Then,
  • Clear your Safari browser data to remove any outdated or corrupted information.
  • Updating your Safari browser to the latest version is also important to address compatibility issues.
  • Check your system’s date and time settings, as an incorrect setting can cause SSL certificate errors.
  • Changing your DNS settings or disabling IPv6 can help resolve connectivity issues.
  • If you use a VPN or proxy server, temporarily disable them to see if they are causing the error.
  • If all else fails, you can try overriding the Keychain to trust the website’s certificate.

Do Remember one thing, if none of these methods work, you always have the privilege to contact the website administrator to seek assistance.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can overcome the “Safari Can’t Establish a Secure Connection” error and regain access to the websites you need. Stay safe while browsing!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do i allow safari to establish a secure connection.

You can fix Safari to establish a secure connection by trying the following methods: 1. Check your Internet Connection 2. Clear your Safari Browser data 3. Update your Safari Browser 4. Check your System Date and Time 5. Change DNS Settings 6. Deactivate/Disable IPv6 on Mac 7. Disable VPN or Proxy settings 8. Setup Keychain to trust the Certificate

Why can’t Safari not secure a connection?

There can be various reasons why Safari can’t secure a connection, some of them are: 1. The website is compromised due to a security breach or malware attack. 2. The SSL certificate compatibility issues with the browser and the website. 3. The website is secure but its certificate is fake or outdated. 4. VPN and proxy issues 5. Safari browser cache issues 6. Outdated Safari browser

How do I make my website connection secure?

You can make your website connection secure by following these best practices. 1. Keep your website updated. 2. Scan your website from time to time. 3. Get your SSL certificates from legit sources. 4. Update your security plugins 5. Implement Web Application Firewalls 6. Implement Security Headers 7. Monitor and Respond to Security Incidents

Rahul

Rahul Kumar is a web enthusiast, and content strategist specializing in WordPress & web hosting. With years of experience and a commitment to staying up-to-date with industry trends, he creates effective online strategies that drive traffic, boosts engagement, and increase conversions. Rahul’s attention to detail and ability to craft compelling content makes him a valuable asset to any brand looking to improve its online presence.

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Are You Getting The Safari Can't Establish A Secure Connection Error? 5 Fixes!

Daisy Raines

Daisy Raines

Jun 14, 2024 • Filed to: Mobile Repair Solutions • Proven solutions

It was just 15 years ago when Steve Jobs and Co. changed the world yet again with the introduction of what he called the launch of three devices, “an iPod, a phone, and an internet communicator,” rolled into one - the iPhone. The world was only beginning to warm up to the internet, the speeds of which were still at 56 kilobits per second - dialup level. A lot has happened in 15 years. We have 5G today, and Wi-Fi 6. We live and breathe the internet today, in a way we never thought possible. Every aspect of our lives is ‘connected’ today. Launching web browsers and browsing websites is nearly second nature today, we do not give second thoughts to it anymore. So what happens when your coasting is interrupted by a ‘ Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection ’ error? What does it mean that Safari could not establish a secure connection?

  • Part I: What Is The ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection’ Error?
  • Part II: Why Can’t Safari Establish A Secure Connection?

Part III: How Do I Know If Safari Established A Secure Connection?

  • Part IV: 5 Ways to Fix ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection’ Error

Part I: What Is The ‘Safari Cannot Establish A Secure Connection’ Error?

safari cant open the page error

To understand the ‘Safari Cannot Establish A Secure Connection’ error, you need to have an idea of internet protocols. Here goes.

When the internet was designed, it was designed merely as a way to access information anywhere and everywhere. The protocol used was (and still is) HTTP, short for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. This ‘http’ is what you type in your web browsers, remember? Though browsers today do that on your behalf so you might not be typing it yourself, but that is beside the point. HTTP has worked ever since. No harm, no foul.

With the internet becoming more and more ubiquitous, a need was felt to secure the HTTP protocol so that data could be safe from unwanted, prying eyes. Data such as your banking passwords, your login information, etc. What happened? HTTPS came to be.

HTTPS, or Secure HTTP, is the new standard. It uses SSL or Secure Socket Layer to safeguard data packets from prying eyes. While initially it was only the most security-conscious enterprises that were using SSL and HTTPS for customers, today it is considered ‘uncool’ and unsafe if your website uses only HTTP, not HTTPS. HTTPS, for all purposes, is the new default protocol for accessing websites on the internet.

But that is not all there is to it. Oftentimes, this safety must be or is chosen to be enforced upon users. This means that a website server configured in a way to accept only secure connections will throw an error if anyone tries to access the server using the unsecured HTTP protocol. This method is called HSTS, short for HTTP Strict Transport Security. With this enabled, the server will only serve HTTPS requests. This is also a standard that is fast gaining wide usage, especially those websites and portals that cater to users with logins and passwords. This means, most websites you know and access, such as Facebook, Twitter, your banking portals, etc. And what happens when you try to access websites that are set to deliver HTTPS-only over regular old HTTP or if for some reason your web browser was unable to connect to the website securely? You guessed it!

Safari could not establish a secure connection to the server, and it will show you the ‘Safari cannot open the page’ error.

Part II: Why Safari Could Not Establish A Secure Connection To The Server?

Now that we know what is the ‘Safari Cannot Establish A Secure Connection’ error about, let’s dive into why exactly Safari could not establish a secure connection to the server so that we can figure out how to fix this ‘Safari cannot open the page’ due to secure connection error.

Long back with Mac OS X 10.10.4 (Yosemite) and iOS 8.4 onwards, Apple implemented security enhancements in Safari to protect users when accessing websites with certain security vulnerabilities. What would Safari do in that case? You guessed it again!

Safari will show a message that ‘Safari cannot open the page’ as it uses weak encryption or, what is common today, Safari will show the ‘ Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection ’ error.

Although seems simple enough that if Safari opened a website at all, it means a secure connection was established, Apple does provide a way to make sure and get more details if you want to. Here’s how to check if Safari established a secure connection to the website you want to visit:

Step 1: Launch Safari and go to your favorite website. Ours is https://drfone.wondershare.com

how to check safari secure connection

Step 2: Now, see that lock after the URL? That shows that Safari was able to establish a secure connection to the website. You can click the lock for more details.

click lock for secure connection details

Step 3: Clicking the lock brings a popup like the above. It speaks in plain language that Safari is using an encrypted connection and mentions the website URL. If you want to check the certificate details, you can click Show Certificate to see the certificate the particular website is using.

security certificate details

That’s right! DigiCert is one of the most trusted certifying authorities in the world, it only serves us right that we use the best out there to safeguard our beloved customers’ privacy!

Now, the internet today is also filled with adverts and trackers thanks to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram along with online advertising players like Google Ads and others. You might already be using privacy protection measures such as content blockers, or ad blockers famously. If you are not, you should! Back to topic, if you are, it is possible that your ad blocker is utilizing its own certificate for filtering HTTPS connections on your device so that it can provide you with maximum security. One such blocker, for example, is Adguard, which uses its own certificate. Why are we mentioning this? Because, if you are, you will see the certificate issuing authority as Adguard instead of the actual authority (DigiCert, in our case).

safari secure connection by adguard

What? What is that? How? Let’s explain. SSL works to establish a secure connection between clients and servers. Servers are configured to offer secure connections, and clients (your web browsers) are configured to receive and request secure connections. For a server to check if the client supports secure connections among other things takes a performance hit, though negligible to the user's eye. But when processing millions of requests, this time quickly adds up as overhead for processors and resources, which should be optimized if possible. To improve this performance, client-side certificates are used to make sure that connections are secure, and content is just passed through without the server checking the client for necessary permissions and security. Tools such as Adguard are using the client-side certificate, residing on your computer alone, for this purpose. Hence, Safari shows you that the certificate was issued by Adguard, for example. In the absence of such a certificate on the client, the necessary security checks are made by the server, and Safari pulls data from the server to show you that the certificate was issued by DigiCert.

Part IV: 5 Ways to Fix ‘Safari Cannot Establish A Secure Connection’ Error

“My Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server, what can I do to fix the issue?” There are a few things you can do to fix the Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server issue quickly as there can be a few simple reasons why you got that error.

Fix 1: Check URL Entered

One of the most common mistakes to happen to people unknowingly is typing incorrect URLs in the browser and having another website opened - or not. DNS providers such as OpenDNS have a service that helps users by redirecting them to their intended URL automatically for some commonly used websites such as social media and others. Check your entered URL for any spelling mistakes and go over it again. It should be fixed. 

Fix 2: Set System Date And Time Correctly

Oftentimes, office computers and even home computers used to be neglected when it came to system time, that was because the batteries in their motherboard were dead, and companies and home users didn’t bother to replace them since it didn’t matter much for their work. That issue is more or less resolved now, but still, checking if the date and time are set correctly is more important than ever today, since security relies on it now. Certificates have an expiration date now, and if your computer is set to a date too far back or in the future, you might face the ‘ Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection ’ error as security parameters are invalid.

Step 1: Go to System Preferences > Date & Time

set date and time macos

Step 2: Make sure the date and time are set to update automatically as follows:

set date and time macos

To make changes to the checkbox, you will have to click the lock and enter your user admin password to proceed. Remember to lock the lock again.

Fix 3: Check Ad Blocker/Antivirus/ Firewall Preferences

Nowadays everyone is using a content blocker, as is recommended to filter out the incredible number of nuisances you will face otherwise. It is possible that the website you are trying to visit has a conflict with the ad blocker in some way and Safari could not establish a secure connection to the server. Temporarily disabling the ad blocker should resolve the issue.

The same goes for antivirus and firewall software, wherein they are not expected to work 100% with any and all websites. It is simply not possible, and they might be failing to work with a website that you want to visit. You have a choice to either disable the software temporarily while you visit the websites or to add the website(s) to the list of exceptions in these software.

Fix 4: Trust A Certificate

For websites that you trust but somehow Safari does not, you might consider trusting the certificate the website uses so that Safari stops bugging you about it every time you visit the website. Here’s how to trust a certificate in Safari:

Step 1: On the websites where the certificate error is causing Safari to not establish a connection and show the website, the following error is displayed:

connection not private error safari

Step 2: Click Show Details.

details about safari certificate connection

Step 3: In the last line, you will see a hyperlink to view the certificate. Click it.

trusting a certificate in safari

Step 4: Now, you will see the details of the certificate. Click Trust to expand the dropdown.

always trust certificate option in safari

Step 4: Now, from the dropdown, select Always Trust and proceed.

Fix 5: Disable IPv6 To Resolve Issues

IPv6 is the newer internet protocol succeeding IPv4, the one that you are likely familiar with, that uses digits. For example, the Google DNS IP address is 8.8.8.8. This is an IPv4 address. The boom on the internet has brought IPv4 to its limits, with this system only able to account for only over 4 billion possible addresses. The newer IPv6 uses hex digits that solve this problem but create another, as in, the new IPv6 is still far from universal, mainstream adoption. That can create issues with certificates sometimes, so it might be helpful to disable IPv6 and see if that resolves your ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection’ error.

Step 1: Go to System Preferences > Network > Wi-Fi > Advanced

Step 2: Go to TCP/IP

set ipv6 automatically

Step 3: From the dropdown, set IPv6 to configure automatically.

Getting the ‘Safari Cannot open the page’ error due to Safari cannot establish a secure connection can feel like the brakes were slammed at 200 mph. Here you are, browsing the internet and suddenly the website you want to visit gives you the ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection’ error. Fortunately, there are ways you can fix this issue and we hope the above-listed ways helped you fix the ‘Safari could not establish a secure connection to the server’ error and get browsing again!

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Looks like no one’s replied in a while. To start the conversation again, simply ask a new question.

Safari Can Not Open Cloud Services’ Websites

I get this error;

“Safari cannot open the page because it could not establish a secure connection to the server.”

when I try to open Dropbox or Google Drive’s website.

How can I fix it?

Posted on Jan 5, 2023 10:01 PM

Lissy_12

Posted on Jan 8, 2023 1:38 PM

Hi Mainecoon364,

Thank you for using the Apple Support Communities! If a website is not working, the steps below can help:

If Safari isn't loading websites or quits on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

You can clear website data occasionally to improve Safari performance.
1. Go to Settings > Safari.
2. Tap Clear History and Website Data.
3. Tap Clear History and Data to confirm.

Hope this helps!

Have a great day.

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Jan 8, 2023 1:38 PM in response to Mainecoon364

AnnieL2

Jan 10, 2023 7:09 AM in response to Mainecoon364

Mainecoon364,

We’re going to reference back to the article we provided previously, in case you didn’t have a chance to complete all the steps. If Safari isn't loading websites or quits on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch We also pulled the steps out and have put them below, for ease of access.

Connect to a different network
Try to load a website, like www.apple.com , using cellular data. If you don't have cellular data,  connect to a different Wi-Fi network and then load the website.
If you're using a VPN (Virtual Private Network), check your VPN settings . If you have a VPN turned on, some apps or websites might block content from loading.
Restart your device
Turn off your device and turn it on again.
• Restart your iPhone  
• Restart your iPad  
• Restart your iPod touch
Turn on JavaScript
Turn on JavaScript if it's not already on.
1. Go to Settings > Safari > Advanced.
2. Find the JavaScript feature.
3. Tap the button to turn on JavaScript.
Get more help
If the issue continues and only affects a certain website or webpage, check if you have Private Relay turned on. You can temporarily turn off Private Relay in iCloud Settings . If Safari still doesn't load websites and you tried all of these steps, contact the website developer for more help.

Let us know if you have any questions. 

Thanks. 

Jan 9, 2023 10:18 PM in response to Lissy_12

It did not work.

It does not open websites of some cloud services and social media websites. (Dropbox, Google Drive, YouTube etc.)

Jan 10, 2023 9:15 AM in response to AnnieL2

I think the problem is on the Hotspot of my phone which I use outside of my home.

At home or with VPN there is no problem connecting to these websites.

I’d better call my Phone Service Provider.

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