Fix: ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT

Some users report that their Chrome browser doesn’t accept security certificates coming from certain sites. The error code associated with this error is “ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT“. Some users are reporting that the error is occurring with major websites such as google.com, facebook.com, quora.com, etc. The issue seems to be exclusive to Google Chrome.

This site can’t provide a secure connection ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT

What is causing the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the repair strategies that some affected users deployed to resolve the issue. We also managed to recreate the error on one of our testing machines.

Based on what we were able to gather, there are several common scenarios that are known to trigger this particular error message:

  • 3rd party SSL/TLS protocol filtering is in place – Certain antivirus solutions are known to perform SSL/TLS protocol filtering by default, which ends up conflicting with Google Chrome.
  • Local machine’s time & date is out of sync – Another common reason why this error occurs is if the local machine’s time & date is off by some years. If you’re encountering errors with multiple web browsers,  this is most likely the case of the issue.
  • Windows is severely outdated – This particular issue is also linked with Windows security systems being severely outdated. If that’s the case, you can probably get the issue resolved by installing every pending security update.
  • Corrupted cached data – If you’re encountering the issue with only one website, it’s possible that your browser holds some cached data that is making it believe that the website is not functioning.
  • Google Chrome bug – Google Chrome has suffered from a number of bugs having to do with the SSL certificates. The best way of ensuring that’s not the case is to update Google Chrome to the latest versions.

In the event that you’re struggling to resolve the same error message, this article will provide you with a collection of verified troubleshooting steps. Down below, you’ll find a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.

To maximize the efficiency, consider following the methods below in the order that they are presented. You should eventually stumble upon a method that is effective in fixing the problem for your particular scenario.

Method 1: Setting the correct time and date (if applicable)

A common reason why Windows users will get the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT is that the local machine’s time & date is out of sync. This is even more likely if you notice that the same websites are refusing to load up with different browsers.

Several users encountering the same error message have reported that the issue was resolved entirely after they updated the time & date on their system. Here’s a quick guide on how to make sure that your time & date is configured correctly:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “ms-settings:dateandtime” and press Enter to open up the Date & Time tab of the Settings app.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:dateandtime

    Note:  If you’re using Windows 8.1 or older, use the “timedate.cpl” command instead.

  2. Under Date & time, make sure that the toggles associated with Set time automatically and Set time zone automatically are enabled.
    Setting time & time zone automatically

    Note: If you’re not on Windows 10, go to Internet Time and click on Change settings. Then, make sure that the box associated with Synchronize with an internet time server is enabled before clicking the Update now button.

    Synchronizing the Internet Time Settings
  3. Once the time & date have been put up to date, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT error, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Applying every pending Windows update

As it turns out, the issue can also occur if you’re running Google Chrome on a severely outdated machine. A couple of users encountering the same error have reported that the issue was resolved automatically as soon as they installed every pending Windows update.

Some users are speculating that the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT error appears on outdated Windows versions because Chrome believes that the machine is at risk, so it doesn’t accept the security certificate from going through.

Here’s a quick guide on making sure that you’re machine has the latest security updates installed:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.  Then, type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” and press Enter to open the Windows Update screen of the Settings app.
    Run dialog: ms-settings:windowsupdate

    Note: If you’re running on Windows 8.1 or older, use the “wuapp” command instead.

  2. Inside the Windows Update screen, click on Check for updates and follow the on-screen instructions to install every pending security update.
    Checking for Updates on Windows 10
  3. Once every pending update has been installed, restart your computer and see if the error message has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT error, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Updating Chrome to the latest version

Google Chrome has suffered from a number of bugs that had something to do with SSL certificates. One of the most recent ones resulted in a lot of Windows 7 users being unable to access any Google related services.

The thing is, Google is always quick in patching these things as soon as they are reported. But in order to make use of the fix, you’ll need to ensure that Google Chrome is updated to the latest version. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click the action button (three-dot icon) and go to Help > About Google Chrome.
    Accessing the About Google Chrome menu
  2. Wait until Google checks for updates, then follow the on-screen prompts to install the latest builds if a new version is available.
    Checking for updates on Google Chrome
  3. Restart your Chrome browser and see if the issue has been resolved.

If you’re still encountering the ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT error, move down to the next method below.

Method 4: Disabling SSL / TLS protocol filtering from 3rd party AV settings (if applicable)

As some users have reported, there are several 3rd party security applications that will conflict with Google Chrome’s own security features. To be specific, any AV or firewall that does any SSL/TLS protocol filtering has the potential of causing false-positives on Google Chrome. Nod32 Antivirus, Avira and McAfee are among the most mentioned security suites known to cause this particular problem.

Several users encountering the “ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT” error have reported that in their case, the issue was resolved as soon as they disabled SSL/TLS protocol filtering from their AV settings.

If you think this scenario is applicable to your situation, open your Antivirus settings, go to the Advanced menu and see if you can find a setting similar to SSL/TLS filtering. If you do, make sure that SSL/TLS protocol is disabled.

Keep in mind that the exact steps of doing this are specific to the 3rd party antivirus that you’re using. On Nod32 Antivirus, you can do this by going to Setup > Advanced Setup > Web and Email > SSL/TSL.

Disabling protocol filtering from the 3rd party AV

Note: If you can’t find the equivalent steps with the 3rd party antivirus/firewall that you’re using, search online for specific steps according to the software that you’re using.

If you don’t manage to find an equivalent option but you still suspect that your AV is causing the conflict, another solution would be to uninstall the 3rd party security option completely from your system. Once the 3rd party suite is removed, Windows Defender will automatically kick into action and become your main security solution.

You can follow this article (here) to ensure that you uninstall your 3rd party antivirus completely from your system  – this guide also ensure that you don’t leave behind any leftover files that might still cause the conflict.

Once the AV is removed, restart your computer and see if the conflict has been resolved. If you’re still seeing the “ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT” error when trying to visit certain web pages, move down to the next method below.

Method 5: Clearing browser data

Several users have managed to get rid of the error by clearing all browsing data. This particular fix is often reported to be effective in those situations where only one website is exhibiting the”ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT” error.

Although clearing all browser data has the chance of getting the issue resolved, keep in mind that you will lose all previously saved passwords, history, and locally saved bookmarks.

If you decide to go through with it, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the action button (top-right corner) and choose Settings.
    Google Chrome Settings
  2. In the Settings menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen and click on Advanced.
    Expanding the Advanced Settings menu of Google Chrome
  3. Next, go to the Privacy and security tab, scroll down to the bottom of the list and click on Clear browsing data.
    Clearing browsing data on Chrome
  4. In the Clear browsing data menu, select the Advanced tab, set the Time range to All time and check every box below aside from Passwords and other sign-in data and Media licenses. Once you are ready, hit Clear data and wait for the process to complete.
    Clearing browser data from Chrome

     

  5. Once the procedure is complete, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: ERR_BAD_SSL_CLIENT_AUTH_CERT

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