10 Ways to Fix the NET::ERR CERT DATE INVALID Error

How to Fix the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID Error

Now that we’ve taken a look at how the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error appears on the most popular browsers, let’s get to work on fixing it.

This error can originate from many different causes, so we’ll walk through ten solutions you can try.

1. Reload the Page

We may as well start with the simplest solution: Give refreshing the page a shot. You can also try closing and relaunching your browser, before navigating back to the same page.

Sometimes things just don’t work the way they should, and it’s better to try a quick fix rather than troubleshooting unnecessarily. As unlikely as it may seem, it’s possible that you just caught the website owner in the middle of renewing their SSL certificate!

2. Don’t Use Public Wifi

If you still see the error after reloading the page, check your network connection. If you’re on public wifi, there’s a real possibility that your connection actually isn’t private. You may want to sign off to be safe.

Use a hotspot on your mobile device, and attempt to re-access the site. If you don’t encounter the error message, the problem is most likely with the wifi connection.

You can also try using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to see if the error persists. If you were already using a VPN when you first encountered the issue, on the other hand, you might try turning the VPN off, as it may be the culprit.

3. Check Your Date and Time

Here’s another easy fix. Your browser uses your computer’s clock to verify that a site’s SSL certificate isn’t expired. If you’ve set your time incorrectly, it can trigger this error.

Even if your computer is set up to sync automatically, it can still be thrown off.

For example, if you’ve recently traveled across time zones, your laptop may not have caught up yet. So check to ensure that the date and time are accurate on your machine. Then reopen the browser and try navigating back to the website.

4. Determine Whether the Certificate Has Expired

SSL certificates do expire, so if you see this error on your own website, it may be time to have your certificate reissued. You can quickly check this right from Chrome.

Start by clicking on the three dots in the top-right corner of the browser window. Then select More Tools > Developer Tools:

Checking the SSL certificate status in Google Chrome

Navigate to the Security tab, where you’ll be able to see if the certificate is valid. You can click on the View Certificate button to get more details, including the certificate’s expiration date:

SSL certificate details in Google Chrome

You can also use a tool such as Qualys’ SSL Server Test to check the validity of your certificate.

Simply type your domain name into the box and click on the Submit button:

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It may take several minutes to perform the test. Your results will include a thorough analysis of your SSL configuration, along with a letter grade for each item. You’ll want to pay particular attention to the expiration date of the SSL certificate.

Note that you can use these methods to check the validity of an SSL certificate on someone else’s website. However, you won’t be able to do much more than attempt to notify the website’s owner that their certification has expired.

If your own certificate has expired, renewing it should take care of the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error. Your host may handle this for you, or you may be able to do it yourself through your control panel.

Some hosting providers’ control panels don’t provide a way for you to renew your certificate. In this case, you may have to perform the renewal through the command line. Certbot can help you to set this up.

You need to install and run Certbot once. It will automatically renew a free SSL certificate whenever yours expires:

Certbot will automatically renew your SSL certificate

No matter how you renew your SSL certificate, make sure you mark your calendar so you can handle it before it becomes a problem.

5. Update Your Operating System and Browser

You should always have the newest version of your operating system installed, as older versions may no longer be supported once they become obsolete. What’s more, there are parts of SSL certificates that can no longer work on older operating systems.

If you’re running an outdated version of your operating system, you’ll likely encounter errors like NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID more often as time goes on.

The same goes for outdated browsers. If you haven’t updated your browser in a while, you may want to go ahead and do that now. Even if the browser is up to date, sometimes uninstalling and reinstalling it can help.

6. Disable Your Antivirus Software

Sometimes, there may be a setting in your antivirus software that triggers the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error. To test this, try disabling your antivirus software and attempt to access the website. Be sure to force refresh when you do this.

If you determine that your antivirus software is the problem, you’ll first want to try updating to the latest version. You can also reach out to the software’s support team if the issue persists after updating.

7. Check Your Browser Extensions

Third-party extensions on Chrome are known to cause problems from time to time. Depending on how many extensions you have installed, this solution can take some time to test:

Browser extensions in Google Chrome

Check each extension one at a time by disabling it and then attempting to load the page. If one of your extensions seems to be triggering the error, you can then try uninstalling it completely.

8. Clear Your Cache and Cookies

Clearing your cache is another solution that can take some time. There are a couple of things you can try first to determine if clearing your cache is likely to help.

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First, visit the site in incognito mode. If that doesn’t help, you might try using a different browser to access the site. If either of these methods works, there’s a decent chance that clearing your browser cache will solve the problem.

The process for this differs from one browser to another:

  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Google Chrome
  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Mozilla Firefox
  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Safari
  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Internet Explorer
  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Microsoft Edge
  • How to Clear Browser Cache for Opera

With your cache and cookies freshly cleared, you can try reopening your browser and loading the website again.

9. Clear Your SSL Cache

If clearing your browser cache didn’t work, you can try clearing your SSL cache. The SSL cache stores credentials for websites you’ve visited, to save time when you reconnect later.

However, if an SSL certificate is updated in the meantime, the SSL cache may prevent your browser from recognizing the change.

To clear the SSL state in Chrome on Windows, navigate to the Control Panel and select Network and Internet. Under the Content tab, you’ll find the button to Clear SSL state:

Clearing the SSL state in Windows

Once again, reopen your browser and navigate to the website. If you still get the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error, we have one more solution you can try.

If you’re using macOS, you may need to delete an SSL certificate previously accepted from an untrusted source.

To do so, navigate to Finder, then click on Go > Utilities >  Keychain Access:

macOS keychain

Next, click on Certificates, which is located under the Category section. Untrusted certificates are marked with a red ‘X’. To remove one, click on Edit > Delete.

10. Change Your Domain Name System (DNS) Server

You may want to try changing your Domain Name System (DNS) server to or from Google’s Public DNS, depending on your current setup. Before making any changes to your DNS settings, make sure you write down your current settings in case you need to change them back.

To change your DNS server on Windows, start by opening the Control Panel. Click on Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center, and then Change adapter settings. Right-click on your connection and select Properties.

Next, choose Internet Protocol Version 4 or 6, and then click the Properties button. Select Use the following DNS server addresses:

Changing the DNS server addresses in Windows

To use Google’s Public DNS, enter 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 in the boxes. You might also try Couldflare’s DNS, which is 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1. Click on OK and close the window. You’ll need to restart your browser for the changes to take effect.

For macOS users, the process is similar, only with a few variations.

First, navigate to System Preferences and click on the Network icon:

Network settings macOS

Select the Advanced button followed by the DNS tab. Next, click on the (+) icon next to “IPv4 or IPv6 addresses”:

The macOS DNS network window

Once you enter the new DNS servers. Click on OK then Apply to save your changes.

If you are already using Google’s Public DNS, you can try going back to your ISP’s DNS servers instead. Simply remove Google’s DNS, and make sure Obtain DNS server address automatically is checked.

NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID and WordPress

If you’re experiencing this problem on your WordPress site and the above methods didn’t work, there are a few more things you can check:

  • If your hosting provider installed your SSL certificate, contact them to resolve this error.
  • If you installed your certificate on your own, try reinstalling it.
  • Make sure you’ve enabled HTTPS on your site.
  • Check to ensure that your URLs are all updated.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to the WordPress community for support if you’re feeling stuck. There’s also a wealth of documentation you can explore as well.

If you’re still running into a dead end, you can try contacting your SSL certificate issuer. They should be able to help you pinpoint the issue.

NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID and Let’s Encrypt

Let’s Encrypt provides free SSL certificates to anyone who owns a domain name. However, these certificates are only valid for 90 days. So here’s a higher likelihood that yours has expired versus if you’re using a premium certificate obtained elsewhere.

When your Let’s Encrypt certificate term is up, the renewal process will depend on your hosting provider.

If you’re a Kinsta customer, you can easily install a free Let’s Encrypt certificate directly from your MyKinsta dashboard. We also take care of the renewal for you, so this isn’t something you have to worry about.

Some platforms are not compatible with Let’s Encrypt certificates, and some providers require you to manually handle the renewal yourself. While there isn’t a formal support team at Let’s Encrypt, you can always check out the community forums for help. You’ll find plenty of information and knowledgeable volunteers who can help you investigate possible solutions.

Summary

The NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error has many potential causes, which can make troubleshooting it particularly frustrating. However, it’s essential to handle this problem quickly. If you see the error on your site, others may encounter it as well.

Since this error has so many causes, we provided you with ten solutions to try. You can start simply by reloading the website and checking the date and time on your computer. Then you might move on to the more involved methods, such as clearing your SSL state or testing your browser extensions.


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