How to Fix Safari’s Cannot establish a secure connection issue

Safari is Apple’s flagship web browser, known for its sleek interface and seamless integration with macOS and iOS devices. However, like any software, it is not immune to errors. A common problem that Safari users may encounter is the “Cannot establish a secure connection” error This error usually occurs when Safari cannot establish a secure connection to a website for a variety of reasons, including SSL/TLS certificates, outdated browser settings, or network issues. In this article, we will explore the possible causes of this error and the troubleshooting steps to resolve it

Cause of error:

1. SSL/TLS Certificate Issues:

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) and its successor, TLS (Transport Layer Security), are cryptographic protocols that provide secure communication over a computer network. Websites use SSL/TLS certificates to establish a secure connection with web browsers If there is a problem with the website’s SSL/TLS certificate, Safari may fail to establish a secure connection, resulting in an error message.

2. Outdated browser settings:

Safari relies on its settings to establish secure connections to websites. Outdated or incorrect browser settings, such as outdated security protocols or incorrect date and time settings, can prevent Safari from establishing a secure connection.

3. Network Connection Issues:

Problems with your internet connection or network configuration can also trigger the “could not establish a secure connection” error in Safari. Network congestion, DNS problems, or incorrect proxy settings can lead to this occurrence.

Troubleshooting Steps:

1. Check your internet connection

Before troubleshooting Safari, make sure your internet connection is stable and working properly. Try loading other websites on Safari or try a different web browser to verify if the problem is specific to Safari or affects all web browsers.

2. Update Safari

Make sure you’re using the latest version of Safari. Updates often include bug fixes and security patches that can resolve issues such as the “Could not establish a secure connection” error. To update Safari, visit the App Store on macOS and navigate to the Updates tab.

3. Check the date and time settings

Incorrect date and time settings on your device can cause SSL/TLS certificate verification issues. Make sure your device’s date, time, and time zone settings are correct. You can adjust these settings in System Preferences on macOS or in the Settings app on iOS devices

4. Clear Safari Cache and Cookies

Cached data and cookies stored in Safari can sometimes cause conflicts, which can cause connection errors. Clearing your browser cache and cookies can resolve these issues. To do this, go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy and click “Manage website data” to clear cache and cookies.

5. Try Incognito/Private Browsing Mode

Open Safari in Incognito or Private Browsing mode to see if the error persists. This mode disables extensions and certain settings that may interfere with website connectivity. If the error does not occur in private browsing mode, it may indicate a problem with Safari’s extensions or settings.

6. Check the validity of the SSL/TLS certificate

If you encounter errors on a particular website, check the validity of its SSL/TLS certificate You can do this by clicking on the padlock icon next to the website URL in Safari’s address bar. If the certificate is expired or invalid, contact the website administrator to resolve the issue.

7. Reset Safari Settings

If none of the above steps solve the problem, you can try resetting the Safari settings to their default values. This will restore all settings to their original state, including security preferences. To reset Safari, go to Safari > Preferences > Privacy and click “Reset Safari,” followed by “Remove All Website Data.”.

8. Check your network settings

Verify that your network settings are correct, including DNS settings and proxy configuration If you suspect a network-related problem, try connecting to a different network or restarting your router.


The “Could not establish a secure connection” error in Safari can be frustrating, but it can usually be fixed with the right troubleshooting steps. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can identify and resolve the underlying causes of the error, ensuring a smooth browsing experience in Safari. If the problem persists despite troubleshooting efforts, contact Apple Support for further assistance or consider seeking assistance from an IT professional.

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