If you use Google Chrome as your main internet browser, then it’s likely that you’ve come across the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error, which can prevent you from accessing certain websites that require a secure connection, like Gmail, Facebook, Google, and Outlook. As annoying as this problem is, it’s one that can be fixed on your end, which is what we’ll be discussing in today’s article.
What does err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert mean?
The err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error is related to the SSL certificate of the website you’re accessing. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the website’s identity and ensures that you get an encrypted connection between Google Chrome and the web server where the website is hosted. Thus, when you use Google Chrome to access a website, Chrome will check the SSL certificate to authenticate, and if the authentication isn’t accepted, you will get the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error.
How do I recognize an SSL certificate?
In Google Chrome, access any of your favorite websites and look for the padlock icon next to the URL in the address bar. If the padlock is present, the site has an SSL that protects the connection between your web browser and the server.
What can cause the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error?
While it is completely possible that the web server is rejecting the certificate or the certificate has expired, the problem is more often than not on the user’s end. Some of the more common reasons why the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error pops up on the end-user side include:
- Your computer’s time and date are out of sync.
- Your Windows operating system is severely outdated.
- Your browser may have cached data that is corrupted.
- You have an SSL/TLS protocol filtering in place (antivirus related).
- Installed third-party software is blocking the site.
- Your Google Chrome is out of date and experiencing a bug.
We have compiled a collection of methods that will help you fix the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error so that you can get back to browsing your favorite websites.
Resolutions to fix the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error in Google Chrome
Right off the hop, try restarting your computer to see if this resolves the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error with Google Chrome. Simply shut down your computer, wait for a few minutes, and then turn it back on. Once it has booted up completely, try accessing the website that was giving you trouble again.
If the issue persists, try out the following fixes.
1. Update Google Chrome to the latest version
One of the first things you should do when experiencing any Google Chrome error is update your web browser to the latest version. Outdated versions of Google Chrome are more prone to errors and bugs, which is likely the case here. To update Google Chrome:
- Open up Google Chrome (fresh tab with no other tabs open).
- Click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the browser.
- Select the Help option from the menu.
- Choose the About Google Chrome option.
- Google Chrome will check if there is an update. If there is, it will automatically install it.
Once the update is complete, restart Google Chrome and try accessing the website again.
2. Set the correct date and time on your machine
As we briefly mentioned in the causes section, having an incorrect date and time on your computer can result in the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error. This is because Google Chrome will use your computer’s date and time to verify the SSL certificate of the website you’re trying to access. Here is how to remedy this.
- Right-click the clock in the bottom right-hand corner of your desktop.
- Select “Adjust date/time” to open the date/time settings.
- You can also search “date and time” in your computer’s search menu.
Check to see if the date and time are correct. If they aren’t, you’ll need to change them accordingly. You can do this by toggling ON the set time automatically setting if it’s toggled off, OR you can use the Sync now function to sync the date and time to time.windows.com.
Once you have set the date and time correctly, restart your computer and try accessing the website again.
3. Clear your browser cache
If you’re still seeing the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error, it could be because your browser has cached corrupted data. To clear your browser’s cache, do the following:
- Open up Google Chrome (fresh tab).
- Use the three dots in the upper right-hand corner and select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and security and choose Clear browsing data.
- Alternatively, just type chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in Google Chrome’s address bar.
- Choose to clear: browsing & download history, cookies, and other site data, as well as cached images and files.
- Once you have selected all of these options, click on the Clear data button.
This will clear your browser’s cache and allow it to start fresh, hopefully resolving the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error.
4. Remove or disable all browser extensions
If you have any browser extensions installed, try removing or disabling them one by one to see if this resolves the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error. To remove a browser extension:
- Open up Google Chrome and type in the following into the address bar:
- This will open up your Google Chrome extensions.
- From here, disable all of your extensions by toggling them off.
- Once you have disabled all of your extensions, restart Google Chrome and try accessing the website again.
If the issue persists, you can remove the extensions completely by clicking on Remove for each of them.
5. Disable experimental QUIC protocol
Another potential fix for the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error is to disable Google Chrome’s use of QUIC protocol. QUIC is a new encrypted transport layer network protocol that is in an early development phase, and it is designed to make HTTP traffic more secure, efficient, and faster. You can try disabling this experimental feature to see if it clears out the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error.
- Open up Google Chrome and type the following into the address bar: chrome://flags/
- This will open up your Google Chrome flags.
- From here, find the Experimental QUIC protocol option using the search feature and use the drop-down menu to change it from default to disabled.
Once you have disabled it, restart Google Chrome and try accessing the website again.
6. Temporarily disable third-party security software (antivirus)
Are you running any third-party internet security software like an antivirus? If so, this could be the reason for the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error. Try disabling it and restarting your computer.
When your antivirus is disabled, ONLY access the website that you were getting the error on, as you don’t want to be visiting tons of sites with your antivirus turned off. If you can access the website, then you know that a setting or protocol within your antivirus is the cause of the SSL block. From here, you can troubleshoot with your specific antivirus software in mind.
7. Update Windows to the latest version
If you’re using an older version of Windows, try updating it to the latest version and see if this resolves the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error. To update your Windows version:
- In your computer’s search menu, type in “Windows Update”.
- Click into the Windows update settings.
- Once the Windows Update settings are open, click on the “Check for updates” button.
- If updates are available, install them and then restart your computer.
Try accessing the website again to see if the issue has been resolved once your Windows machine has been fully updated.
Wrapping it up
Did any of these methods resolve the err_bad_ssl_client_auth_cert error for you? Let us know in the comments below. If you’re still struggling with the SSL error after trying all of these methods, you may need to reinstall Google Chrome or use another browser for the time being.