Did you just try to visit a website in Chrome only to be met by a message saying ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE?

Web browsers and servers use SSL / TLS to encrypt data. If the browser and server aren’t using compatible versions of SSL / TLS or if something is interfering with the connection, you might see the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE message.

Thankfully, there are some troubleshooting steps you can perform to diagnose and fix the problem, whether you’re experiencing it when visiting someone else’s website or your own website.

Here’s everything that we’ll cover in this post:


What Does ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE Mean?

SSL certificates are an important part of the web because they encrypt the data that passes between a website’s server and a visitor’s web browser.

Because of this, your browser will display an error message if it isn’t able to properly connect using the SSL certificate. The alternative would be potentially exposing your data to malicious actors.

The ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE message is one such error that means there’s an issue with your browser connecting to the SSL certificate of the website that you’re trying to visit.

As the error suggests, this is typically the result of issues with the protocol version of the SSL certificate.

While people call them SSL certificates, SSL certificates are actually SSL / TLS certificates and TLS is the modern version of the protocol.

Even within TLS, there are different versions of the protocol. The latest version is TLS 1.3. TLS 1.2 is also still in use, while TLS 1.0 and TLS 1.1 were both deprecated in 2021. All SSL protocol versions have been deprecated since 2015.

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What Causes ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE?

There are several potential causes of the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error.

The first is a straightforward issue with the TLS version. This could be a problem with the version of the TLS protocol on the webserver or it could be a problem with the version that Chrome is trying to use.

For example, if your web browser is trying to use TLS 1.3 but the server is only configured to accept TLS 1.2, that could trigger the error. Or, it could even be caused by different versions of TLS 1.3.

Similarly, if you’re experiencing the error on your own website, you might’ve improperly installed your SSL certificate or your server might not be configured to use the latest versions of TLS.

Some antivirus software can also cause this error if the software is trying to inspect SSL traffic. In order to achieve this, antivirus software often manipulates SSL certificates, which can cause errors like this one.

Lastly, the error can also be caused by weird quirks in Chrome, which is why many of our troubleshooting steps involve basic actions like updating Chrome, clearing cached data, resetting Chrome settings, disabling extensions, and so on.

How To Fix ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE

Now that you know what the error is, here are some troubleshooting steps you can try to fix the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error.

Most of these tactics apply whether you’re visiting someone else’s website or your own website. However, the last troubleshooting solution specifically applies to webmasters experiencing this issue, so you’ll definitely want to read that solution if you’re working on your own website.

Clear Your Browsing Data

To improve performance, Chrome will store certain website files and data on your local computer. This is called cached data.

In some situations, this cached data can trigger errors if it’s out-of-date, including the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error.

To rule this out, you’ll want to clear the Chrome browser cache. Here’s how:

  1. Enter chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in your browser address bar.
  2. Set the time range equal to All time.
  3. Check the box for Cached images and files. Leave the other boxes unchecked.
  4. Click the Clear data button.
How to clear Chrome browser cache.
How to clear Chrome browser cache.

Flush the DNS Cache

In order to look up the IP address behind a domain name, Chrome uses the Domain Name System (DNS).

To improve efficiency, your computer will cache these results. If something goes wrong in the DNS cache, that can trigger errors like ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE.

To rule out any issues here, you can flush (clear) the DNS cache.

Here’s how to flush the DNS cache on Windows:

  1. Open Command Prompt. A fast way to do this is to press “WIN + R” and then type cmd and hit Enter.
  2. Type ipconfig /flushdns and hit Enter.
How to flush DNS cache on Windows.
How to flush DNS cache on Windows.

To learn how to flush the cache on other platforms, including macOS.

Update Chrome to the Latest Version

In some cases, you might see this error if your Chrome browser doesn’t support the latest TLS versions but the website is configured to only use the most recent version of TLS.

This isn’t likely to be the cause if you update Chrome regularly, but it could happen if you’re using a very old version of Chrome.

To rule this out, make sure that you’re using the latest version of Chrome. Here’s how:

  1. Enter chrome://settings/help in your browser address bar.
  2. Chrome will check for updates and automatically apply them if found.
  3. Click the Relaunch button to apply the update and relaunch the browser.
How to update Chrome.
How to update Chrome.

Check Your Computer’s Date/Time Settings

Every SSL certificate has a validity period. That is, it expires on a certain date and time.

If your computer’s date and time settings are wrong, Chrome might mistakenly think that the website’s SSL certificate has already expired, even though it’s still valid based on the correct time and date.

To rule this out, make sure that your computer is set to the correct date and time.

Windows instructions:

  • Right-click on the clock on the toolbar. This is usually in the bottom-right corner.
  • Select Adjust date/time.
  • In the popup, make sure that you’ve selected the correct time and time zone (or let Windows set them automatically). Then, click the Sync now button.
How to adjust date/time on Windows.
How to adjust date/time on Windows.

macOS instructions:

  • Select the Apple menu > System Preferences.
  • Choose Date & Time.
  • Manually enter the correct date/time or let Apple detect them manually.

Disable Chrome Browser Extensions

A good general troubleshooting tip for any error that you see in Chrome is to disable all of your browser extensions.

Browser extensions can interact with your computer and websites in unexpected ways, including causing some type of interference that triggers the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error.

Here’s how to disable your extensions:

  • Enter chrome://extensions/ in your browser bar.
  • Use the toggle to disable each active extension.

If the error goes away after disabling all of your extensions, you can try reenabling your extensions one by one to find the problematic extension.

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Disable Your Firewall or Antivirus Software

In some cases, your computer’s firewall or antivirus software might be interfering with your connection in a way that triggers the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE message.

This is especially common with Kaspersky if you’ve enabled its inspect SSL traffic option, as this feature works by manipulating SSL certificates. Other antivirus software might have similar features.

To see if this is the case, try temporarily disabling your firewall or antivirus software. If the error goes away, you know that the problem is somewhere in the software.

However, leaving your firewall permanently disabled isn’t a great long-term solution, so you’ll want to use this knowledge to either tinker with the software’s settings or switch to a different tool that doesn’t cause you problems.

Reset Chrome’s Settings

In some cases, Chrome might be configured in a way that’s triggering the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error.

To rule this out, you can try resetting Chrome to its default settings.

Note – resetting Chrome to its default settings will delete all of your cookies. This means you’ll need to log in to all of your websites again.

Here’s how to reset Chrome to its default settings:

  1. Enter chrome://settings/reset in your Chrome browser address bar.
  2. Click the option to Restore settings to their original defaults.
  3. In the popup, click the Reset settings button to confirm.
How to reset Chrome to default settings.
How to reset Chrome to default settings.

Run an SSL Diagnostic (for Webmasters)

This last tip only applies if you’re experiencing the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error on a website that you control.

In some cases, there might be an issue with how you installed your SSL certificate or how your server is configured.

For example, if your server is only configured to use TLS 1.1, that will cause the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error because Chrome no longer supports TLS 1.1 after it was deprecated in 2021.

To catch potential problems, you can scan your site using the Qualys SSL Labs diagnostic tool.

The Qualys SSL Labs results page for Kinsta.com
The Qualys SSL Labs results page for Kinsta.com

If it flags any major issues, you’ll want to fix those and then see if that makes the ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE error go away.

Pay special attention to the TLS versions that your server supports. If your server does not support TLS 1.3 (or at least TLS 1.2 at a minimum), you’ll need to find a way to enable that.

If you scroll down to the Configuration section, you can see the specific TLS versions that your server supports:

How to see which TLS versions your server supports.
How to see which TLS versions your server supports.
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Summary

Web browsers and servers rely on the SSL / TLS protocols to encrypt data. If they aren’t able to properly connect over the protocol, your web browser will display an error message like ERR_SSL_VERSION_INTERFERENCE.

To try to fix the problem, you can implement the troubleshooting steps above.

We also have guides on how to fix other common SSL errors that you might experience in Chrome or other browsers:

In addition to those specific guides, we also have a post on fixing 8 common SSL connection errors.


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