It’s common to run into errors while surfing the internet, even if you’re using a reliable browser like Google Chrome. If an issue with a site’s Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate prevents the content from loading, you may see the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error.
The good news is that you can follow a few troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue. Plus, you’ll be able to address the error both as a website owner and a visitor.
In today’s guide, we’ll introduce you to the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error and its main causes. Then, we’ll explain how to fix it as a website owner and visitor. Let’s jump in!
An Introduction To the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required Error
“NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required” is specific to Google Chrome. This error message will prevent you from accessing a website, whether it’s your own or someone else’s.
This Google Chrome error can usually be attributed to issues with a website’s SSL certificate. So, let’s take a moment to explain how SSL actually works.
SSL is an encryption protocol that secures data sent between your browser and a website’s server. It prevents third parties from stealing any information you enter into a website. Therefore, SSL is essential to site security, especially ecommerce websites that handle banking details.
Additionally, SSL authenticates data. This ensures that all data is sent to the correct server instead of a “man in the middle” that intercepts and steals your information.
Here’s a diagram that shows the SSL protocol in action:
You may notice that the above diagram mentions TLS. Transport Layer Security is the more modern version of the original SSL protocol. However, these terms are typically used interchangeably.
For this security protocol to function, you’ll need to install an SSL certificate on your website. You may receive one with your hosting plan, or you can purchase one from an issuing authority.
Furthermore, it’s important to know about Certificate Transparency. This framework reinforces the security of SSL certificates by helping domain owners see and manage their certificates, along with identifying unauthorized certificates.
Issuing authorities are also required to log their certificates within the transparency framework:
If you’re seeing the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error, this means that the site’s certificate isn’t contained within the Certificate Transparency log. It can’t be verified as an authorized certificate, so Google Chrome blocks access to the site to protect online users.
Common Causes of the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required Error
There are a few common causes of the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error. However, the most likely culprit is that the site’s SSL certificate hasn’t been added to the transparency log by the issuing authority.
There are two scenarios where a certificate is not added to the transparency log. In the first case, the issuing authority has not added the certificate, perhaps due to oversight on their end. In the second scenario, the site owner may have asked the certificate authority not to add their certificate to the log.
Here are a few other issues that can trigger this Google Chrome error:
- The site’s SSL certificate is not installed correctly. An incorrectly-installed and configured SSL certificate can trigger different SSL errors, including “NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required.”
- The SSL certificate is corrupted. A corrupted SSL certificate cannot enforce the SSL/TLS protocol.
- The certificate has expired. An expired certificate no longer enforces the data encryption and authentication protocol on a website.
Fortunately, there are a few easy ways to troubleshoot and solve this problem. In the next section, we’ll walk you through multiple fixes.
Easy Ways To Fix the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required Error
By now, you should have a general understanding of the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error and why you may be seeing it in Google Chrome.
Now, we’ll explain how to troubleshoot this error. We’ll cover fixes for both site owners and visitors.
Solutions for Website Owners
If you’re seeing this Chrome error message on your own website, you’ll want to fix it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, visitors won’t be able to access your content, and they may never return. Additionally, not having a valid SSL certificate on your site can harm your search rankings.
1. Ask the Issuing Authority To Add Your Certificate to the Certificate Transparency Log
The first step is to contact your certificate issuing authority. They may have made an error by not adding your SSL certificate to the Certificate Transparency log. You can ask them to correct this problem immediately.
You should be able to find a customer support email or ticketing system belonging to the issuing authority where you purchased your SSL certificate. Alternatively, if you have a certificate included in your hosting plan, it’s worth asking your host for assistance.
2. Apply the Certificate Transparency Exemption Policy
Due to privacy concerns, you may have previously asked the issuing authority not to add your SSL certificate to the Certificate Transparency logs. In this case, you’ll need to apply the Certificate Transparency exemption policy so that users can still access your website.
Note that this exemption policy is only applicable to corporate-managed devices in Chrome. For example, if you’re an educational facility or company that controls all its Chrome users and browsers, you can use this method to make your site available to users within your organization.
This policy will exempt your domain and/or subdomain from listing its SSL certificate in the Certificate Transparency log. Therefore, users will be able to access your website without seeing the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error message.
We recommend following these steps to set policies in Chrome Enterprise. If you’re working with Windows, the policy will look something like this:
SoftwarePoliciesGoogleChromeCertificateTransparencyEnforcementDisabledForUrls1 = example.com
SoftwarePoliciesGoogleChromeCertificateTransparencyEnforcementDisabledForUrls2 = .example.com
3. Reissue and Reinstall Your Certificate
Finally, if you believe that your SSL certificate is misconfigured or incorrectly installed, you may want to reissue and reinstall it. This way, you’ll know that your certificate is set up properly.
If your certificate is included in your hosting plan, you can contact your host’s support team for assistance. They may be able to walk you through the process or even do it on your behalf.
Otherwise, you’ll need to reissue it yourself. To do this, log in to the site where you purchased the certificate. Then, generate a Certificate Signing Request (CSR) to the issuing authority. You may also have to fill out a reissue form asking for the authority to carry out this process.
Once your certificate has been reissued, it’s time to reinstall it. If you’ve already installed an SSL certificate before, you’ll simply need to follow the same process.
For example, if you’re a Kinsta customer, you’ll need to log in to MyKinsta and head to WordPress Sites > sitename > Domains. Then, under the corresponding domain, click on the three dots and select Add custom SSL certificate:
Now accept the confirmation message by clicking on Next:
You’ll then be prompted to enter the contents of your private key (.key file) and certificate (.cert, .crt, or .cer file):
Finally, hit Add Certificate to finish the installation process. It’s worth running an SSL check to verify that you’ve completed this correctly.
Solutions for Website Visitors
If you see the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error while trying to access someone else’s website, the problem could lie with your browser or device. In this section, we’ll explain how to troubleshoot the issue.
1. Disable Your Firewall and Antivirus Software
Windows and macOS provide firewalls by default. Additionally, you may be using third-party antivirus software that further secures your device.
In some cases, firewalls can block non-harmful traffic and prevent you from visiting otherwise safe websites. Therefore, you can try disabling your firewall to see if you can access the site without triggering the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error.
On Windows, you can disable your firewall by heading to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall:
Next, click on Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off, and select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended):
If you have a Mac, you can disable your firewall by clicking on the apple symbol and selecting System Settings:
Choose Network in the left-hand menu and then Firewall. Now, you can toggle off the firewall:
We don’t recommend browsing the internet without a firewall. Therefore, if you keep seeing the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error, it could be worth installing different antivirus software and seeing if that fixes the problem.
2. Update Google Chrome
An outdated version of Google Chrome can sometimes trigger the Certificate Transparency error. If you don’t regularly update your browser, it’s worth doing it now.
Fortunately, this is very easy to do in Chrome. First, click on the three dots in the top-right corner, then hit Settings:
Next, click on About Chrome in the bottom-left menu:
Chrome will now search for updates and may even install them automatically. Otherwise, you will see a message prompting you to download and install the latest software version.
3. Delete Cookies and Cached Data
The browser cache is a collection of stored files from websites that you’ve visited before. Caching lets your browser load a site more quickly on subsequent visits because it already has some files saved.
Moreover, your browser stores cookies from the sites you visit. These text files save information about you, including your login details and activities.
Both cached files and cookies can trigger browser errors if they have outdated data within their files. That’s why clearing them from your browser is an essential troubleshooting step for many Chrome errors.
You can easily clear your browser cache and cookies by clicking on the three dots in the top-right corner of your browser window and selecting More tools > Clear browsing data:
Make sure that the boxes are checked next to both Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files:
Finally, click on Clear data. Try reloading the site to see if it triggers the Certificate Transparency error.
4. Disable Chrome Extensions
Chrome extensions add extra features to your browser and can improve your online browsing experience. However, an extension could also be triggering the NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required error due to bugs or other software problems.
To disable and delete Chrome extensions, click on the three dots in the top-right corner of the browser and navigate to More tools > Extensions:
You can disable an extension by clicking on the toggle next to it. Alternatively, selecting Remove will delete it:
If you use a lot of extensions in Chrome, you’ll need to disable them one by one until you find the culprit. Then, you can delete the extension causing the issue.
5. Clear the SSL Slate
An SSL slate stores SSL certificate details of the websites you’ve previously visited. If the site’s SSL certificate has changed, it could potentially cause an issue and trigger a browser error. Although this is rare, it could be worth clearing the SSL slate on your device.
To do this on Windows devices, head to Control Panel > Network and Internet > Internet Options:
In the pop-up window, switch to the Content tab and click on Clear SSL slate:
Windows will now clear the cache and show you a success message.
If you’re using a Mac, you can only clear the SSL slate within the Chrome browser. To do this, you’ll need to follow the steps that we covered earlier in the tutorial, where we showed you how to delete cookies and cached data.
6. Ignore the Certificate Error
If you’re certain that the website you’re trying to access is secure, you can override the Certificate Transparency error. This approach will tell the browser that you want it to ignore the issue.
However, we don’t recommend this method because it could put your device at risk. You’ll also want to reverse it immediately after you’ve finished accessing the site as you could be exposed to other unsafe websites.
To ignore the certificate error, type “chrome://flags/” into the Chrome browser. Then, search for “Insecure origins treated as secure” in the search box at the top of the screen:
Select Enabled from the dropdown menu to the right. You’ll then need to relaunch Chrome to apply the changes.
7. Contact the Site Owner
Finally, if none of the above methods have worked, it could be worth contacting the website’s owner and telling them they have an issue with their SSL certificate. They should be able to fix the problem on their end.
To do this, you’ll need to search for an email address associated with the website or submit a message via a contact form. You might even reach out to them on social media if you can’t get through to them via the site.
SSL certificates are essential for encrypting data and protecting online users. However, they can sometimes trigger Google Chrome errors, such as “NET::ERR_Certificate_Transparency_Required”.
As a website owner, you’ll need to contact your certificate issuing authority to either add your certificate to the Certificate Transparency log or reissue and reinstall it. Alternatively, site visitors can bypass this error by disabling their firewalls, deleting Chrome extensions, or clearing their SSL slates.
Partnering with a high-quality web host can help you prevent common SSL issues and other problems. At Kinsta, our hosting packages are designed to optimize your website’s performance and security. Plus, if you run into any issues, our support team is here to help you 24/7. Check out our managed WordPress hosting plans today!