Imagine yourself in a noisy room, trying to communicate with someone on the other side. It’s confusing and frustrating, and important information can get lost.

The same happens in the digital space when the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error arises, disrupting the communication between your website and a user’s browser.

To make things worse, it can cause a loss in user trust and negatively affect your website’s reputation and performance. When browsers don’t trust a website, they display an off-putting security warning, urging visitors to leave it.

This quick guide shows how to fix the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error, so if you’re facing it on your website, stick to the end to get rid of it.

Table of Contents

  2. Common Causes of the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT Error
  3. How To Fix the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT Error as a Website Owner?>
  4. How To Fix the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT Error as a Website Visitor?


The ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error is a common issue that signifies an unrecognized SSL certificate, preventing users from accessing a website until it’s resolved. The error occurs when users’ browsers can’t identify your website’s certificate. It’s a red flag signaling your website’s communication isn’t secure.

Ensuring your site’s SSL configuration meets the standards is essential for security, reassuring visitors that their data is protected. A functioning SSL certificate not only proves the legitimacy of your website but also guards against man-in-the-middle attacks. With easy setup options available, there’s no excuse for lacking SSL protection, especially when it’s all but mandatory across most browsers and systems.


Unlike other errors, this particular issue has just a few origins: an invalid SSL certificate, incorrect certificate configuration, or your website not being configured to load over HTTPS can all trigger it. Let’s dissect each factor so you can maintain your site’s security and accessibility.

Invalid certificate

The most common reason for the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error is an invalid SSL certificate on your website. Perhaps it’s expired, self-signed, or issued by an unrecognized certificate authority. It could also be that the certificate doesn’t match your site’s domain name.

Another reason could be a revoked SSL certificate. When a certificate authority revokes a certificate, they no longer consider it valid, often due to security concerns or improper issuance. Browsers will then reject connections to the website, displaying the error.

SSL Certificate’s Improper Configuration

The ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error can stem from various misconfigurations related to your SSL certificate. One common issue surfaces from mismatched names between the certificate and the address entered in the browser, particularly prevalent in shared hosting setups.

Another culprit could be faulty SSL installation due to an incorrect intermediate certificate sequence during upload, leading to an incomplete certificate chain. And, since each server or client has specific configuration steps, ensuring accurate setup is often challenging for inexperienced web admins.

The Website Doesn’t Load Over HTTPS

When websites don’t load over HTTPS, data isn’t encrypted, leaving it vulnerable to interception and manipulation by hackers. As a result, users’ personal and financial information, like login credentials, can be easily compromised.

Modern web browsers warn visitors about non-HTTPS websites, highlighting the potential security risks and preventing them from interacting further with the site. That’s why installing an SSL certificate on the server is only the first step. Simply having the SSL certificate doesn’t enable a secure connection.

Without enforcing HTTPS, the website remains vulnerable to potential security breaches. It will only load over the secure version when users manually type “https://” in the address bar, but that’s not the case most of the time.

How To Fix the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT Error as a Website Owner?

As a website owner, fixing the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error is a multi-step process. Firstly, confirm your certificate is from a trusted certificate authority and ensure your SSL installation configuration aligns with the server’s requirements.

If issues persist, forcing your website to load over HTTPS, restarting your server, or contacting your hosting provider for assistance may be necessary.

1. Ensure Your SSL Certificate is Valid

If you do the basics right, you won’t encounter this error. First, ensure your SSL certificate is from a reputable CA like Sectigo, DigiCert, or another provider’s browser trust.

Next, follow the best SSL certificate management practices. Renew the certificate before it expires, usually a week or two in advance. If you miss the SSL renewal deadline, visitors won’t be able to access your website and will see the error, questioning your security standards.

Finally, don’t use self-signed certificates. Browsers don’t trust them because they lack a reliable way to verify a website’s identity. Without this, self-signed certs are only suitable for testing, not for live environments where trust and security are crucial.

2. Check your SSL Installation Configuration

Use the Qualys SSL Server Test tool to determine the exact cause of the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error. It checks your SSL configuration and points out any potential issues.

Upon conducting, it thoroughly examines various aspects of the SSL/TLS configuration, including certificate validity, protocol support, cipher strength, and key exchange mechanisms. It checks for common misconfigurations such as expired or incorrectly installed certificates, mismatched domain names, and insecure protocols or cipher suites.

With the instant scan, you get a comprehensive report on all aspects of your SSL installation, allowing you to fix any SSL-related issue.

3. Force Your Website to Load over HTTPS

You’ll need to set up a 301 redirect from HTTP to HTTPS. You can do it in your .htaccess file if you’re using Apache or in your server block if you’re using Nginx.

For Apache, add the following lines to your .htaccess file:

RewriteEngine On
RewriteCond %{HTTPS} off
RewriteRule ^(.*)$ https://%{HTTP_HOST}%{REQUEST_URI} [L,R=301]

For Nginx, add the following line in your server block:

return 301 https://$host$request_uri;

After setting up the redirect, clear your browser cache and test your website to ensure it consistently loads over HTTPS.

4. Contact Your Hosting Provider for Help

If you’ve tried all the above steps and the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error persists, it’s time to seek help from your hosting provider. They’ll have the technical expertise and access to server configurations you may not.

Contact them and explain the situation in detail, including the steps you’ve already taken to resolve the issue. Your hosting provider may need to check if the server’s SSL configuration is correct or if your SSL certificate is properly installed. They can also verify if the server name matches the name in the SSL certificate.

Remember, a quick response from your hosting provider can save your site from prolonged downtime and potential loss of visitors.

How To Fix the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT Error as a Website Visitor?

As a visitor, there’s not much you can do to directly resolve this issue, as it requires action from the website owner or administrator. Sometimes, the error may be temporary or due to a glitch. Refreshing the page might resolve it, but if the error persists, it’s likely a more serious issue.

Since it’s an SSL certificate issue or server-side misconfiguration, the best action is to contact the website owner or administrator and alert them to the problem. Look for contact information on the website, or try reaching out through social media if available.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, fixing the ERR_SSL_UNRECOGNIZED_NAME_ALERT error can be attributed to an invalid certificate, configuration issues, or non-HTTPS website loading.

By meticulously checking your SSL certificate, using scanning tools, and correctly configuring your website, you can overcome this problem. If the issue persists, reach out to your hosting provider. Remember, a valid SSL certificate is essential to your online reputation and safety.

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Experienced content writer specializing in SSL Certificates. Transforming intricate cybersecurity topics into clear, engaging content. Contribute to improving digital security through impactful narratives.