How to Fix: "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" Error in IE, Edge

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets reader Julia R. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I recently installed Windows 10 and while cleaning things up, inadvertently installed a program called 'Advanced PC Care' from my Download folder. Now when I go to use Internet Explorer 11 and Edge in Windows 10, I receive an error message stating: 'There is a problem with this website's security certificate,' no matter what website I try and visit. I have uninstalled the Advanced PC Care program but both IE11 and Edge are broken. I am completely at my wits end. Can you help? "

My response:

I asked Julia if she would like me to connect to her machine via remote desktop support to have a better look, and she agreed. Sure enough, both web browsers would report the same error message, "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" - no matter what website I tried to open.

I queried Google for an answer to this problem and came across multiple answers; unfortunately, none of the solutions worked in Julia's case. That said, the most popular reason that the error "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" appears is if the date, time, year and time zone on the computer are incorrect. In that case, all website security certificates will be invalid because they rely on correct date and time to function properly. I'll explain a bit more of that further down.

As with most programs that give strange error messages, usually uninstalling a program and reinstalling it will fix the issue. However, that is not possible with Internet Explorer and Edge because they are part of the operating system; as such, the next best option would be to reset both browsers. That is what I did, and that is what fixed the problem in both cases. Below I'll detail the steps I used to fix "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" error.

How to Fix: "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" Error in IE, Edge

As I mentioned above, the first thing you should do is ensure that the date, time, year, and time zone on the system clock are in fact correct. If it is not, it will cause website security certificates to become invalid.

For the record, a website certificate deals with secure (https) connections - such as when dealing with your bank's website, for example. Certificates are what validate that a website portal is using a secure connection. In case you were wondering: secure certificates are purchased by website owners and organizations (such as your bank) from "certificate authorities", such as Comodo, for example. By default, a certificate will expire after a year; however, most established websites will purchase a certificate up to 5 years in advance. After that, the website has to re-new their certificates. If the date, time, time zone, and year are incorrect on your system's clock, then the certificate will be invalid, and that is why you receive the error "There is a problem with this website's security certificate".

To resolve this problem you can double click on clock in the tray bar in Windows, then ensure that the correct date, time, time zone, and year and selected, then close your web browser. After that, re-load your browser, then try and access the page you were previously having trouble with. If it still doesn't work, then you can try and reset the browser, which I will describe next.

How to: Reset Internet Explorer 11

Oftentimes if you receive the error "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" it may be due to a malware infection, as in Julia's case. To reset Internet Explorer, do the following:

  1. Launch Internet Explorer 11, then click on the cog wheel icon near the top right corner of the page and select the "Internet Options" option.
     
  2. A new window will appear; select the "Advanced" tab on the top far right of the window.
     
  3. Near the bottom right of the window there is "Reset" button - click that to reset Internet Explorer.
     
  4. A new window will appear with the title "Reset Internet Explorer Settings"; check the box that says "Delete personal settings," then click the Reset button.
     
  5. Internet Explorer will begin the reset process; you will need to reboot the machine after it is completed. In that case, bookmark this page in your web browser (press CTRL + D to do so) and come back to this page after the machine has been rebooted.
     
  6. Now, try launching Internet Explorer. Your problem with the error message "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" should now have disappeared. Move on to the next step to reset Edge.

How to: Reset Edge Browser in Windows 10

To reset Edge, I like to use the PowerShell, as this method is fast and actually does a full reset, including reinstall of Edge. To do so:

  1. Close the Edge browser if it is currently open.
     
  2. Next, open up an administrative PowerShell. To do so: click Start, then type in "powershell" (no quotes); wait for "PowerShell" appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator". Next, use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    move C:\Users\$env:username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe C:\Users\$env:username\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.old
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml" -Verbose}
    echo this is a dummy line
     
  3. Right click over top of the text you highlighted above, then select "Copy" from the dialogue menu.
     
  4. Next, right click in the middle of the PowerShell window you opened, then select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The text you copied in Step #2 should now output onto the PowerShell command line. The Edge browser directory will have been renamed, and then Edge reinstalled at this point.
     
  5. When the PowerShell has finished, open up Edge browser and try to access Google.com. The error message "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" should now have gone away. You should not have to reset the machine at this point as you did with Internet Explorer.

I hope that helps. If you are still having issues, refer to the next section below.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If you're still having issues with Internet Explorer or Edge giving you the "There is a problem with this website's security certificate" error (or some other strange error) - I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me briefly describing your problem and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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