Have you come across the “err_cert_common_name_invalid” error while browsing the internet?
Or did this error message pop up on your website, and you’re unsure what to do next?
Not knowing how to fix such an error message can frustrate website owners and folks browsing. But there’s no need to panic!
The err_cert_common_name_invalid error message typically shows up when there is a problem with the SSL certificate of the website you want to visit.
It’s a common browser error, and there are simple solutions that you can put in place to fix it.
In this article, I’ll explain what the err_cert_common_name_invalid error message means. I will also share six ways to fix it. Let’s dive in!
- What does ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID mean?
- What Causes ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID To Appear On Your Browser?
- 6 Ways To Fix The ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID Error Message
- Conclusion: Final Thoughts
What does ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID mean?
To understand this error, let’s dive in quickly to understand how websites and their certificates work.
Websites use HTTPS connections to transfer data. The connection is established with an SSL Certificate assigned to a particular domain.
The quote from DigiCert below should make the significance of SSL certificates clearer:
SSL certificates create an encrypted connection and establish trust.
ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID error means your browser does not trust the website you are trying to access. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that the website is unsafe.
What Causes ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID To Appear On Your Browser?
There are many reasons why you may see the err_cert_common_name_invalid error message on your screen:
#1. Incorrect Domain Name
An incorrect domain name is one of the most common reasons this error message appears on your browser. This typically happens if you try to access a website with a different domain name from the one in the SSL certificate.
#2. Expired or Invalid Certificate Installed
If a website’s SSL certificate has expired, it can cause this error message to show up.
This can sometimes happen when the website owner fails to renew or install their SSL certificate.
Note: Web Hosting, Reseller Hosting, and VPS/Cloud Dedicated servers at Namehero come with free and automatic SSL certificates. All domains and subdomains hosted with us will have complete SSL coverage (i.e., HTTPS).
#3. Incorrect Date and Time Settings
Your computer’s date and time settings play an important role in SSL certificates. If the date and time on your system are incorrect, the browser will consider the SSL certificate invalid.
#4. Interference From Browser Extensions
Some browser extensions interfere with SSL certificates, causing the error to appear.
6 Ways To Fix The ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID Error Message
There are many ways to fix the err_cert_common_name_invalid error message:
#1. Double-Check The Domain Name
First, ensure the domain name you are trying to access is correct, especially If you accessed the website through a bookmark.
Make sure you typed the correct website address. A small typo in the URL can cause the website name to be wrong, resulting in this error message.
#2. Check The SSL Certificate
One quick fix is to verify the domain name on the SSL certificate. Check if it matches the website domain name you are trying to access.
If there’s a mismatch, it will definitely cause the err_cert_common_name_invalid error code to appear on your screen.
Note: You can check any website’s SSL certificate by clicking the lock icon in your browser’s address bar.
#3. Clear Browser Cache & Cookies
Clearing browser history will clear old website data that could conflict with the SSL certificate. Follow the instructions below for Google Chrome users:
- To clear your Chrome browser’s cache and cookies, click the three vertical dots on the top right of your browser.
- Next, go to the settings, and click “Privacy and security.”
- Then, click “clear browsing data”, and select both the “cache” and “cookies” options.
Check if the err_cert_common_name_invalid error message persists. If it has disappeared, then this was the fix that you needed!
Note: Sometimes, a browser extension (or having too many browser extensions) may also be the reason behind SSL errors. Try switching off all browser extensions and check if that resolves the issue.
#4. Update Your Device’s Date And Time Settings
Your device’s incorrect date and time settings can often cause the err_cert_common_name_invalid error message to show up.
An easy fix is to make sure your device’s date and time are correct and synced to the internet and timezone. If they’re off, it can cause a conflict with the SSL certificate.
- To do this in macOS, head to your device’s settings, then choose “date and time settings.”
- Then, select the “Automatic Date and Time/ Automatically detect settings” option.
Here’s a screenshot below for MAC users:
#5. Update Your Browser
If your browser is outdated, it is sometimes incompatible with the latest SSL certificates. Updating your browser is a quick fix that can help with the issue.
You can update your Google Chrome browser by going to browser settings and clicking “About Chrome.” If there are any browser updates, they will show up here.
#6. Disable Antivirus Software (Temporarily)
If you are using antivirus software, it may be causing certificate validation issues.
Disable HTTPS scanning in your antivirus software, or try disabling the software altogether to check if it resolves the issue.
Try reaccessing the website to see if the error message persists.
Note: Switching off your antivirus and firewall might help resolve the err_cert_common_name_invalid message . But this isn’t a safe long-term solution. Your antivirus and firewall exist to protect your device from malware. Consider adding these websites to your antivirus software’s safe list if the error message disappears.
If you’re looking to fix The ERR_SSL_PROTOCOL_ERROR, check out this guide.
Conclusion: Final Thoughts
The err_cert_common_name_invalid error message is a typical browser error that can occur sometimes.
An incorrect domain name, an expired or invalid certificate, or mismatched date and time settings can cause the error message.
Test out all the methods mentioned above until you are successful.
If you are experiencing this issue on your website, ensure your SSL certificate is valid. If nothing works, contact your website hosting provider for help.
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Nirali has over a decade of experience working in marketing with startups in a variety of sectors, including e-commerce, ed-tech, and SaaS. She has a keen understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities facing early-stage companies and a track record of developing effective content strategies that drive growth and engagement.