Apple came up with Safari for keeping users safer when they surf the internet on their Mac, iPad, or iPhone. Safari comes with various in-built security features. However, the most remarkable one is that Safari does not load a page if it does not find it secure.
Generally, the refusal for loading websites by Safari reminds us to be extra careful about sites that we trust. However, in some cases, you come across the ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server‘ issue even when you open the most trusted websites on the internet. So, here are some effective ways to resolve this issue.
Part 1: Reasons Why the ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection to the Server’ Issue Pops Up
While loading a website, Safari examines to check whether that site is employing secure encryption for protecting your data. If it could not verify it, then you may see the message ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server‘ flashing on your screen. This happens because Safari refuses to upload that page.
So, encryption is very important for protecting your security and privacy. If a site does not employ secure encryption, then third-parties can find a way to watch everything you do on visiting that site. This means they will discover your web browsing habits. Even worse, they might find out your login details of accounts, such as online banking.
How do users know whether Safari made a secure connection?
To verify whether the connection is secure or not, Safari checks the certificate of each website. Taking a closer look at the Search bar at the Safari’s top will let you know how secure the site you are surfing is.
If you come across a grey padlock against the site’s name, then the website is secure and features a standard certification.
On the other hand, if there is a green padlock, then that site has a more extensive verification certificate. These websites are far more secure than the earlier ones.
If you cannot see any padlock, you may come across the ‘Not Secure‘ phrase. Users should avoid putting in any financial or personal information on these sites since they are not at all secure. So, it is recommended to avoid unsecured sites altogether, if you can.
People may even find pop-up messages notifying them about bad certificates or unsecured websites. Also, Safari may refuse to upload that page at all if ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server.’
Part 2: Different Ways to Resolve ‘Safari Can’t Establish A Secure Connection to the Server.’
Generally, Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server when the site you visit does not have a valid security certification and is not employing secure encryption. This is usually the case with dangerous and fraudulent websites.
Sometimes, however, Safari can’t make secure connections even when you load trusted websites like Google, Facebook, or Amazon. If this is the case, there may be some problems with your application settings or internet connection. Then, you can use some general troubleshooting tips to load the site.
2.1 By checking the URL again
It is possible that the site you are trying to upload is not the one that you really like to visit. Scammers and fraudsters often make fake sites designed to feature as the actual deal for stealing your important personal details.
So, it is best to examine the URL in the search bar at the top and ensure that you have put in the correct web address. This is because even small mistakes, such as .co.uk when it has to be .com, can mean you are on the wrong website.
If you are not quite sure what the actual web address needs to be, then use a reliable search engine for finding that website instead.
Also, let’s figure out how to fix the Safari cannot open the page because the address is invalid issue with ease.
2.2 By setting the accurate date and time
Sometimes, using the inaccurate date and time could end up in unexpected issues like ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server.’ This could stop users from downloading the recent software update, loading protected web pages, or downloading new applications.
On Mac, visit the menu ‘Apple‘ and then open ‘System Preferences.’ From there, choose the ‘Date & Time‘ tab. Select the padlock for unlocking changes and then switch on the toggle present against ‘Set date and time automatically.’
On iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad, visit ‘Settings‘ and then tap on the ‘General‘ tab. From there, choose the ‘Date & Time‘ option. Switch on the toggle present next to the ‘Set automatically‘ option if it is not switched on.
2.3 By changing to another DNS
The DNS (Domain Name System) your device or computer employs features like a phone directory for all the sites that you visit on the web. When you put in a web address in the URL column, Safari uses this DNS to find the current location of the page on the web.
So, issues with the DNS could end you up in a wrong address, which may be the reason behind ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server.’
Fortunately, it is quite simple and free to change to another DNS. This even makes Safari work faster. We recommend you use the public DNS of Google. However, there are lots of other alternatives available also.
On your Mac, visit the menu ‘Apple‘ and open ‘System Preferences.’ After that, choose the ‘Network‘ tab. Select the Wi-Fi network. Then, go to the menu ‘Advanced.’ Open ‘DNS‘ and add the public DNS servers of Google listed below using the (+) Plus sign.
On your iPod touch, iPad, or iPhone, visit ‘Settings‘ and then select ‘Wi-Fi.’ Click on the ‘i‘ icon present next to your Wi-Fi connection. From there, choose the option ‘Configure DNS.’ Select ‘Manual‘ and get rid of the present DNS servers. After that, add the following public DNS servers of Google.
The Public DNS Servers of Google are as follows:
2.4 By setting the antivirus program to trust the site
On your Mac, antivirus software may hinder Safari, and thus, you face the ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server’situation. If you are using antivirus software, then add sites to the list of trusted websites for avoiding problems in the future.
Of course, users should only carry out this task if they can completely trust that website. If you feel like there is a possibility that it can be dangerous, do not add that site to the trusted site list.
The method for trusting websites varies depending on the specific antivirus software. Usually, there is a window called ‘Settings‘ or ‘Preferences‘ that lets users do it. If you could not find this option, contact the manufacture to seek assistance.
2.5 By asking Keychain to trust the certificate
Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server when it does not trust the certificate of that website. In that case, you can visit the application Keychain Access on the Mac for telling Safari to tryst that site to avoid future issues. Once again, it is suggested only if you are pretty sure that the site is absolutely safe.
For making Safari trust site certificates, users have to discover which certificates the site uses exactly. The best method to perform this task is by using another web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.
Visit the page that you like to open in another browser and tap on the padlock sign present next to its URL address. Here, search for information to discover a way to the site’s ‘View Certification.’ You will find this option in different places, depending on browsers.
Next, press the keys ‘Cmd‘ and ‘Space.’ Use the spotlight for opening the Keychain Access application. From the menus present on the side, choose ‘System Roots‘ and then, ‘Certificates.’ Now, look for the site certificates that you just discovered in another browser using the search bar.
To examine its settings, double-tap on each certificate. In the section ‘Trust,’ visit the drop-down menu to access ‘When using this certificate‘ option and then select ‘Always Trust‘. Now, refresh the site in Safari and check whether the ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server issue has been resolved or not.
2.6 Disabling IPv6 for the network
The IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) method is used for identifying and locating things connected to your internet. This includes all the IP addresses for your HomePod, Apple Watch, iPhone, Mac, and many more.
If you do not know, iPv4 was in place instead of the new IPv6 protocol. Even now, some websites use the older protocol for identifying devices, which can cause problems like ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server’ while it tries connecting to that site.
To resolve this issue, you can disable IPv6 temporarily on the Mac. For this, open the menu ‘Apple‘ and then choose ‘System Preferences.’ After that, choose the ‘Network‘ tab. Choose your Wi-Fi network and go to the menu ‘Advanced.’ Now, you have to visit ‘TCIP/IP.’
From the drop-down menu of ‘Configure IPv6‘, choose ‘Manually‘ and then press ‘OK.’ Now, see if the issue still persists or not.
Part 3: How to Continue Secure Browsing Using A VPN
When it comes to surfing, Safari strives hard to keep users secure on the web. So, when Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server, it is a good sign that you should not trust that site. However, there is another thing that you can do to enhance internet security.
With the help of a VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your device, you can keep your online activities private. There are lots of free VPNs for iOS devices on the internet. However, you can also consider paid VPN subscriptions for further security.
So, these are some of the ways to deal with the ‘Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server‘ issue. If Safari cannot connect to a website, you should trust it. However, if you are absolutely sure about it, then go for it. Use the methods listed above to resolve this issue and enjoy a smooth surfing experience!