Fix: Safari cannot establish a secure connection

When using Safari to browse the internet, you may stumble upon an error message saying, “Safari can’t establish a secure connection to the server.” As irritating as it is, this is a common problem that most Apple users have experienced once in their lifetime.

If, however, you are sure that the site is safe, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, then Safari is likely to be experiencing a problem. This article will explain why Safari displays an error message and how you can troubleshoot such problems.

What is the “Safari cannot establish a secure connection” error message?

“Safari can’t establish a secure connection” or “Safari can’t open the page” error messages mean that the site’s server does not meet the specified cryptographic standards. In short, the browser does not trust the website and therefore cannot open it.

It can also mean that Safari cannot successfully access nor confirm information from the website. The website has weak encryption, or the browser cannot connect to its server.

Alternatively, it may not be the website that has a problem but Safari itself. The problem can range from third-party software to the IP version installed in your device. Despite all these, there are quick and easy steps on how to troubleshoot and open a webpage on the Safari browser.

How to fix your Safari browser

If your Safari browser isn’t opening pages and instead it shows the messages “Safari cannot establish a secure connection” try out these fixes:

1. Adjust your DNS address

The Safari browser may display the error message because the found DNS server or the website is blocked by a firewall. You can try to align your DNS using Google public DNS and check if it fixes the problem. 

Below are steps on how to change your DNS address:

  • Open the Apple Menu and select System Preferences.
  • Tap on the Network control panel.
  • Select Advanced and then select DNS tab.
  • Select the + button to add in a new DNS address.
  • Insert and press Enter key. 
  • Again, click on the + button, enter and then press Enter. 
  • Select OK. When finished, click Apply.

Read Also: Safari cannot open the page on the iPhone

2. Turn off IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6)

There is a chance that the IPv6 conflicts with the IPv4, hence the Safari connection error message. An alternative to this problem is to turn off the IPv6 using the following steps:

  • Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.
  • Tap on the Network control panel.
  • Choose the network interface that you are currently using on the left side.
  • Select Advanced and then select the TCP/IP tab.
  • Where there is the Configure IPv6 option, select Off.

3. Disable the third-party software

Your Safari browser may fail to open because it is intervened by third-party software like an anti-virus. The anti-virus web protection feature may restrict you from accessing other websites. Disabling such software may stop the error message from interfering and bypass the secure connection on Safari.

Here’s how you can do it:

  • Restart the computer.
  • If your computer has a login window, press and hold the shift button before pressing the login button. If not, press and hold the Shift button when the progress bar begins. Release the key when you switch to Desktop.
  • You can then try surfing the internet using Safari and see whether there is an error.

4. Clear Safari’s cache data

When using Safari to surf websites, it gathers a lot of information in its cache and cookies. Among the information, there may be outdated SSL or encryption that leads to an error message. A simple way to solve this is by clearing the browser’s cache. Below are the steps to doing it:

  • Open the Safari browser.
  • Select Preferences and then select Privacy. 
  • Select Remove All Website Data.
  • Once it has finished loading for one to two minutes, select the websites that you want to clear cache data from.
  • Select the Done button at the bottom of the screen.
  • If you also want to clear the browser’s history, go to History and click on Clear History.
  • Once completed, you can visit the website displaying the error message.


The reason why Safari cannot open the page is that it could not establish a secure connection. It can also be because the site is not secure or the browser is experiencing a malfunction. 

It can be frustrating to access a site and the error message appears on the browser. You can use the troubleshooting tips to fix the browser and surf the net smoothly and trouble-free.

Read Also: Safari keeps crashing on your iPhone? How to fix