Certificate Error Navigation Blocked: What That Means and How to Fix It

Solve the bug that often affects Microsoft sites

Websites use encryption certificates to protect your privacy and security when you visit them. The certificates work by encrypting data sent between your computer and the site. If a site has an outdated or incorrectly configured certificate, the browser either warns you of the situation or blocks the site from loading. This is known as a Certificate Error Navigation Blocked error.

While this guide is geared toward Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge, Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to Edge. Head to their site to download the newest version.

Chrome Privacy Error

Causes of the Certificate Error Navigation Blocked Error

There are several reasons Certificate Error Navigation Blocked occurs. Before you start digging around and trying to fix the problem, you should first consider that there may not be a problem. Maybe the site isn't configured correctly, and the browser is doing its job.

There are common causes, though, that you can fix. Below are a few causes that you may be able to fix.

  • The website isn't configured properly.
  • The system clock isn't set correctly.
  • Missing Windows updates.
  • Antivirus and firewalls block the site.
  • Compatibility issues with the browser.

How to Fix Certificate Error Navigation Blocked

If you encounter the Certificate Error Navigation Blocked issue, there are a few things you can try to bypass that error and access the site you're trying to reach.

Use caution when navigating past warnings like the Certificate Error Navigation Blocked warning. Security certificates ensure that sites are safe to browse and aren't loaded with malware that could be harmful to a system. Bypassing these errors could put your privacy and computer system at risk.

  1. Check to see if the error is justified. Depending on where you received the error, you may get a link to receive further information about the site's certificate. Otherwise, you can access that information in most browsers by selecting the lock in the address bar. If the certificate's expiration date is earlier than the current date, the certificate is expired, meaning there's nothing for you to do.

  2. Run a Windows Update. Sometimes, an outdated piece of software on the computer is to blame.

  3. Try a different web browser. Both Google Chrome and Firefox handle things differently than Edge. You may find that a site works fine on one but not the other.

  4. Update the problem browser. Edge and IE are updated along with Windows update, but you can easily update Chrome and Firefox too.

  5. Set the Windows system clock. When the clock is incorrect, Windows uses the wrong time to compare to the expiration date on the certificate, causing the error.

  6. Make sure DNS servers direct the connection to the right website. When a website changes something major, like the location where it's hosted, those DNS servers need to update. Not all DNS servers update at the same pace or have the same information. Change your DNS servers to see if you arrive in the correct place.

  7. Check antivirus and firewall settings. Make sure that an antivirus program or firewall isn't blocking the site. There are times when an antivirus program is too strict and blocks key parts of the site you're trying to access. Without the information it needs, a computer can't do anything but raise an error. Loosen the restrictions from your antivirus or firewall to see if that solves the issue.

    An alternative, but risky, option is to temporarily disable McAfee, Norton, or the Windows firewall. However, if you use this option, be aware that you're putting your computer at risk for intrusions. Re-enable the antivirus or firewall when you're finished.

  8. Remove Trusteer Rapport. Some antivirus and security applications include Trusteer Rapport, a piece of software from IBM that adds an extra level of protection when sending information online. Trusteer Rapport can cause bugs and errors, this one included. You can remove Trusteer Rapport while keeping your antivirus fully functional.

  9. Change the internet security options. Lower the level of security in Windows to see if that solves the issue.

  10. Disable protected mode in Internet Explorer. If the issue only shows up in Internet Explorer, disable protected mode to see if the safety mechanism is to blame.

    Protected mode is there for a reason, and you should only disable it if you know the error is occurring incorrectly and there isn't a legitimate reason to block the site.

  11. Add trusted sites to Internet Explorer. If you're sure that the error is unwarranted, permanently add that specific site as a trusted site for IE and Microsoft Edge. Press Windows key+R, then enter inetcpl.cpl and select OK.

  12. Disable certificate mismatch warnings. This prevents the error from popping up. This is a temporary fix, and it doesn't solve the underlying problem.

    1. Open the Internet Properties window.
    2. Select the Advanced tab.
    3. Look through the table for Warn about certificate address mismatch, and remove the check to disable it.
    4. Press Ok to apply the change.
    5. Restart the browser and access the site again.

Many of the possible solutions detailed here also work with other browsers, like Firefox and Google Chrome.

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