Fix "secure connection can't be established" problem (regardless of browser)

Hi everyone,

I’m going nuts here. I’m running a mid-2012 13" MacBook Pro with OS X Mojave installed. Up until a couple of days ago, everything was great (even under the Mojave public beta). Then, all of a sudden it seems, when I try to connect to Gmail (regardless of browser) I am told the browser cannot establish a secure connection. Plus, some web sites don’t load correctly (no images, no graphics, just 1990s-style text with links).

I have tossed out various preferences and cache files, untied and then retied the Date and Time to the Apple time server (so it’s not that problem), I’ve reinstalled Mojave (over the existing installation), and changed my DNS servers to Google’s servers.

Still, nothing working. Firewall is turned off completely (I’m behind my county’s firewall), booting in safe mode makes no difference. I am 99.999% certain it’s not in the network because the Windows laptop has no issues here, nor does my iPad when connected to the county’s network. It seems like it’s definitely a setting or corrupted file of some kind on the Mac, but none of my Google searches have unearthed anything that has solved the problem.

Any last suggestions before I nuke and reinstall the whole thing? (Ugh.)

Thanks a million!

A simple test would be to create a new profile in Firefox (if that is a browser having problems), or better yet, a new user account on the Mac and see if the issue exists there.

If not already done, I suggest disabling all browser plugins.

Is the problem just with Google sites or are others affected as well? It looks like Google issued a new certificate on August 28.

Instead of using Apple’s servers, have you tried setting the time and date manually?

I hadn’t thought to create a new user account, which I will do a bit later this morning. Thanks!

I’ve seen in other discussions and articles that sometimes this problem can be caused if the local computer’s time and date are incorrect. Apparently if they are out of sync with the time and date on the web server, it won’t allow for a secure connection. But I did try the manual approach without any luck. Thanks!

I forgot to mention that the issue is not limited to Google (Gmail) sites. I’m about to set up a new user account for the Mac. If it solves the problem, I’ll report back here.

Well, nerts. The problem exists even with a brand new user account. So, that suggests to me that there’s something in the Mac’s Library or System that is messed up. Rather than nuke and pave, I think I may try a Time Machine restore from a couple of weeks ago. I’ll report back on how that goes, just in case others run into this issue.