Safari Mac: This Connection is Not Private (Fix)


Are you getting the “This Connection is Not Private” error on Safari for Mac? Here’s why and the steps to fix it.

When you see the “This Connection is Not Private” error on Safari Mac, your browser is warning you the particular site could be a threat to your computer.

In most cases, this is because a website uses HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), meaning the website is probably not encrypted or hasn’t had a secure connection update, and it could be vulnerable to third-party attacks. The browsers prevent us from taking the risk.

Each time you visit a website, your browser runs a series of checks, including reviewing a site’s security certificate; they’re looking for HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which means an encrypted communication connection from the website to your Mac.

It’s worth mentioning here that it’s not always a cyber threat. Here are another few reasons you might get a connection privacy error:

  • Outdated browser
  • Incorrect date/time settings
  • Server issues

Safari has built-in security features to protect you against deceptive, harmful, and suspicious websites. Visiting these types of websites may potentially harm or damage your computer. One of the warning messages you get is this ‘connection is not private’ message. This message recommends that you do not visit this particular website.

There are a few reasons for a failed secure connection between the user and the website’s server:

You can bypass this message (make sure that you know what you are doing) by clicking ‘Show Details’ and clicking ‘Visit this website’.

If it’s a website you’ve never visited before, then it’s probably best to avoid it altogether.

But for some reason, you really need to visit the site; then, as always, there are a few workarounds.

Reload the page

Many times, when this issue appears, Mac computers running any browser simply stop trying, but it could simply be a server timing out.

This could result in the failure of issuing the SSL certificate, which then triggered the error.

It could be the case that too many users are overloading the server, resulting in a connection error.

You can simply refresh the page to get rid of the error. There are a couple of ways to do this in Safari Mac.

Method 1. Right click > Reload Page.

Safari Mac Refresh Page 1

Method 2. Tap the load button next to domain name at the top.

Safari Mac Refresh Page 3

Try Private Mode

Incognito mode doesn’t log sites into your history or cache, and those may be the reasons a site won’t load for you.

Sometimes if a website has a few security issues, accessing it in private mode can help you get online.

Try visiting the website with the Private Browsing mode turned on. Copy the URL and visit the URL in Private Mode. Then try to visit the same URL normally, i.e. not in Private Mode.

Simply Press the Command + Shift + N button or click on Menu > File > New Private Window.

Safari Private Window

If you’re using a VPN, there might be a problem there

Its routing may confuse websites that aren’t made available to users from certain countries. Many VPNs don’t allow you the option to choose how your connection is routed.

Safari VPN

Try disabling them and re-try again.

If you’re using a public Wi-Fi connection, getting the “This connection is not private” error could also indicate that your Wi-Fi connection is not secure.

Try connecting to a different Wi-Fi network to see if the problem persists. If you regularly use public Wi-Fi networks, always use a VPN to protect your private data as public networks run on HTTP, the non-secure variant of the transfer protocol.

Clear the browser cookies and cache

The solution may be as simple as clearing your browser’s cache and cookies.

Clearing browser data in Safari Mac

  1. Tap on the menu bar Safari > Preferences.
    Safari Clear Website Data 1
  2. Go to the Privacy tab and then click on the Manage Website Data button.
    Safari Clear Website Data 2
  3. Select the website for which you want to delete the data and then click on the Remove button.
    Safari Clear Website Data 3

Clear History on Safari Mac

You can clear the browsing history on Safari for Mac by following these steps: From the menu, click on Safari > Clear History.

Safari Clear History 1

You will be asked to choose a time frame for which the browsing history should be cleared. Select and click on Clear History.

Safari Clear History 2

Empty browser cache on Safari Mac

To do this, first you need to make sure that the Develop menu is enabled. From the menu, click on Safari > Preferences. Go to the Advanced tab and make sure Show Develop menu in menu bar is enabled.

Safari Empty Cache 2

Next, from the menu bar, click Develop and then click on Emtpy Caches to completely clear all the cache from the Safari browser.

Check the third-party security software

Some antivirus software has an SSL connection scanning feature and sometimes, they catch unusual certificates, which then trigger the error.

It can cause errors as it overrides your network settings or causes this error by mistake. Try disabling/deactivating that feature to see if this resolves your problem.

You may have to dig deeper into the software you’re using, as each one is different from the other. If you can’t find the feature, you could also temporarily turn off the antivirus software and see if it solves the problem.

After disabling the feature or the antivirus software, try refreshing the website that you’re trying to access. If the issue has now disappeared, then you can confirm that it is the antivirus that’s causing the concern.

Restart Everything

Try to force restart on the device, including the Wi-Fi modem.

  • Restart your Mac
  • Restart your iPhone or iPad
  • Restart your Wi-Fi modem and router. Unplug the power adapter of the Wi-Fi Router and plug it back in after 2-3minutes.

Since the router has its own operating system, it could also cause errors, especially when it overheats or experiences some temporary bugs.

Check the system date

If your computer isn’t set with the correct date and time, your browser may have a problem checking the validity of a website’s SSL certificate.

On your macOS device, make sure that the date, time, and time zone are set correctly. The certificate may seem invalid already according to your local date and time.

If you’ve recently traveled to a different time zone and your date and time settings are incorrect, this can cause all kinds of annoying issues on a Mac.

Set the date and time to automatically detect your location and according to region. The date and time will be allotted to your device.

Once you have set the correct date and time, refresh the website that you’re trying to access. If the problem lies with the invalidation of the SSL certificate due to incorrect date and time, then this will certainly fix the error.

To check the Date and Time settings on your Mac, click on the Apple icon from the menu bar and click System Preferences > Date & Time.

Mac Check Date and Time Settings

Ignore the warning and proceed

Safari gives you the option to override the error message manually, but this potentially puts your Mac at risk, so if you really don’t need to do this, don’t.

How to override connection error on Safari:

  1. On the error message, select the Show Details button.
  2. Click “visit this website.”
  3. From the pop-up box, press Visit Website.

Use Keychain Access

Press command+space bar to open Spotlight and, using Spotlight search, open the Keychain Access. Look for the related certificate, click on Trust > Always Trust.

Keychain Access SSL Certificates

Final Thoughts:
The reason why you see this warning is mostly a website-related issue, entering the wrong URL, an incorrect system clock, a VPN issue, or even a corrupted browser cache. Please try each step above until your issue is resolved.

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