How do you bypass a certificate error on a Mac?

Answered by Jeremy Urbaniak

When encountering a certificate error on a Mac, there are several steps you can take to bypass it and ensure your Mac trusts the certificate. Here’s a detailed guide to help you through the process:

1. Clear the browser cache: Start by clearing your browser’s cache, as outdated or corrupted cache files can sometimes cause certificate errors. To do this, open your browser’s preferences or settings, locate the option to clear the cache, and follow the instructions provided. Once the cache is cleared, try accessing the website again to see if the certificate error persists.

2. Check date & time on Mac: Incorrect date and time settings on your Mac can also lead to certificate errors. Make sure the date, time, and time zone settings are accurate by following these steps:
– Click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and select “System Preferences.”
– Choose “Date & Time” from the preferences window.
– In the “Date & Time” tab, tick the box next to “Set date and time automatically” to sync with Apple’s time server.
– If the option above is already enabled, you can try disabling it temporarily, manually set the date and time correctly, and then re-enable the automatic option.

3. Modify the trust settings: If the certificate error persists, you can manually modify the trust settings for the certificate to make your Mac trust it. Follow these steps:
– When you encounter the certificate error, click on the lock icon in the address bar of your browser.
– In the popup window, select “Show Certificate” or “View Certificate.”
– Look for the “Trust” section in the certificate details.
– Expand the “Trust” section and adjust the settings to your preference. You may need to select “Always Trust” for the certificate.
– Close the certificate details window and refresh the page to see if the error is resolved.

4. Import the certificate: If modifying the trust settings doesn’t work, you can try manually importing the certificate to your Mac’s keychain. Here’s how to do it:
– Download the certificate from the website you’re trying to access. It is usually available as a .cer or .pem file.
– Double-click the certificate file to open it.
– The Keychain Access application should open automatically. If not, you can find it in the Utilities folder within the Applications folder.
– In Keychain Access, select the “login” keychain from the left sidebar.
– Drag and drop the imported certificate into the “login” keychain.
– Double-click the imported certificate in Keychain Access, expand the “Trust” section, and adjust the settings as needed.
– Close Keychain Access and try accessing the website again to see if the certificate error is resolved.

It’s important to note that bypassing certificate errors should be done with caution. Certificates are designed to ensure secure communication, and bypassing them could expose you to potential security risks. Only bypass certificates from trusted sources or when you are confident about the website’s authenticity.

Remember that these steps may vary slightly depending on the browser and macOS version you are using. Additionally, if you frequently encounter certificate errors, it may be worth investigating the root cause or contacting the website administrator for further assistance.