Most of the people who have browsed the internet using Google Chrome, have some point in time experienced several errors. These errors may cause inconveniences and disrupt your work. Whether you are gathering information on the internet, or just passing time by watching some entertaining content on various Websites and Platforms, errors can find their way into whatever you may be working with. Some of these errors are easy to deal with, while others tend to be more pesky and annoying as they require extreme and comprehensive methods to be removed.
NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID is an error that appears when you open Google Chrome. This error doesn’t allow any browsing to take place, hence your work is severely hindered and interrupted, this also means you cannot bypass it without fixing or ignoring it. This error is more commonly known as the ‘Your clock is ahead/behind error’ and it indicates that your computer system has an invalid date or time. This prevents you from accessing the internet because it is an SSL error.
SSL stands for Security Sockets Layer and its main purpose is to establish a secure relationship between the server and the client. The SSL error occurs when a browser can not verify the SSL Certificate, this means that a secure connection can not be established. A device’s outdated date or time, or even if its date or time is ahead of the actual time, can very well cause an SSL error, this means a secure connection cannot be made and you cannot access the internet using Google Chrome. Chrome is all about maintaining a person’s security and giving them privacy, while also allowing them freedom over site settings etc. So in order to ensure that any exchange of information over the internet is safe, the developers have placed protocols and measures, which can be violated when your system date and time are not valid.
There are reasons why your date and time are invalid and they are specified below:
- Using a device that hasn’t been turned on in a while: It could be that the device you are using hasn’t been turned on in ages and due to the lack of internet connection, it wasn’t able to keep up with the actual date and time.
- Malware affecting your date and time: There is a possibility that malware might be maliciously changing your date and time or even the time zones.
- Wrong Timezone: You might be in a different timezone and the timezone on your computer may be a different one.
- The browser cache might be too large: Cache and cookies are there to make our experience faster. However, if their memory exceeds a certain limit they tend to cause many problems on a Web Browser.
- Faulty CMOS battery: CMOS stands for ‘Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor’ and the purpose of the CMOS battery is to keep the BIOS running even when the computer is unplugged.
- SSL certificate is outdated: It is a digital certificate that allows us to have a secure connection by authenticating a website’s identification.
How to fix this error?
We have identified the possible causes of this error and most of the ways to fix this error are rather easy. This is section of the article is going to focus on the solutions, and step-by-step guidance along with the advice to consult professional help in case the root of the problem is not as innocent as it seems.
Update your Computer’s Date and Time
This perhaps is the easiest and the most obvious solution for this error and that is to update your system’s date and time. In order to change the date and time settings, you will need to follow these steps.
- Go to the taskbar and in the bottom right of your screen, you will see the time being displayed.
- Right-click on the time to access the menu and click on the ‘Adjust date/time’ option.
- In the screen presented you can set your time automatically or manually. We recommend that you allow the time to be set automatically.
- To set the time manually, you will have to uncheck the ‘Set time automatically option in order to make the ‘Change’ button usable.
- Once you have accessed the change date and time menu, you can put the accurate date and time manually.
In case you decide to choose the ‘Set time automatically’ option again, we recommend you click the ‘Sync’ button, so the time is automatically synced with the time and date the internet has provided. Make sure you have a stable internet connection when you try to sync.
Clear browsing history and cache
It is recommended to regularly remove your browser cache in order to ensure a smooth browsing experience. It is true that cache and cookies are there to increase the efficiency of our time browsing the internet, but if this memory becomes large enough, it can cause inconveniences. So every once in a while it is good to get rid of your browser history, which will also help you remove errors and allow chrome to run in a better way. In order to remove your Chrome history, you will need to follow these steps.
- Go to the top right corner of your Chrome Window and press the three dots icon to access the ‘History’ or press the combination ‘Ctrl + H’.
- In the left sidebar choose the ‘Clear browsing data’ option.
- In the ‘Clear browsing data’ window, you will be presented with various options to delete your history. These options will give you specific times across hours, and weeks and finally an option to delete all your browsing data.
- We recommend that you delete all history by selecting the ‘All time’ option. This way all browsing data, including cache and cookies across all websites, will be deleted, allowing your browser to be relieved of some memory.
Using an antivirus to get rid of malware
Often some malware is meddling with your computer’s settings and without your knowledge, these settings keep changing and because of this, you are not able to work properly. If you keep changing the time and date settings only to find them changed against, it is a direct indication that a malicious program is responsible for it.
To get rid of these programs, you will need the help of anti-virus software. We recommend using a popular and efficient antivirus, like Avast, Windows Defender, Avira, and Norton. An antivirus will take some time to scan your computer and all the files that reside on it. Afterward, if any malware is found it states the location of the malware with the option to remove it from your computer. After the malware is removed you can follow the above-mentioned steps to set your date and time again, and hopefully this time it won’t get changed.
Set ‘time.windows.com’ as your default internet time
time.windows.com is the default internet time, however, due to malware attacks, it can change. Due to this date and time is ahead/behind error appears when you are trying to access the internet through Google Chrome. Follow these steps to change your internet time back to ‘time.windows.com’.
- Press the Windows button and the R key to open the Run menu.
- In the Run menu type timedate.cpl and then press the OK button.
- You will be presented with a window, which will allow you to adjust the time of your device. On this window press the ‘Internet’ tab to access the internet time settings.
- Click on the ‘Change settings…’ button to change these settings. Once a new window opens, type in ‘time.windows.com’ and click ‘OK’ to save the changes.
- Restart Chrome and the error would be resolved.
Change the CMOS Battery
The BIOS needs to stay functional even when the device is turned off. In order to keep the BIOS running the complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor or the CMOS battery tends to power the BIOS. This allows the BIOS to retain its contents and keeps the system up to date even when the computer is not working. CMOS battery also helps maintain the actual date and time of a system, if no other solution works then most probably your CMOS battery is busted and is in need of repair or replacement. Replacing or repairing any part of any machine is a difficult job, and requires some skill and experience. If you don’t know what you are doing, we do not recommend performing surgery on your device, instead, it is easier and less stressful to allow someone who knows the intricacies of the inner workings of a computer to deal with this. Changing the CMOS battery becomes inevitable after years of using a device and replacing it would allow your computer to work efficiently and the ‘clock is behind/ahead’ error will be resolved.
Reset Chrome Settings
In the worst-case scenario, you will have no option but to reset all your Chrome settings. This will result in a loss of all saved information and settings on chrome and it will be restored to its default factory version. To reset Chrome settings, follow these steps
- Access the ‘Settings’ by clicking on the three dots in the top right corner of your Chrome window.
- In the ‘Settings’ window click on ‘Advanced’ in the left sidebar.
- In the ‘Advanced’ drop-down list check click on the ‘Reset and clean up option.
- In the ‘Reset and clean up’ window, click on ‘Reset settings to its original defaults.
- Click on the ‘Reset settings’ button and all your Chrome settings will be changed.
- Restart chrome and the error will be resolved.
Reinstalling the SSL certificate
As we discussed earlier, the Secure Socket Layer or the SSL is a protocol, which ensures that the internet connection is secure and safe from all sorts of vulnerabilities. The SSL certificate is a form of authentication of an identity of a website and it also enables a secure connection between the user and that website. An SSL error occurs when the secure connection isn’t established, as the verification of these certificates cannot be done. The ’Clock is behind/ahead’ or the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID is also an SSL error, hence it is possible that your SSL certificate may very well be expired. Simply reinstalling the certificate will do the trick and get rid of this error.
By using most of these fixes, you will be able to get rid of the NET::ERR_CERT_DATE_INVALID error on Google Chrome and you can get back to using your favorite browser, to surf across the internet for whatever reason you may be accessing it.