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How to Fix Site is Not Secure in Internet Explorer

Authored by:
Support.com Tech Pro Team
This Guided Path® was written and reviewed by Support.com’s Tech Pro team. With decades of experience, our Tech Pros are passionate about making technology work for you. We love feedback! Let us know what you think about this Guided Path® by rating it at the end.

Introduction

You may have encountered the error "This site is not secure" while browsing the web using Internet Explorer. The error is usually caused by the usage of an improper certificate or no certificate at all, or known malicious code on the site.

The easiest way to resolve this error for regular web browsing is just to double check and change your date and time if needed. We'll also teach you how to clear your cache and what the security settings in Internet Explorer mean.

Edge Security Warning.

1 Verify the Date and Time in Windows

Security certificates are used by our web browsers and computers to make sure a particular site is safe. Think of it as a form of ID. A website having a valid security certificate lets your browser know that the website claiming to be your bank is actually your bank, and so on. Just like our own government issued IDs have expiration dates, so do security certificates. If your computer has the wrong date and time set, this can cause certificates to appear invalid & your web browser will begin to issue security warnings.

If you notice that the Date and Time is continually incorrect even after manual adjustment, your machine may need to be serviced to replace its CMOS battery.

Verify the Date and Time in Windows

  1. Look at the date and time shown in the system tray. This is usually in the bottom right corner of the screen.
    Windows 10 Taskbar with Date and Time highlighted.
  2. If the date or time are wrong, it can cause issues. To fix:

    For computers running Windows 10

    1. Right-click on the date and time.
      Windows 10 Taskbar with Date and Time highlighted.
    2. Select Adjust date/time.
      Context menu for clock with Adjust date time highlighted.
    3. For most, letting Windows manage the date and time, as well as automatically setting it is the best choice.
      1. Make sure Set time automatically and Adjust for daylight saving time automatically are both turned On.
        Date and time settings with Set time automatically and Adjust for daylight saving time automatically highlighted.
      2. Make sure your time zone is selected for Time zone.
        Date and time settings with Time zone highlighted.
    4. If you want, you can manually set the Date and time.
      1. Make sure Set time automatically is set to Off, then select Change for Change date and time.
        Date and time settings with set time automatically off, and change date and time highlighted.
      2. Set the Date and Time correctly, then select Change.
        Date and time dialog with date, time, and change button highlighted.

    For all other versions of Windows

    1. Right-click on the date and time.
      Windows 7 task bar with date and time highlighted.
    2. Select Adjust date/time.
      Date and time context menu with Adjust date time highlighted.
    3. Make sure the proper Time zone is selected.
      Date and time settings with Time zone highlighted.
    4. Select Change date and time.
      Date and time options with Change date and time highlighted.
    5. Correct the Date and Time, then select OK.
      Date and time settings with calendar, time, and OK button highlighted.
    6. You may wish to have Windows set the date and time for you in the future.
      1. Select the Internet Time tab at the top, then select Change settings.
        Date and time with Internet Time tab and Change settings highlighted.
      2. Make sure Synchronize with an Internet time server is checked, then select OK.
        Internet time settings with Synchronize and OK button highlighted.

2 Clear Internet Cache and History

After verifying that the date and time on your device is correct, test things again. If you're still having issues with security warnings on a particular website, your browser could be holding onto some outdated or bad data in the form of an old cookie, cached version of the website, etc. Clearing this data allows your browser to load the website freshly as if it had never been there before.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Under Browsing history, select Delete.
    Internet Options with Delete button under Browsing History highlighted.
  4. Go through the list of options here, to ensure the proper items are cleared.
    Once you have chosen your options, select Delete.
    Delete Browsing History options.
    Setting Checkbox
    Preserve Favorites website data Unchecked
    Internet Explorer segments out pages you have marked as favorites. We need to be sure to clear all data, not just some of it.
    Temporary Internet files and website files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Cookies and website data Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Form Data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Tracking Protection, ActiveX filtering and Do Not Track Personal Choice
    A number of pages will track your use of those pages, and if you've opted out of such tracking. This setting tends not to be well respected from page to page, and some pages simply do not give you the option. While it can affect how a page is displayed, it will only do so in the advertising or other 'personalized content' on that page; not the page itself. It is okay to check or uncheck this option.
     
  5. When complete, a message will open at the bottom of your browser letting you know the history has been deleted.
    History delete notification.

3 Security-Related Settings

There are multiple settings in Internet Explorer that protect you from malicious activity. While these settings should already be in the state we're advising you they should be in, it's always prudent to make sure these settings are correct, on the off-chance they were previously changed in the past.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top-right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Select the Security tab at the top. Then, make sure Internet is selected for zone, and choose the Default level of Medium-high.
    Internet Options with Security tab, Internet zone, Default level button, and Medium-high slider highlighted.
  4. Select the Content tab at the top. Then, select Clear SSL state.
    Internet Options with Content tab and Clear SSL State button highlighted.
  5. A box will open letting you know the SSL cache was cleared. Select OK.
    SSL cache cleared dialog with OK highlighted.
  6. Select the Advanced tab at the top. Scroll to the bottom of the long list of settings. Make sure Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, and Use TLS 1.2 are checked. Then, select OK.
    Internet Options with Advanced tab, Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, Use TLS 1.2 and OK button highlighted.

4 Try the Webpage Again

Once cleaned up, try the website again. If you're still having issues it is most likely caused by the site itself. To resolve this, you'll need to get in contact with the webmaster and let them know. If that's not possible you'll just have to wait.

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You may have encountered the error "This site is not secure" while browsing the web using Internet Explorer. The error is usually caused by the usage of an improper certificate or no certificate at all, or known malicious code on the site.

The easiest way to resolve this error for regular web browsing is just to double check and change your date and time if needed. We'll also teach you how to clear your cache and what the security settings in Internet Explorer mean.

Edge Security Warning.

Security certificates are used by our web browsers and computers to make sure a particular site is safe. Think of it as a form of ID. A website having a valid security certificate lets your browser know that the website claiming to be your bank is actually your bank, and so on. Just like our own government issued IDs have expiration dates, so do security certificates. If your computer has the wrong date and time set, this can cause certificates to appear invalid & your web browser will begin to issue security warnings.

If you notice that the Date and Time is continually incorrect even after manual adjustment, your machine may need to be serviced to replace its CMOS battery.

Verify the Date and Time in Windows

  1. Look at the date and time shown in the system tray. This is usually in the bottom right corner of the screen.
    Windows 10 Taskbar with Date and Time highlighted.
  2. If the date or time are wrong, it can cause issues. To fix:

    For computers running Windows 10

    1. Right-click on the date and time.
      Windows 10 Taskbar with Date and Time highlighted.
    2. Select Adjust date/time.
      Context menu for clock with Adjust date time highlighted.
    3. For most, letting Windows manage the date and time, as well as automatically setting it is the best choice.
      1. Make sure Set time automatically and Adjust for daylight saving time automatically are both turned On.
        Date and time settings with Set time automatically and Adjust for daylight saving time automatically highlighted.
      2. Make sure your time zone is selected for Time zone.
        Date and time settings with Time zone highlighted.
    4. If you want, you can manually set the Date and time.
      1. Make sure Set time automatically is set to Off, then select Change for Change date and time.
        Date and time settings with set time automatically off, and change date and time highlighted.
      2. Set the Date and Time correctly, then select Change.
        Date and time dialog with date, time, and change button highlighted.

    For all other versions of Windows

    1. Right-click on the date and time.
      Windows 7 task bar with date and time highlighted.
    2. Select Adjust date/time.
      Date and time context menu with Adjust date time highlighted.
    3. Make sure the proper Time zone is selected.
      Date and time settings with Time zone highlighted.
    4. Select Change date and time.
      Date and time options with Change date and time highlighted.
    5. Correct the Date and Time, then select OK.
      Date and time settings with calendar, time, and OK button highlighted.
    6. You may wish to have Windows set the date and time for you in the future.
      1. Select the Internet Time tab at the top, then select Change settings.
        Date and time with Internet Time tab and Change settings highlighted.
      2. Make sure Synchronize with an Internet time server is checked, then select OK.
        Internet time settings with Synchronize and OK button highlighted.

After verifying that the date and time on your device is correct, test things again. If you're still having issues with security warnings on a particular website, your browser could be holding onto some outdated or bad data in the form of an old cookie, cached version of the website, etc. Clearing this data allows your browser to load the website freshly as if it had never been there before.

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Under Browsing history, select Delete.
    Internet Options with Delete button under Browsing History highlighted.
  4. Go through the list of options here, to ensure the proper items are cleared.
    Once you have chosen your options, select Delete.
    Delete Browsing History options.
    Setting Checkbox
    Preserve Favorites website data Unchecked
    Internet Explorer segments out pages you have marked as favorites. We need to be sure to clear all data, not just some of it.
    Temporary Internet files and website files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Cookies and website data Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Form Data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Tracking Protection, ActiveX filtering and Do Not Track Personal Choice
    A number of pages will track your use of those pages, and if you've opted out of such tracking. This setting tends not to be well respected from page to page, and some pages simply do not give you the option. While it can affect how a page is displayed, it will only do so in the advertising or other 'personalized content' on that page; not the page itself. It is okay to check or uncheck this option.
     
  5. When complete, a message will open at the bottom of your browser letting you know the history has been deleted.
    History delete notification.
There are multiple settings in Internet Explorer that protect you from malicious activity. While these settings should already be in the state we're advising you they should be in, it's always prudent to make sure these settings are correct, on the off-chance they were previously changed in the past.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top-right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Select the Security tab at the top. Then, make sure Internet is selected for zone, and choose the Default level of Medium-high.
    Internet Options with Security tab, Internet zone, Default level button, and Medium-high slider highlighted.
  4. Select the Content tab at the top. Then, select Clear SSL state.
    Internet Options with Content tab and Clear SSL State button highlighted.
  5. A box will open letting you know the SSL cache was cleared. Select OK.
    SSL cache cleared dialog with OK highlighted.
  6. Select the Advanced tab at the top. Scroll to the bottom of the long list of settings. Make sure Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, and Use TLS 1.2 are checked. Then, select OK.
    Internet Options with Advanced tab, Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, Use TLS 1.2 and OK button highlighted.

Once cleaned up, try the website again. If you're still having issues it is most likely caused by the site itself. To resolve this, you'll need to get in contact with the webmaster and let them know. If that's not possible you'll just have to wait.