How to fix Galaxy S9 “Couldn’t establish a secure connection” error

Are you getting “Couldn’t establish a secure connection” error on Galaxy S9? Learn how to deal with it by following this short guide.

Before we proceed, we want to remind you that if you are looking for solutions to your own #Android issue, you can contact us by using the link provided at the bottom of this page. When describing your issue, please be as detailed as possible so we can easily pinpoint a relevant solution. If you can, kindly include the exact error messages you are getting to give us an idea where to start. If you have already tried some troubleshooting steps before emailing us, make sure to mention them so we can skip them in our answers.

What to do if you encounter “Couldn’t establish a secure connection” error on Galaxy S9

Some Android users encounter “Couldn’t establish a secure connection” error for many different reasons. If you happen to experience getting this error when visiting a website on your S9, one of the solutions should be in this guide.

Verify website is working

First and foremost, before doing any troubleshooting on your Galaxy S9, you want to make sure that it’s not a website issue. The best way to do that is by verifying if the website you’re trying to access is NOT down or having problems. You can do that by checking it out using another smartphone. If you use a computer to check, make sure that you access the mobile version of the site and not its desktop version. If the site is working, then you must proceed to the next troubleshooting steps below.

Force quit the browser app

In some cases, “Couldn’t establish a secure connection” error can be caused by a temporary glitch within the browser. A quick restart of the app may fix it. On your Galaxy S9, tap on the Recent Apps button (the one on the left of the Bixby button). Once the list of apps shows, find the browser app and tap on the X at the upper right to close it. After that, open the browser app again and see if you are able to load the site fine.

Forced restart your S9

To check if the problem is due to a temporary bug, you can try to simulate the effects of a “battery pull.” Doing this solution is often effective in fixing minor bugs that developed after letting a device run for some time. If you haven’t tried it yet, follow the steps below on how to do it:

  1. Press and hold the Power + Volume Down buttons for approximately 10 seconds or until the device power cycles. Allow several seconds for the Maintenance Boot Mode screen to appear.
  2. From the Maintenance Boot Mode screen, select Normal Boot. You can use the volume buttons to cycle through the available options and the lower left button (below the volume buttons) to select. Wait for up to 90 seconds for the reset to complete.

Clear cache partition

Android uses a set of temporary files called cache to load apps quickly. In some situations, this cache may get outdated, corrupted, or buggy. To ensure that there’s no issues from the system cache whatsoever, you can try to clear the cache partition. This will erase the current system cache to force the device to create a new one. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Turn off the device.
  2. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  3. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  4. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe cache partition’.
  5. Press Power button to select.
  6. Press the Volume down key until ‘yes’ is highlighted and press the Power button.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, “Reboot system now” is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

Update your browser

Installing app updates sometimes work in fixing problems. In your case, we highly recommend that you see to it that the browser you’re using is the latest version. This lessens the chances of issues from developing and can potentially fix the current bug as well.

Clear cache of browser app

Should the issue continue at this point, you can further troubleshoot the app by clearing its cache. Like Android OS, apps use a cache to help it work faster. Sometimes, performance problems or other unexplained bugs may occur due to a corrupted app cache. To make sure that it’s not an app cache issue, you want to clear the current cache. This will force the device to create a new cache once you start using the app afterwards. Here’s how to clear an app cache:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear cache button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Reset browser to defaults (clear data)

A follow up to the previous troubleshooting step is clearing an app’s data. Basically, when you clear an app’s data, you are effectively returning all its settings to factory state and uninstalling the updates. This means that the app in question is reverted to its known stable form since all the added updates, enhancements, and changes are all taken away. If the cause of the problem is due to one of the add-ons to the app, this may be an effective solution. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Open Settings app.
  2. Tap Apps.
  3. Tap on More settings at the upper right (three-dot icon).
  4. Select Show system apps.
  5. Find and tap your app.
  6. Tap Storage.
  7. Tap Clear Data button.
  8. Restart your S9 and check for the problem.

Use another browser

The thing is, not every app trouble is fixable on your end. There can be coding problems that a developer needs to act on and it can’t be remedied by the user. It is for this reason that we suggest that you go look for another browser app. There are many good alternatives for the stock Samsung web browser so just go to the Play Store and install one. Start with other known good browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, etc.

Reset network settings

Clearing your device’s network settings is one of the must-do troubleshooting steps in this case. There may be some network configuration issues that causes the browser to not open the site properly. Take note that the following will occur:

  • Stored Wi-Fi networks will be deleted.
  • Paired Bluetooth devices will be deleted.
  • Background data sync settings will be turned on.
  • Data restrictive settings in applications that were manually turned on/off by the customer will be reset to the default setting.
  • Network selection mode will be set to automatic.

To reset the network connections:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap Settings > General Management > Reset > Reset network settings.
  3. Tap RESET SETTINGS.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  5. Tap RESET SETTINGS. Once complete, a confirmation window will appear.

Observe on Safe Mode

If the problem remains at this point, the next good thing to do is to check if a bad app is to blame. You can do that by running your S9 to safe mode. Here are the steps to run your device to safe mode:

  1. Turn the device off.
  2. Press and hold the Power key past the model name screen.
  3. When “SAMSUNG” appears on the screen, release the Power key.
  4. Immediately after releasing the Power key, press and hold the Volume down key.
  5. Continue to hold the Volume down key until the device finishes restarting.
  6. Safe mode will display in the bottom left corner of the screen.
  7. Release the Volume down key when you see Safe Mode.

While on safe mode, all third party or downloaded applications are suspended. You won’t be able to use them as they can’t run. If you are able to load the website on your browser while the device is on safe mode, you have a third party app problem. Third party apps are those that you added after you initially set up the phone. Even apps from Google or Samsung that you added after unboxing the device for the first time are considered third party in this sense so they’ll not run on Safe Mode. To identify which of your apps is causing the trouble, you should boot the phone back to safe mode and follow these steps:

  1. Boot to safe mode.
  2. Check for the problem.
  3. Once you’ve confirmed that a third party app is to blame, you can start uninstalling apps individually. We suggest that you begin with the most recent ones you added.
  4. After you uninstall an app, restart the phone to normal mode and check for the problem.
  5. If your S9 is still problematic, repeat steps 1-4.

Reset all settings

This procedure is separate from the previous one as it covers all settings of your Android device and not just the apps. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe up on an empty spot to open the Apps tray.
  2. Tap General Management > Reset settings.
  3. Tap Reset settings.
  4. If you have set up a PIN, enter it.
  5. Tap Reset settings. Once complete a confirmation window will appear.

Factory reset

The most likely cause of the problem is software-related so factory reset will most likely fix it at this point. This is an inevitable solution that you should do if all our suggestions above won’t help. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Create a backup of your data.
  2. Turn off the device.
  3. Press and hold the Volume Up key and the Bixby key, then press and hold the Power key.
  4. When the green Android logo displays, release all keys (‘Installing system update’ will show for about 30 – 60 seconds before showing the Android system recovery menu options).
  5. Press the Volume down key several times to highlight ‘wipe data / factory reset’.
  6. Press Power button to select.
  7. Press the Volume down key until ‘Yes — delete all user data’ is highlighted.
  8. Press Power button to select and start the master reset.
  9. When the master reset is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  10. Press the Power key to restart the device.

 


Engage with us

If you are one of the users who encounters a problem with your device, let us know. We offer solutions for Android-related problems for free so if you have an issue with your Android device, simply fill in the short questionnaire in this link and we will try to publish our answers in the next posts. We cannot guarantee a quick response so if your issue is time sensitive, please find another way to resolve your problem.

If you find this post helpful, please help us by spreading the word to your friends. TheDroidGuy has social network presence as well so you may want to interact with our community in our Facebook and Google+ pages.