October 2021 SSL Certificate: Why am I seeing the message "Your connection is not private"

Shopify Staff
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On September 30th, 2021, Let's Encrypt, which is one the largest providers of HTTPS certificates in the world, saw its root certificate expire. Shopify has updated our systems to work correctly with the new certification, but not all users' devices are up-to-date to recognize the validity of that change.

Because of that, merchants and buyers may see error messages like the following when visiting a Shopify storefront, or when visiting other websites that also use Let's Encrypt certificates. 

“Your connection is not private” 


You may also see “This certificate is not valid (expired root)”

Since networking related issues can vary, listed below are several proactive steps you can take to help address network issues you might be encountering on your personal devices when visiting Shopify stores, or any website showing the same error messages:

1. Ensure your browser is fully updated

Shopify recommends using the latest version of Google Chrome. The latest Chrome update may not be available for some older hardware. To see other supported browsers review our Help Center.
If your browser is up to date, if the issue persists complete step 2.

2. Clear your DNS cache (Windows, MacOS, Linux & Google Chrome)

Assuming your browser has been updated, and the issue persists, the next troubleshooting step is clearing your DNS cache. After completing the steps provided in this article, How to clear the DNS cache on your computer. If the issue persists, complete step 3. 

3. Ensure your computer operating system (OS) is fully updated

As a general best practice you should always ensure your OS is fully updated, and supported.

If you are using MacOS, ensure you are using 10.12.1 at a minimum, ideally the latest version however. As of October 6th 2021, the latest version is 11.6 MacOS Big Sur. For guidance updating, review Update MacOS on Mac.

If you are using Microsoft Windows, ensure you are using a supported version of Windows, and apply any OS updates available. Identify your version of Windows, and visit the Windows Update: FAQ, selecting the tab with your current version of Windows for update guidance.

If your version of Windows is no longer supported by Microsoft, such as Windows 7, review this article from Microsoft that provides further guidance: Support for urgent Trusted Root updates for Windows Root Certificate Program in Windows.

4. Ensure your mobile phone and tablet operating systems are fully updated

Similar to your computer, you should always be using the latest version of the operating system provided for your mobile and tablet devices of choice.

Due to the variety of mobile and tablet devices, and operating systems, please review your specific device’s support for guidance on how to ensure you are using the latest version. If your device is no longer supported we strongly recommend upgrading to a device that is supported by the vendor, as a general security best practice.

As a final step, in the event your desktop operating system (OS) is no longer supported or the troubleshooting steps above did not help, the latest Mozilla Firefox browser can recognize Shopify’s updated root certificate. 

This browser may allow you to allow you to access favorite websites, but we strongly recommend that the computer you are using is still fully updated, and using current supported software

If after completing these steps the issue still persists consider trying another device to access such as another computer, phone, or tablet.

If you are unsuccessful this would indicate that your preferred system requires further investigation. If you have IT staff, consider notifying them for continued support, or post a detailed message in Shopify’s Technical Q&A discussion forum, providing as much supporting information as possible so the community can assist. 

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- To learn more visit the Shopify Help Center or the Shopify Blog

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