macOS Catalina Chrome certificate error when browsing self signed sites

If you’ve just upgraded macOS to Catalina and now find you can’t access websites with self signed certificates anymore, like I did, you need to add the site certificate into your Keychain. This is due to security changes in Catalina which in short means it gets quite fussy with self signed certificates. For a detailed explanation please check out this Apple KB article.

When you browse your vCenter you may see the following error. While Firefox and Safari allow you to add an exception, Chrome does not (whereas it did on Mojave). My Mac is managed by VMware so I’m not sure if there are any policies governing Chrome that causes this behaviour or if it is all users having this problem.

Note that there’s no ‘allow exception’ link to continue. In order to get around this you need to export the vCenter certificate from the desktop and import it into Keychain. Click to the left of the URL where the certificate box is and then click on the certificate itself.

You need to drag the certificate image onto your desktop and then open Keychain on the Mac. Once imported, double click on it, go to the trust section and under “When using this certificate” select “Always Trust”. You will then be asked for your credentials. Once this is done, the site will be trusted by your OS and in turn, Google Chrome.

This method should work for all sites using self-signed certificated. Another handy trick with Chrome is when presented with a page like above, you can simply type the following and Chrome will bypass the error.


Thanks for reading.