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Updated on February 23, 2023

How to Fix an Incomplete or Broken SSL Certificate Chain

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is a crucial component of website security, and one of the key elements of SSL is the SSL certificate chain. This chain establishes trust and authenticity between the server and the client, and helps to ensure that information transmitted over the internet is secure and encrypted.

If your SSL certificate chain is incomplete or broken, it can lead to errors and warnings in web browsers, potentially making your website appear untrustworthy or insecure. 

Fortunately, fixing an incomplete or broken SSL certificate chain is usually straightforward, and can be accomplished in a few simple steps.

1. Identify the problem. Examine the SSL certificate to see whether it is missing any intermediate certificates. You can use an online SSL checker tool or consult with your SSL certificate provider.

Here’s an example of a website with a missing element in the SSL chain certificate:

ssl certificate chain missing

2. Obtain the missing intermediate certificates. You can do this by downloading the missing certificates from your SSL certificate provider or by using an online SSL certificate repository.

If you are unsure who issued the SSL certificates for your website, you can go back to the online SSL checker tool and click on Show to see the pertinent information:

ssl certificate chain missing root 1 show details

information on ssl certificate issuer and name

3. The next step is to install the missing intermediate SSL certificates on your web server. The exact process for doing this will depend on your web server software, but typically involves copying the certificate files to a specific directory and configuring your web server to use the new certificates.

4. Test your SSL certificate chain to ensure that it is now complete and functioning correctly. Go back to your online SSL checker tool to check if the SSL certificate chain is now working as desired.


By following the steps outlined above, you can quickly and easily resolve issues with your SSL certificate chain and maintain the integrity and security of your website.


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