About Your clock is ahead error on Mac

The Your Clock is Ahead Error on Mac computers can sometimes appear when the browser is unable to establish a private connection. There are several likely causes of the Your Clock is Ahead Error on Mac and most of them can easily be fixed.

The reason your browser is telling you that it can’t establish a private connection to the site you are trying to visit when the system’s clock is ahead is that the browser is unable to verify the validity of the site’s certificate and, because of that, the browser doesn’t “know” whether the site is safe or not. Most of the time, this error message doesn’t indicate that there’s anything wrong with the site that you’re attempting to visit. In fact, most browsers allow the user to ignore the warning and still visit the site.

However, we recommend finding the root cause of the issue and fixing it so that the warning stops appearing. If no matter what you do you are still seeing this message when trying to visit a certain site, then there’s a chance that the site may indeed be potentially unsafe, in which case it may be better to simply not visit it (unless you are certain that there’s no problem with that site).

Here are some likely reasons why your Mac’s clock might be ahead (or behind for that matter):

  • You’ve traveled between time zones with your Mac. – If you’ve recently travelled and crossed from one time zone to another, this is the most likely cause for your Mac’s clock being off. Typically, the computer should automatically change its clock to your current time zone, but it’s possible that it hasn’t done that yet, hence the wrong time shown by its clock,
  • Your Mac has been disconnected from the Internet and shut down or an extended period of time. – Your Mac’s time and date should be set by default to automatically sync with Apple’s time server (time.apple.com.), which ensures that the computer’s time is always correct. However, if your Mac stays disconnected form the Internet and shut down for a long time, it won’t have a way to sync its clock, which could eventually lead to the latter showing the wrong time. 
  • Your Mac is set to the region. – If the region selected under the Language & Region settings in your Mac is not the one where you are located at the moment, this would result in your Mac’s clock showing the wrong time.
  • There is a problem with the browser – if there’s too much cookie and cache data that has accumulated in your browser over time, this is a possible cause for the error, so clearing your browser data may help resolve the issue.
  • The site you are attempting to visit has an expired certificate or is unsafe – if all other potential causes have been ruled out, and you can’t be sure that the site you are trying to reach is safe, it may be best to simply acknowledge the warning and cease your attempts to enter that site.


Fixing the problem should be easy, and once your Mac starts showing the correct time, the warning/error message that gets shown in your browser should also appear. We recommend following the next steps, even if it seems that your Mac’s clock is showing the correct time. However, if even after performing the instructions we’ve shown below you are still getting the “Your clock is ahead” message when attempting to go to a certain site, it may be best to not visit that site.

This warning message is very similar to the “Your connection is not private” message, as both of them are related to the browser’s inability to verify that the site you are attempting to open is safe. For this reason, it’s recommended to approach such messages with caution and heed to their warnings if the fixes suggested in our articles don’t stop them from appearing.

Obviously, if you know for a fact that the site that you want to reach is safe, it’s very likely that the warning in your browser is triggered by the fact that the site’s certificate has expired, in which case you can contact the site’s administrator and inform them about that.

Your clock is ahead Chrome (Mac) Fix

The “Your clock is ahead” Chrome error fix on Mac would be to change the computer’s Time & Date settings or its Region settings. If this doesn’t fix the “Your clock is ahead” Chrome error on your Mac, then the problem is probably within the site.

Check the Time & Date settings

  1. Make sure that you have stable and secure Internet connection on your Mac, and select the Apple menu from the top-left corner, then open System Preferences and click on the Date & Time icon.
  2. If you aren’t allowed to make changes to the settings there, click the Padlock in the bottom-left of the window, enter your Admin password, and Unlock the settings.
  3. If the Set date and time automatically option isn’t enabled, enable it now.
  4. Also, if the server next to that option is other than “time.apple.com.”, change it to this server.
  5. Next, open the Time Zone tab, and make sure that the Set time zone automatically using current location option is checked.
  6. If both the Set date and time automatically and the Set time zone automatically options were already enabled, and the time server was already set to “time.apple.com.”, then uncheck those options, restart your Mac, check them again, and restart the computer once more.

Checking the Language & Region settings

  1. Go back to System Preferences and this time select the Language & Region icon.
  2. If the settings in this window are greyed-out, you must first click the Padlock, provide your Admin password, and click unlock, to be able to make changes.
  3. Next, see what’s the currently selected region and if it’s not the one where you are located, select the arrows next to it in order to select a different one.
  4. If you want, you can click Advanced to gain access to more detailed settings, though none of them would be relevant to the current issue that we are trying to fix.

Manually setting Date and Time

If after performing the previous steps, the problem persists, then you can try to manually set the date and time of your Mac. Here’s how to do this.

  1. Go back to System Preferences > Date & Time, and remove the tick from the Set date and time automatically box.
  2. Choose the current date in the calendar and then change the time by typing the current hour, minute, and second in the time panel.
  3. Next, select the Time Zone tab, and remove the tick from the Set time zone automatically box.
  4. Next, find on the world map your current time zone and click on it. The closest time zone city to your location will be picked automatically, but you can change it if you want.

Clear browser data

Though not very likely, it’s still possible that if your browser’s data hasn’t been cleared in a while and there’s a large accumulation of unneeded cache files and cookie data, then this may be triggering unusual browser behavior, including the appearance of the “Your clock is ahead” message. Here is how you can quickly clear the data of Chrome, Safari, and Firefox.

Chrome instructions

  1. Launch Google Chrome, click the three dots menu in the top-right, select More Tools, and click on Clear Browsing Data.
  2. Make sure to open the Advanced tab in the next window and then put ticks on everything apart from Passwords and other sign-in data.
  3. Click Clear data and confirm the action.

Safari instructions

  1. Once you open Safari, go to its menu shown in the menu bar and select the Preferences option.
  2. Go to the Privacy tab, and click on the Manage Website Data option.
  3. Wait several moments until a list of sites appears in the next window and then click the Remove All button.
  4. Confirm the deletion and wait for it to complete.
  5. Next, see if there is a Develop menu in the menu bar and if there isn’t, go to Preferences > Advanced and there check the Show develop menu in menu bar option.
  6. Now click the Develop menu that should have appeared, and click Empty Caches.

Firefox instructions

  1. In Firefox, click the icon with three horizontal lines (top-right), then open Settings.
  2. Click the Privacy & Security section from the left panel.
  3. Scroll down, find the Cookies and Site Data section, and click Clear Data.
  4. Make sure that there are ticks in both boxes in the newly-opened window, click Clear, confirm the command, and wait for it to complete.

If the “Your clock is ahead” message doesn’t go away

If this message keeps showing up even after you’ve tried everything, you can still visit the site that you want to reach – simply click the Advanced button below the warning message and then select Proceed to *name of site you want to visit*. However, remember that, as we said earlier, you should only proceed if you are sure that there’s no danger in that site and that it is safe to visit. Otherwise, it may be better and safer to avoid that site.