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While the Galaxy S9 is a great smartphone, the unfortunate reality is that many if not most of its owners will experience some kind of error with it. One of the more annoying ones that has been popping up lately is the “couldn’t establish a secure connection” issue. When someone receives this error it generally prevents them from accessing online content be it a web page or a download.
The worst thing about Android phone errors is that identifying their exact cause can be pretty difficult. Luckily for you, you don’t need to know how it started; you just need to know how you can fix it.
That’s why below we have several options that you can try for yourself rather easily. The odds are that at least one of them will be the solution you need and then you’ll be able to get back to your regular web browsing. We will have a combination of some popular tips and some more lesser known ones as well to give you the best fighting chance against this nuisance of an error.
1. Force Restart Your Galaxy S9
A forced restart is often one of the very first things people do to solve a problem with their smartphone. It has seen decent success in getting rid of many different kinds of minimal error codes. This should be one of the first things you try as it is very simple and easy to do.
To begin, you should make sure that your Samsung S9 is on. Then you will need to simultaneously press down on both the Volume Down and the Power buttons and hold them for around 10 seconds. Once you’ve done this, your Samsung S9 should begin to power off and restart. Keep holding down the buttons during this forced restart phase and you will then enter what is called the Maintenance Boot Mode.
On this new boot mode screen you will see a couple of options on how to boot up your Samsung S9 phone. All you need to do is select the option named Normal Boot. This process should take anywhere from one to two minutes to complete.
If a forced restart didn’t solve your “couldn’t establish a secure connection” problem then feel free to move onto our next solution.
2. Update Your S9’s Web Browser
Once again this is another quick and simple possible fix that you can try and have completed within minutes. Because this error is inherently tied to the internet you may want to consider if the problem is with your internet browser itself. Various errors related to disconnected services have been solved by updating your main browser whether it be Firefox or Google Chrome, so it is worth trying out.
But of course you can only use this solution if you have access to a wi-fi connection. The “couldn’t establish a secure connection” error is not consistent. Sometimes you can never connect to the internet and sometimes it only works from certain hot spots. If you still have limited online access then try updating your web browsers to the latest versions and see if this solves anything.
3. Download a Different Web Browser
Many people don’t even think to try this one but as a matter of fact it has often ended up helping. If you can still connect to the Google Play Store then try finding another web browser and install it. You may get lucky and not experience the error with this web browser at all. We recommend going with a popular choice as these browsers tend to be the most stable and reliable.
4. Reset Your Browser’s Data to the Default
Many Samsung S9 errors are caused after something new has been downloaded. It doesn’t necessarily mean it was malware or a virus. As a matter of fact, data packets or apps that are downloaded onto smartphones are often the cause of errors. They interact with your phone’s software in unexpected ways and can cause problems with other apps. That’s why clearing your browser’s data is a solid option for fixing internet based errors.
First, you will need to open up the “Settings” app. Then you should go to “Apps” and then tap on More settings (the three-dotted symbol in the top right-hand side corner). Then simply scroll down the list until you find your browser app.
On this new page, tap on “Storage”, then tap on the “Clear Data” option. Now restart your Samsung S9 and check to see if the error still persists.
5. Clear the Browser App Cache
This step is similar to resetting your browser’s data but concentrates on a different sort of data. The steps for this solution are identical to the previous one but when you reach the Storage page, instead of selecting “Clear Data” you will pick the “Clear Cache” option. Restart your Samsung S9 phone like before and see if the “couldn’t establish a secure connection” error is still there.
6. Make Sure it’s the Website and Not Your Phone
If you’re reading this article to solve the secure connection error after only having received this problem from one website, you may want to take things a little more slowly. You should make sure that this problem is coming from your end and not someone else’s. It could very well be that the website you checked is experiencing some technical difficulties which is why you can’t access it.
Try accessing other web sites from your phone’s browser. Or you can use another device like a computer or a friend’s smartphone to see if this website is also inaccessible from them.
7. Reset the Network Settings
This is one of the more complicated solutions but if none of the previous tips worked for you then this should be your next step. Resetting network settings is a classic troubleshooting option and has helped out a lot of people with a variety of errors.
While it is by no means as extreme as completely reformatting your phone’s hard-drive storage, it will delete a few saved options so you should keep this in mind to make sure that you are really prepared to go down this route. Deleted options include data sync settings, saved wi-fi networks and paired Bluetooth devices.
Luckily, all of these things can be recovered pretty easily so we highly recommend this option if you are still having trouble.
To begin, from your home page you will swipe upwards to access the “Apps” menu. Select the “Settings” icon, then head over to “General Management”. Then tap on “Reset” and then “Reset Network Settings”.
Select the option titled “Reset Settings”. You may now be asked to enter in a security PIN you would have set up before. Enter it and then proceed to the next page. Tap on “Reset Settings” again and you will soon receive a notification that will tell you the job is done. Hopefully this has solved the “couldn’t establish a secure connection” issue for you.
8. Enter Safe Mode
Safe mode is a very useful feature because it allows you to operate your phone while many apps are disabled. This is useful because the problem you are experiencing may very well have been caused by a recent download. In Safe Mode that recent download will probably be disabled so if you are no longer experiencing the error in Safe Mode you will then have an idea of what the culprit might be.
To activate Safe Mode you will first have to power off your Samsung S9. Power it on again but keep on holding the Power button and only release it when the Samsung logo appears during the boot up. Then you will have to immediately hold down the Volume Down button during the rest of the boot up process. Once this is done your phone will be in Safe Mode.
Now that you are in Safe Mode try browsing the internet and see if the “couldn’t establish a secure connection” error persists. If it doesn’t then it probably means an app that is currently disabled is causing the issue.
Your next step will be to start uninstalling recently downloaded apps. Check to see if the problem persists after each and every item that is uninstalled.
9. Reset All Galaxy S9 Settings
This step is a little similar to solution #7 but it will involve all settings related to your phone, not just apps. If solution #8 didn’t work for you then the problem may not be an app but something more integral to the Android phone itself.
To do this you will have to be at your Home screen and then swipe up to reveal the “Apps” menu. Select “General Management” and then “Reset Settings”. Tap on the “Reset Settings” option again and you will be asked to input a PIN. Do so and then once again tap on Reset Settings.
10. Hard Factory Reset
By far the most extreme solution we have on this list, we saved it for last precisely because this should be treated as a last resort.
A factory reset will delete everything on your phone and restore it to the same condition it was in when your phone was brand new. All data, be it apps, songs or photos, will be gone. Please make sure to back up your personal data before this option, if you choose to do it.
Plugging in your phone to a computer and moving all of your data onto there is a good option. You can also use a micro SD card if you have one with enough storage space.
Here’s how to begin. First turn off your Samsung S9 phone. While the phone is still off, hold down both the Volume up and the Bixby keys. While still holding them, hold down the Power button as well.
Release all three buttons once the green Android logo appears. After about a minute, you will reach an options menu. Scroll down until you find the setting that reads either Wipe Data or Factory Reset and select it. On the next page select “Yes – delete all user data” to confirm your choice.
Once the process is done your phone will ask you to “Reboot system now”. Do this and then check your phone for the “couldn’t establish a secure connection” error once the restart has finished, just to be sure that it’s been taken care of.
We hope that one of the solutions above has fixed your problem for good. Thanks for reading and we hope that by the time you’ve reached this final section you have already eliminated the infernal “couldn’t establish a secure connection” error and are back to using your Samsung S9 phone in normal shape.