How to Fix Expired Security Certificate for smtp.gmail.com (Google’s Mail Server)

How to Fix Expired Security Certificate for smtp.gmail.com (Google’s Mail Server)

File under: oops

Google accidentally let their mail sending server’s security certificate expire. When you go to send an email, you will see an alert message that reads “Unable to verify SSL server smtp.gmail.com”.

Hopefully Google will fix it soon. In the mean time, we can tell our computer to trust the server in question.

  • Click on Show Certificate
  • Check Always Trust smtp.gmail.com….
  • Click Connect.
  • This should work for all Mac users running Apple’s Mail.app. If you’re using another mail program, the solution should be similar. Worst case scenario, you can always use webmail.

    Mail can't verify the identity of smtp.gmail.com

    For those of you interested in the technical details, the server certificate expired on July 29th, 9:58:57 AM PT. They are authorized by Thawte Premium, one of the oldest certification companies. Originally based out of South Africa, Thawte Premium was acquired in 1999 by Verisign in the US. Google pays a small annual fee to this security company, who in exchange will vouch for Google. They basically are there to prove that when your mail program connects to smtp.gmail.com, you really are using one of Google’s servers and not somebody else pretending to be Google.

    I’m sure Google is already scrambling to fix this, but in the mean time, just 3 mouse clicks will fix it on your computer. If you don’t see any error messages when sending mail, you don’t need to do anything.

    Aaron Marks applies his 80/20 rule to IT support: 80% people skills and 20% computer ninja magic.