What is an SSL ‘Certificate_Verify_Failed’ Error and How Do I Resolve It?

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We know setting up SSL certificates with Python can be confusing — that’s why we’re here to help

graphic: ssl certificate_verify_failed error instructions for how to fix the issue

When you’re dealing with Python or any programming language at all, there’s plenty of room for mistakes to be made or technical errors to occur. Among these potential errors is the Python SSL “certificate_verify_failed” error. Getting this error can be frustrating, especially if you’ve done your best to ensure that everything is done right.

When dealing with this error, it’s important to know that it isn’t hard to solve — but it does require patience.

That being said, before you can fix the issue, you need to understand why it occurs in the first place. Let’s dive into the reasons this error occurs, as well as what you can do to address it.

What Causes an SSL Certificate_Verify_Failed Error?

SSL certificate_verify_failed errors typically occur as a result of outdated Python default certificates or invalid root certificates. If you’re a website owner and you’re receiving this error, it could be because you’re not using a valid SSL certificate. Here’s where you can get one:

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Since this error is usually paired to web page scrapers in Python, let’s assume that this is a typical scenario where the error happens:

First, imagine you’re trying to scrape a page. You fire the scraper up, only to be met with an error page.

Don’t worry, though. This issue can be resolved with a simple command, which we’ll get to shortly.

But what causes the error? The issue comes from your web browser attempting to download a program that it will not let it download because of the expired SSL certificates that came with your version of Python. (Since that version of SSL is no longer deemed “safe” by Python, your end users receive the warning message.)

How Can I Fix the SSL Certificate_verify_failed Error?

Some people might suggest that you simply disable the certificate verification function. But this tactic not only fails to resolve the issue, but also means that you’re no longer verifying the certificate, which can lead to a variety of other issues.

To fix this this problem, you may need to upgrade your SSL certificate directory. The most common way to do so is to use the following PIP code.

PIP, which stands for “Python Package Installer,” is exactly how it sounds — it’s a package installer for Python. This command allows for easy installation of packages — or, in this case, our updated SSL certificates. With PIP, all you would have to do to update your SSL certificate directory is input the following piece of code:

pip install --upgrade certifi

What this command does is update your system’s SSL certificate directory. This allows you to download the files that were previously being denied as a result of the lack of an SSL certificate (which, in this case, was the page scraper).

After executing the code, the error should be gone.  That wasn’t so hard, was it?

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