Fix Performing a TLS Handshake in Firefox

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The status bar is located in the lower left corner of Firefox. It is the small grey box that appears when a page is loaded or when you move your mouse over a link.

Many messages appear in this bar – most blink so quickly that you may not have seen them before. Everyone tells you what Firefox does to get the page and introduce it to you. You may have noticed that Firefox gets stuck at a certain stage: “Shake hands with TLS.”

What does this error mean?

The TLS handshake is the process your browser performs to establish an HTTPS connection. This should only take a fraction of a second, but in some cases it may take a few seconds.

If you often find that this step takes more than 5 seconds, something is probably wrong. Here are some ways to solve the problem:

TLS vs SSL handshakes

SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, was the original encryption protocol developed for HTTP. SSL was replaced some time ago by TLS or Transport Layer Security. SSL handshakes are now called TLS handshakes, although the name “SSL” is still widely used.

When does a TLS handshake take place?

A TLS handshake occurs every time a user navigates to a website via HTTPS and the browser begins to query the website’s origin server. A TLS handshake also occurs whenever another communication uses HTTPS, including API calls and DNS requests on HTTPS.

TLS handshakes take place after opening a TCP connection via a TCP handshake.

Disable IPv6

You can try to disable IPv6 and also look for other possible causes.

Firefox supports IPv6 by default, which can cause connection problems on some systems. How to disable IPv6 in Firefox:

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Type about:config in the address bar and press Back.

  1. The warning page about:config “Otherwise your warranty may expire” may appear. Click on I accept the risk! to go to the about:config page.
  2. In the search field, type network.dns.disableIPv6.
  3. In the parameter list, double-click on network.dns.disableIPv6 to set the value to true.

Create a new Firefox profile.

  1. Open a new tab and type “about:profiles” in the address bar and press Enter. The profile manager opens.
  2. Click on the “Create a new profile” button and follow the wizard.
  3. Click on the “Start profile in a new browser” button. Then close the old browser.
  4. In the new browser, enter “about:profiles” in the address bar to open the profile manager.
  5. Click on the “Delete” button to delete the old profile. It’s over now. It’s over now.

Disable HTTP/port scanning of your antivirus software.

The common cause of the problem is your antivirus program, which unnecessarily scans website certificates, slowing down the process of requesting files from servers, which can cause the “Run TLS handshake” message in Mozilla Firefox to stop for a long time.

Since the error occurs with users who use different antivirus programs, here’s how to find HTTP or port scanning options with some of the most popular third-party AV tools.

Open the antivirus user interface by double-clicking on the icon in the taskbar (right-hand side of the taskbar at the bottom of the window) or search for it in the start menu.
The HTTPS scan setting is located in different places linked to different antivirus programs. It can often be found easily and without much effort, but here are some brief instructions for finding it in the most popular antivirus programs:

Kaspersky Internet Security: Home >> Settings >> Additional >> Network >> Encrypted connections scanning >>
AVG: Home >> Settings >> Components >> Online Shield >> Enable HTTPS Scanning (uncheck it)
Avast: Home >> Settings >> Components >> Web Shield >> Enable HTTPS Scanning (uncheck it)
ESET: Home >> Tools >> Advanced Setup >> Web and Email >> Enable SSL/TLS protocol filtering (turn it off)

Check if you can now download the file without receiving the message “Run a TLS handshake” for a long time! If the error persists, you can use another antivirus or firewall program, especially if the one that gives you the problems is free!

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