How to fix error message “this site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out”

How to fix error message
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Isn’t it frustrating when you need urgent information online only for your browser to bring up the “This site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out ” page? It is not a likeable experience, especially when you don’t have enough time to troubleshoot. There are quite a few causes for this error message, and there are several ways to resolve it.

In this article, you’ll learn why you get the error page from your browser. You’ll also get a step by step guide on fixing the error message “This site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out”. To round up, I’ll tell you how to prevent it from happening again.

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“This site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out” What it Means and Why Does it Happen?

How to fix error message "this site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out"
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You get the err_connection_timed_out page when there is a server connection timeout. A server connection timeout simply means that the server is taking a long time to load. The timeout pop up then lets you know the server couldn’t grant the request within the shortest time required. 

It can also mean your website is taking on more requests than your server can handle. This is especially true when your hosting site has a restricted memory limit. You know there’s a communication issue when it takes beyond 30 seconds with no response. After this, your browser will end the connection to the unresponsive page and send the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error message.

An error page doesn’t give you full details of where the problem comes from; it only tells you the problem. Sometimes, the error message comes with different wording depending on the device you’re currently using. This includes;

  • “dns_probe_finished_nxdomain,” 
  • “domain cannot be found.”
  •  “server not found” “err_connection_reset”
  • “err_connection_closed”
  • “Server DNS address could not be found.”
  •  “unexpectedly closed the connection.” 
  •  “err_connection_refused”
  • “Server took too long to respond”

Some sites are kind enough to explain why you experienced a connection error page through a member help center. So, what could be responsible for these connection problems? In a nutshell, it could be due to the server, your internet connection, your device, or the network hardware. Below are some of the more significant reasons: 

1. Service timeouts

The error message can be caused by a service timeout. This occurs when the device waited a long while for the server to respond. It can equally happen while your web browser is trying to view a site, connect to a game, or while working from home on your computer. Suddenly you’re cut off from your task, and your progress fails. This means that your device got tired of waiting for the information you tried to retrieve.

The timeout period differs. Based on the program requesting data from a server, the timeout period can last between a few seconds to some hours.

2. Non-existing server

Server timeout and error messages occur when a program can’t connect to a non-existing server; either offline or as a result of the wrong address. To that effect, your browser requests information that is not available on that server. This issue can simply be fixed with an active internet connection.

3. Network infrastructure overload 

Usually, a data request runs through several checkpoints before reaching the right server. During this process, a break on the link can occur. Naturally, it will lead to your request being cut off. An example is when your web browser tries to connect through a home network due to overwhelming demand from the other devices on your router. Your request might halt, and, in turn, you will get the error message.

Network hardware issues 

When a network blocks a request from leaving your computer, you may get the err_connection_timed_out message. This is mostly because you have activated firewalls or router ports, blocking settings that hinder outgoing requests. You can correct this issue by resetting the router and firewall to accept requests going to external servers.

4. Server’s inability to send retrieved data to a computer 

When a server refuses to send retrieved data back to the computer, it means there is a data request error. As such, the connection breaks, and your server stops waiting for the data. 

5. Disconnection from ISP

An error message can come up because you haven’t plugged in the ISP cable into the WAN port of your modem or router.

6. Website blocked on your PC or router

If the website you are trying to access experiences blockage by the host file or firewall/ router Access Control settings, you won’t be able to connect. As a result, you will get the error message.

7. Multiple interferences on a wireless router channel 

This point is self-explanatory, but I’m going to take a crack at it anyway. When your wireless channel is overwhelmed by trying to grant too many requests at a time, it will slow down your server or stop it completely. To guard against this,  install a Wi-Fi analyzer to know which router channel is overloaded and free.

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Step by Step Guide on How to Fix the err_connection_timed_out error

How to fix error message "this site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out"
Photo Credit: Cristinan Morillo

Of all desktop and mobile annoyances, the error message page is one of the most exasperating. So, now that you understand where the connection error is coming from, how can you resolve the error message? Check and make use of the below guide to progress.

1. Refresh your network connection

Upon receiving this error message, the first step is to check your network connection. It is most likely the main culprit for the delay in transmission, regardless of the device or browser you’re using. Firstly, restart your router (home or office), disconnect the power supply attached to it, and wait about 60 seconds before plugging it in again.

Also, confirm that a slow Wi-Fi connection isn’t responsible for the bad connection. To sort things on that end, first, disconnect from public WiFi. Then, check to see if you’re connected to inadequate or slow Wi-Fi and get a modem for your personal use.

2. Temporarily disable your firewall and antivirus software

Antiviruses and firewalls are responsible for protecting your systems and files. So, they regularly scan your computer for malware. The downside to installing firewalls and antiviruses is that they tend to cause connection issues. They sometimes restrict pages they sense you don’t need and block some pages even though they are safe. 

You can disable your firewall and antivirus if you’re getting the err_connection_timed_out_out page or messages similar to this. However, be sure the page you’re trying to visit is safe before disabling these programs. Always remember to restore your firewall and antivirus once you finish with the site you were trying to view. After that, reactivate the security systems to protect against real attacks from malicious sites.

However, if you keep receiving the error message and are sure the sites you’re trying to reach are harmless, change or update your firewall and antivirus software. Another choice is to fill out a false-proof report and send it to the software developer to resolve the issue from their end. Some of such false-proof quick links are; Sophos false positive forms, AVG false positive form, and Norton false positive form.

3. Disconnect Proxy settings

The ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error can occur if you are making use of a proxy service. An error due to a proxy setting doesn’t happen often, but you may want to check your proxy settings just to be sure. Follow these steps to disable proxy settings. 

  • Open the Settings menu in your browser. Select “Advanced” at the bottom of the “System” section
  • Then locate “Open proxy settings.” 
  • If you’re using a Windows system, click on LAN Settings to uncheck the “Use proxy server for LAN” option. 
  • Refresh your page and see if the error message clears

For Mac users, also:

  • Locate the “Local Area Network (LAN) Settings” on your Windows menu. 
  • Then uncheck or confirm the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” option is not intact.
  •  Afterwards, refresh your browser to see if theERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT message has cleared to load the page you need.

If you’re using VPNs such as TunnelBar or ExpressVPN, you may want to follow the same process above to disable proxy settings for Chrome on Windows. Or, you could check for accidental connection. 

4. Switch DNS servers

Another method is to try changing your DNS servers, which are usually automatically assigned by your ISP. Temporarily switching your DSN to a public DNS server like Google or Cloudflare might fix the issue.

Use Google’s public DNS ( and for its long-term benefits. On the other hand, there’s Cloudflarefor it’s security and swift free DNS ( and

Steps to switch DNS servers for Windows

  • Open the Command Prompt by pressing down the Windows logo key, and R. Then type “control panel,” followed by “Enter.”
  • Next, click on “Network and Internet,” followed by “Network and Sharing Center.” On the left-hand side, you will see “Change Adapter Settings,” click on that too.
  • Under “Change Adapter Settings,” right-click on your current connection, this is either a Local Area Connection or Wireless Network Connection. Then click on “Properties.”
  • Under Wireless connection properties, click on Internet Protocol Version 4 or Version 6, and then click on “Properties.”
  • Under IPV 4 or IPV 6 properties, click on “Use the following DNS server addresses” and use the following DNS addresses for whichever version you click on:

For IPv4: and
For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

5. Flush out or renew DNS

How to fix error message "this site can’t be reached err_connection_timed_out"
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You can solve the error connection problem by also clearing your local DNS cache. It’s quite similar to clearing your browser cache. All in all, the DNS cache might be the cause of the error message you’re receiving. This could be a result of the accumulation of incorrect or unnecessary IP addresses. 

To clear the cache, go to ‘Command Prompt’ and enter config /flush DNS. This simple step should give you a pop-up message that says, “Successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache.” If you’ve received the message, then it worked.

6. Check Your Hosts File

Another thing to do is check your host file to be sure they don’t contain the web page you’re trying to locate. If they do, you can remove it by:  

  • Opening up your text editor as an administrator. To do this, open your start menu, and search for the text editor.
  • Then, right-click on your text editor followed by selecting “Run as administrator.” Your text editor includes your Notepad, Sublime, Atom, or Notepad++.
  • To run text editor as an administrator, click ‘File’ under your text editor, then →Open and browse to this location:
  • Afterwards, click on the hosts’ file to “Open.”Open host file, then cross-check to see that the IP address of the website you want to locate is not there or to remove it if it is.

7. Double-check your domain DNS

Following the previous step, you can also verify that your domain DNS is correct and refers to the right hosting provider. It could also be that you switched to a new website host provider, and the DNS cache on your computer is incorrect. If you think it’s too early to know if changing your host provider is the problem, simply wait a few hours for the DNS to multiply.

8. Clear your browser cache

Your cache includes information web browsers store on your devices. It also houses your cookies, login data, saved pages, and browsing history. Caches are essential and useful because they allow you to reload relevant pages without stress. 

However, caches can cause connection problems such as the err_connection_timed_out when they are outdated or no longer in use. To guard against this,  quickly clear your browser cache from your browser settings. 

9. Check and modify maximum execution time

The execution time of your website can also impact or help fix the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error issue. Most servers have a 30-second default maximum execution time, which is the amount of time a PHP script runs before it times out. To modify execution time up to 300 seconds, and avoid the error message, use one of the following options.

  • Your choice depends on the kind of configuration settings your hosting providers have on their servers.

  • First option: change max execution time in php.ini File.

Check for a php.ini file in your home directory, and locate the max_execution_time parameter to modify it. If the default maximum execution time is 30 seconds, you can change it by setting it to 300 seconds.

  • Second option: change max execution time in .htacess File
    You may not have a php.ini file in your home directory, or it may not work; therefore, you can try the .htacess file instead. Like the php.ini file, search for the .htacess file in your home directory and increase the maximum execution time to 300 seconds.

 10. Uninstall plugins temporarily

Third-party apps, add-ons, extensions, and plugins can also cause your connection problem. If you have too many plugins, simply disable them from your browser.  It may not even be that you have one too many, but you may have installed the wrong plugin or add-on.

Try disabling most, if not all, of them and reload the web page that gave you an error message before.

11. Return your browser to the default setting

If some of the previous fix methods don’t work, and you’re still getting the err_connection_timed_out message, try to switch your browser settings to default. The issue might be due to your browser configuration, so reverse the setting to its original form.

You can restore your browser to default by:

  • Locating the “Menu” icon, then select “Settings.”
  • After opening the Settings tab, scroll down to “Advanced” and locate the“Reset” icon.
  • When you click the “Reset” icon, you will get a confirmation message stating, “Click on Reset.” Confirm and proceed.

At this point, you would have automatically reset your browser. So all previously installed extensions, cookies, saved pages, and browsing history will be removed. If the connection error was due to browser configuration, the reset will resolve the issue.

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How can the err_connection_timed_out issue be avoided in future?

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There are several ways you can avoid the err_connection_timed_out issue. Here’s a handful of them below.

  • Keep your browser updated.
  • Update your firewall and antivirus software.
  • Clear cache regularly.
  • Check to make sure your network connection is secure.
  • Use a personal modem and avoid using public Wi-Fi connections.
  • Periodically check your DNS settings and servers.
  • Check your proxy settings often to switch it off in case it is accidentally activated.

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Connection and timeout error issues can be extremely stressful because it’s hard to pinpoint the problem’s source. Even more, you probably just want to retrieve information quickly. Hopefully, this article will help you resolve any future occurrences.

What other troubleshooting methods have you used to remedy this issue? Do share with us in a comment section. 

You can also forward the link to this article to other web users who need solutions too.