Google Chrome is the popular browser to get the information on your fingertips. However, it will show you more than hundred different errors when something goes wrong. Some errors are easy to understand with clear description, though most of the errors will have a common statement like “This Site Can’t Be Reached”. If you are stuck with this error in Google Chrome, here are some of the suggestions to fix the error.
This Site Can’t Be Reached in Google Chrome
Chrome shows this error when the site you are trying to open is not accessible at that point of time. Though there could be various reasons for this error, network connection is the first thing you should check from the troubleshooting perspective. You will see “This Site Can’t Be Reached” message along with some important information about the error code. For example, below are some of the error codes you may see:
This error code is important for you to troubleshoot accordingly. Along with the error code, you will see an explanation and optionally details/reload button.
Fixing This Site Can’t Be Reached Error in Chrome
Sometimes you may be trying to reach a non-existing website or the site may be not available due to server errors. So, the first thing is to make the site address is entered correctly and it is reachable. After that you can try to explore all possible ways to fix this error from the browser/networking side.
1. Check The Site Address
You might have entered the site address wrongly in hurry. Chrome is an intelligent browser and will suggest a message like “Check if there is a type in website_name”.
In this case, you will see DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error code as the domain name (site address) is not existing. Make sure the spelling of the website is correct and try to access the site again. If the address is correct ,wait for few seconds and press the “Reload” button. This could resolve the problem if it happened momentarily.
2. Local Servers Vs Live Sites
We use Windows and Mac computers for setting up local development server with the help of apps like MAMP and WAMP. If you are trying to access the development site (localhost) without starting the server, Chrome will show “This Site Can’t Be Reached” error with “ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED” code.
Therefore, make sure to open localhost sites after starting your server and opening the correct port. In this case, Chrome will also show you the suggestions which you can see by clicking on the “Details” button.
3. Check Internet and Site is Up
If you are opening a live website (not a localhost) and the site address is correct, then next step is to check whether the site is reachable for all. There are few easy ways to check this:
- First make sure you have stable internet connection. You can check the cables, modem and your Wi-Fi setup and confirm everything is working fine. Remember, loose cables can cause intermittent connection drop in your Wi-Fi and create problems. If required, remove the cables and plugin tight the network setup actually works stable.
- If you have multiple devices, open the site and check in your mobile or try with another browser.
- In case if you are using VPN or proxy, change the server location and try to access the site from different countries.
- Use online availability checker tools to confirm the site is reachable and not down for all the users.
These things will help you to confirm whether you are the only person seeing the error or the website is not accessible for anyone. If the site is not available, you may need to wait for some time for the site owner to fix and bring it online. You can’t do anything other than waiting or contact the site owners through social profiles and inform them about the issue.
4. Check Your VPN and Proxy Settings
Now the real troubleshooting process starts if the site is not accessible only for you in Chrome browser. First thing in this process is to check your proxy setting. If you are not using proxy then you can skip this to move on to next step). Open Chrome and go to this “chrome://settings/system” command URL. This will open the system settings page in Chrome and click on “Open your computer’s proxy settings” option.
- On Windows – press “Win + I” keys to Windows Settings app. Go to “Network & internet” section and select “Proxy” option. Click “Setup” button showing against “Use a proxy server” under “Manual proxy setup” section and disable the setup.
- On Mac – this will open the advanced network settings screen which you have to cancel and go back to the network section. First unlock the screen by clicking on the padlock icon and providing your admin credentials. After that click on “Advanced” button to and then go to “Proxies” tab. Check if there are any proxies enabled and disable all the items.
Similarly, disable your VPN connection from the network settings or from the VPN app. Now, check whether you can be able to access the website without “This Site Can’t Be Reached” problem.
5. Check Antivirus and Firewall Settings
In most situations, you need to allow the apps to pass through the Firewall and antivirus settings. Chrome will also suggest you to check antivirus and firewall settings if it suspects the settings block access to incoming network connection through Chrome.
Since the antivirus settings depend on the app you use, you may need to go through the app’s settings and allow Chrome to access the network. Otherwise, simply disable the antivirus temporarily and try to access the website in Chrome to confirm if the antivirus is the culprit. Similarly, you can check the firewall settings in your computer to allow Chrome app.
- On Windows – search and open Windows Security app and go to “Firewall & network protection” section. Click on “Allow an app through firewall” link and enable “Google Chrome” for both private and public networks.
- On Mac – go to “Security & Privacy > Firewall” preferences section and “Allow incoming connections” for Chrome app.
6. Delete Chrome Cache
This should not be the problem for site not reachable error. However, it can be a cause if the site owner changed the previously accessed page’s URL. It can also be a root cause if the site owner changed the hosting server to new company or location. At any case, you can try deleting the browsing data in Chrome as it will not hurt your data in anyway.
Open Chrome and simply press “Control + Shift + Delete” in Windows or “Command + Shift + Delete” keys in Mac. Alternatively, access “chrome://settings/clearBrowserData” URL to open “Clear browsing data” pop-up in Chrome. Select the required items under “Advanced” section for “All time” time range and press “Clear data” button. Confirm the action to delete the browsing history.
Now open the website by manually entering the URL and check if it opens without any error.
7. Flush DNS and Reset Network
Domain Name System or DNS is the backbone of internet which will help your browser to find the IP address for corresponding website address you have entered. By default, Chrome will use the DNS setup from your ISP and your computer will cache the details for faster access. In case, if the site owner changed the setup, the cached entries on your computer can cause errors like gateway timeout. Similar to deleting browser history, you can also delete the DNS cache on your system and check if that helps to resolve the problem
There are different commands you need to run for deleting the DNS cache and reset network settings in Windows. First open Windows Terminal app in administrator mode and these commands will work on both Command Prompt and Windows PowerShell.
ipconfig /flushdns netsh winsock reset netsh int ip reset
On Mac, open Terminal app and run the following command as an administrator to flush DNS.
sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
8. Change DNS Settings to Public DNS
The above option will only flush DNS entries on your system but not on the external servers that you connect through your ISP. Though you can’t flush DNS of ISP or any other external servers, you can change the default DNS setup to use public servers like Google Public DNS. This will help you to access the site with the latest and correct DNS details. The public DNS servers has 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 as the preferred and alternate IPv4 addresses and you can change the setup like below.
- On Windows 11 – search and open Windows Settings app and navigate to “Network & internet” section. Click on “Wi-Fi” option and select properties for your Wi-Fi network. Click “Edit” button showing against “DNS server assignment” option and select “Manual” option from the list. Enter preferred and alternate DNS and save your changes. Learn how to change DNS in Windows 10 and earlier versions.
- On Mac – go to “Apple menu > System Preferences > Network” section and unlock the screen for editing. Select your network name from the list and click on “Advanced” button. On the next screen, go to “DNS” tab and replace the existing entries with Google public DNS server IP addresses.
You can any time delete the public DNS server details to assign the default ISP servers automatically.
9. Disable All Extensions
Chrome will automatically update to the latest version when you connect to the internet. However, this can easily create compatibility problem if any of the installed extension is out of date. The best way is to go to “chrome://extensions/” page in Chrome and disable all extensions temporarily. This will help to find if the extension is causing problem in the network connection and casing “This Site Can’t Be Reached” error.
Remember, you can also use incognito mode in Chrome if you have disabled all the extensions in incognito mode.
10. Reset Chrome Browser
This is the last option as it can impact some of your data in the browser. For example, you will lose all the options that you have customized in the settings page. You can go to “chrome://settings/reset” page in Chrome and reset the browser in few seconds. Learn more about resetting Chrome browser and the impact to your data.
In most cases, you can resolve “This Site Can’t Be Reached” error in Chrome by deleting browsing history and resetting internet connection. Otherwise, you need to go for advanced troubleshooting options like checking your firewall, proxy, antivirus, etc. If none of the things help, you can opt for resetting Chrome as your last resort.