While most of us are well aware of how to use our favorite internet browser to search up our most frequented websites, most of us don’t really know what to do when an error pops up instead of the website we were attempting to reach. In many cases, we may just close the internet browser and retry the search, double check the spelling of the website URL, or even try a different website browser. For Google Chrome users, the “this site can’t be reached” error can pop up if a website takes too long to respond and is down or if there is an internet connection problem. Instead of using a different browser or trying again at a later time, we are going to look at what this error code means, why it pops up, and outline 7 methods you can use to fix the issue on your Windows computer. If you are a Mac or Android smartphone user, we have you covered as well.
What does the “This Site Can’t be Reached” error mean?
This error means exactly what it says, the website address you are trying to access cannot be reached with your search query. While it is quite possible that you just made a spelling error in entering the website address, in most cases, it is because there is another underlying issue occurring with your domain name system (DNS) server and the issue either needs to be fixed or it needs to be reset.
When does this error occur and why does it happen?
The most common reason for the “this site can’t be reached” error to pop up is because of a DNS lookup failure. The DNS network accesses websites via their domain name, so the website URL you are used to inputting into the top search portion of your internet browser. When you hit enter on your website browser, the browser will access the website through its internet protocol address, and the DNS network system is what does the translating from website domain name to internet protocol address.
The DNS lookup failure occurs when there is a misconfiguration of the DNS address or when the Windows DNS client is not working. While this is the most common reason for getting the “this site can’t be reached” error, it may also occur because:
- Your Google Chrome browser has cookie corruption or out of date settings,
- Your wireless network connection requires repairs,
- Your wireless adapters are out of date,
- Your antivirus is blocking the website,
- Your DNS cache is invalid.
7 Methods for Fixing “This Site Can’t be Reached” Error in Google Chrome
While the majority of the methods available for fixing this error in Google Chrome are targeted towards Windows computer users, those who are running a Mac or Android smartphone or tablet, may also run into this error. If you are a user with a Mac computer or an Android smartphone, please pop down to the bottom of the list for methods available to those devices, specifically.
1. Clear your browser cache
One of the easiest methods to fix “this site can’t be reached” error in Google Chrome is by clearing out your browser cache to see if the problem is occurring due to corrupted cookie files. Sometimes, the Google Chrome browser will serve up cached error pages instead and clearing the browser history will remove this problem.
- To do this, open up your Google Chrome browser on your computer, click the three dots in the top right-hand corner of the browser, and choose the “more tools” option from the list and clear your browsing data. You can also just open up your Google Chrome browser and hit CTRL – SHIFT -DEL.
- On the settings window that pops up, under the time range drop-down menu, choose “all time” as the time range and then choose to clear out your browsing history, your cookies, and your cached images via the clear data button. You may need to checkmark all of these if they aren’t already selected.
- Once this is done, try reloading the webpage to see if the issue has cleared up.
2. Reset Google Chrome
If clearing out the data from your Google Chrome does not work, you can try resetting your Chrome browser. If the error is popping up because of issues with browser extensions or browser settings, resetting the browser will eliminate these issues and stop the error from coming up.
- Open up your Google Chrome browser and click on the menu icon (3 dots) in the top right-hand corner of the browser. Choose the settings option.
- A settings menu will pop open. In this menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and choose the advanced tab.
- Scroll all the way down to the bottom in the advanced menu and find the “reset and clean up” section. Choose to restore your settings to their original defaults and hit reset settings.
- Once this is done, try reloading the webpage to see if the issue has cleared up.
3. Restart the DNS client
If the above two options do not work, move onto trying to resolve the DNS client by restarting it.
- Open up your Run Module by pressing “Start” + R on your keyboard or by typing in Run into your computers search bar (found in the start menu).
- Type in services.msc into the run module.
- This will open up a list of services that are available to you. You will want to scan the list for the DNS client and right click it. Hit the restart option.
- Reopen your Google Chrome browser and check to see if this fixed the error.
4. Change DNS servers
Sometimes you can fix this error by changing up the DNS servers that you are using to access the internet. It is always recommended to use an alternative DNS address when your internet connection is slow.
- In your task management tray, find your network icon, right-click it, and choose the open network and sharing center section.
- Click on the button that opens up the properties of the internet network you are using.
- Find the TCP/IPv4 properties section and manually set your DNS server to either Google’s DNS or Open DNS. Google’s DNS primary server is 126.96.36.199 and it’s secondary server is 188.8.131.52. For the Open DNS options, the primary server is 184.108.40.206 and the secondary is 220.127.116.11. Once you’ve set these, hit okay and see if this fixes the issue.
5. Flush the DNS cache
When a DNS cache is invalid, it can cause the “this site can’t be reached” error. To fix this, you would need to flush out the old DNS cache and update it to the correct IP address.
- You will need to launch the command module by typing cmd into your computer’s search in the start menu, right-clicking on it, and running it as an administrator.
- Once you have it up, enter in the following command: ipconfig /flushdns
- A “flushed the DNS resolver cache” message will pop across your screen once the command has been successfully run.
- Restart your computer to see if the error has been fixed.
6. Reset your TCP/IP address
You can always try resetting your TCP or IP.
- Run and launch the command module by typing cmd into your computer’s search in the start menu, right-clicking on it, and running it as an administrator.
- Then type in and execute the following commands: ipconfig /release -> ipconfig /all -> ipconfig /flushdns -> ipconfig /renew -> netsh int ip set dns -> netshwinsock reset once these are done, restart your computer.
7. Run the Windows Network Troubleshooter
You can also try running the network troubleshooter program to find and fix repairs with your wireless network connection.
- Type “Run” into your computer’s search bar via the start menu and open the run program module.
- Type ncpa.cpl into the run program to open up the network connections box.
- Find your Wi-Fi connection in the network connections window, right-click it, and hit the diagnose option.
- Give the network troubleshooter program some time to run. If the problem, it finds is a “DHCP is not enabled for wireless network connection” you will want to repair this problem as an administrator.
- Click on “Try these repairs as an administrator” and on the next prompt, apply the fix.
- Reboot the computer to see if the issue is fixed.
Other solutions that are viable include reinstalling your network drivers, updating your wireless adaptor drivers, restarting your router, and reinstalling Google Chrome.
For those who are Mac OS users, you will want to try changing the DNS or try changing the TCP/IP4. To change both of these, you will find the option to do so in your system preferences, network, and advanced settings of your Wi-Fi connection tab. For Android smartphone users, you will want to try clearing your browser data or clearing out app data. To clear your history data, you will follow the same steps as you would on the computer. For clearing out app data, you will want to go to your settings and click on apps, find Google Chrome, and clear both the cache and data.