How to Fix the “This Site Can’t be Reached” Error in Google Chrome

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 proven 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?

There are many potential underlying causes for this error, which means that the exact error message that shows up on the screen will vary, but the heading will either say “This site can’t be reached” or “This webpage is not available”.

This site can't be reached Google Chrome error message

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 (IP) 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.

In every case, Google Chrome gives you an explanation of the cause in the form of a description and an error code. Both of these can be found on the same screen, below the heading.

Typical error descriptions include:

Instead of “domain.com” you should see the website address that you tried to access.

The error description can already take you one step closer in understanding what went wrong, but the most important element for successful troubleshooting is the error code at the bottom. The error code usually consists of multiple words connected by underscores, and the best way to move forward is to look at the solutions for your specific error code.

We have dedicated articles covering all common error codes that can show up on a “this site can’t be reached” screen:

If you don’t see an error message on the screen or your error code is not in the list above, no need to worry either. In this article we have collected a set of universal solutions that will fix most of the “this site can’t be reached” and “this webpage is not available” errors.

11 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. Check your target website’s status

As your first step you should find out if the problem is with your system or the target website is down for everyone. Websites can go down for multiple reasons, including scheduled maintenance, visitor overload, DDoS attack, or any unexpected server failure. If a website is down for everyone, there is not much you can do except wait until the service is restored.

You can easily check the availability of a website with free online tools, such as WebsitePlanet, isitdownrightnow, and Downdetector. Choose any of these three and type in your target website’s address into the lookup tool to confirm its status.

If the website only appears to be down for you, move on to the next solution method.

2. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once this is done, try reloading the webpage to see if the issue has cleared up.
Clear browser cache in Google Chrome

3. Run the Windows Network Troubleshooter

You can also try running the network troubleshooter program to find and fix repairs with your wireless network connection.

  1. Type “Run” into your computer’s search bar via the Start Menu and open the run program module.
  2. Type “ncpa.cpl” into the run program to open up the network connections box.
  3. Find your active internet connection in the network connections window, right-click it, and hit the diagnose option.
  4. 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.
  5. Click on “Try these repairs as an administrator” and on the next prompt, apply the fix.
  6. Reboot the computer to see if the issue is fixed.
Diagnose network issues with the built-in troubleshooter

4. Restart your router and modem

It’s entirely possible that the issue is not with your device, but rather with your router or modem. It can be a simple freeze or a temporary glitch that can be easily solved by a quick reset.

To properly reset your router and modem:

  1. Unplug the power cables from both the router and the modem.
  2. Wait 2-3 minutes to let the electronic circuits completely reset.
  3. Plug the power cables back and wait for your router and modem to boot up. This might take another few minutes.
  4. Once all the lights are up, showing that the internet connection is established, try visiting your target website again.

5. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. A settings menu will pop open. In this menu, scroll all the way down to the bottom and choose the advanced tab.
  3. 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.
  4. Once this is done, try reloading the webpage to see if the issue has cleared up.
Reset Google Chrome settings

6. Restart the DNS client

If the above two options do not work, move onto trying to resolve the DNS client by restarting it.  

  1. 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).
  2. Type in “services.msc” into the run module.
  3. 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.
  4. Reopen your Google Chrome browser and check to see if this fixed the error.
How to restart the DNS client service in Windows

7. Change DNS servers

Sometimes you can fix this error by changing 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.

  1. In your task management tray, find your network icon, right-click it, and choose the “Open Network & Internet Settings” option.
  2. In the Advanced network settings section, click on Change adapter options. The Network Connections window will open.
  3. Right-click on your active internet connection, and open the Properties window.
  4. While on the Networking tab, find the Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) line in the list, select it, and click the Properties button.
  5. In the new window that opens, select the “Use the following DNS server addresses” option, and manually set your DNS server to either Google’s DNS or Open DNS. Google’s DNS primary server is 8.8.8.8 and it’s secondary server is 8.8.4.4. For Open DNS, the primary server is 208.67.222.222 and the secondary is 208.67.220.220.
  6. Once you’ve set these, hit okay and see if this fixes the issue.
Changing DNS servers in Windows

8. 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.

  1. You will need to launch the Command Prompt module by typing “cmd” into your computer’s search in the Start Menu, right-clicking on it, and running it as an administrator.
  2. Once you have it up, enter in the following command: ipconfig /flushdns
  3. A “flushed the DNS resolver cache” message will pop across your screen once the command has been successfully run.
  4. Restart your computer to see if the error has been fixed.
ipconfig flushdns command

9. Reset your TCP/IP address

You can always try resetting your TCP/IP configuration.

  1. Run and launch the Command Prompt module by typing “cmd” into your computer’s search in the start menu, right-clicking on it, and running it as an administrator.
  2. Then type in and execute the following commands: (Hit Enter after each line.)
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /all
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • ipconfig /renew
    • netsh int ip reset
    • netsh winsock reset
  3. Once these are done, restart your computer.

10. Update your network drivers

Outdated network drivers can result in all sorts of issues, including the “This site can’t be reached” error. Luckily, updating network drivers is fairly straightforward on Windows.

  1. In your Windows search bar, type in “Device Manager” and open the app.
  2. Click on the Network adapters group to show all available network components.
  3. Right-click each network adapter, and click on Update driver.
  4. Let Windows search automatically for the latest drivers.
Update network adapter drivers

Note: Sometimes Windows fails to find the most up to date driver for a hardware component. If you suspect that this might be the case, it’s a good idea to visit the hardware manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers manually.

11. Reinstall Chrome

If nothing has worked so far, as a last effort you can try reinstalling Google Chrome.

When you are logged into Chrome with a Google account the browser saves your bookmarks and extensions to the cloud, so you will not lose anything with a reinstall. Once you log in again, the browser will sync back everything, and you can continue from where you left off.

However, if you use Chrome without logging in, make sure to export your bookmarks and stored data before reinstalling.

To reinstall Chrome:

  1. Type “Control Panel” into your Windows search bar, and open the app.
  2. Click on the Programs and Features option.
  3. Find Google Chrome in the list, right-click it, and select Uninstall.
  4. Next, open another browser on your computer, and navigate to Google’s Chrome download page, and click the Download Chrome button.
  5. Run the setup executable and follow the on screen instructions to reinstall Chrome.

How to fix the “This site can’t be reached” error on Mac OS

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.

How to fix the “This site can’t be reached” error on Android

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. 

Clear Google Chrome storage and cache on Android

Conclusion

We hope that by this point you have managed to fix the “this site can’t be reached” error with one of the outlined methods. Let us know in the comments section what solution worked for you.

24 thoughts on “How to Fix the “This Site Can’t be Reached” Error in Google Chrome”

  1. I have a website, it was working normally when I’ve opened it last night before sleeping. Today while taking breakfast, I opened my website in my mobile and it shows “this site can not be reached” I tried to open it in different phones it does’t work. I tried to open it in two different laptop but still showing the same error.
    Means it showing error in all devices. can you explain how can I fix it now? and what problem may causing this issue?

    Here is the error :

    This site can’t be reached
    “my website’s” server IP address could not be found.
    DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

    Reply
  2. hello your article is the best on the web, still i can not fix my problem , this is how it looks like , I’ll be very thankfull if you help me

    This site can’t be reachedCheck if there is a typo in http://www.amazon.com.mx.
    DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

    Reply
  3. Here’s an interesting twist that might be worth checking. I was just having this issue with sonicwall.com, and when I checked my DNS on our Domain controller; there was an entry for sonicwall.com as if it were part of my DNS environments. Once I deleted it, I was able to see the site / domain again.

    No idea how it got there.

    Reply
  4. I have tried all the suggestions and cannot get into my yahoo mail account. Sometimes the laptop using Chrome will open yahoo itself but not the mail. Keeps saying this site cannot be reached

    Reply
  5. I had nightmares trying to tweak my Cloudflare DNS and other options to make my website reachable but to no avail. I’ve taken some of the steps here, I hope it works out. You can help me check to confirm if it’s going on your end.

    Reply
  6. I have same problem as Karen. Other than Yahoo Mail sites open perfectly well. speedtest.net shows perfect internet connection. I have Windows 10 and WOW internet service. Restarting computer helps for a while, but then the problem comes back. I suspect if I abandon Chrome and switch to Firefox the problem would disappear, but I have not tried it yet…

    Reply
  7. My hosting company for my domain name is fatcow.com. If I type ‘fatcow.com’ in the browser URL, I get “this site can’t be reached”. However, if I type in like “https://www.fatcow.com” in the browser, then it reaches the site. Any idea why this is happening?

    Reply
  8. Hi,

    I need some help, I have a cleaning website that my friend did for me few years ago. It’s been running brilliantly until yesterday. When I type and search the webpage it keep saying the site can’t be reached. DNS_PROBE FINISHED NXDOMAIN.

    CAN SOMEONE HELP ME WITH THIS PLEASE.

    Reply
  9. Hello there! I have a problem with only a few websites. The error happens on some websites, surprisingly. For example, it does not work on Discord and YouTube still works. Can you please fix this? Thanks.

    Reply
    • yep my discord wasnt working cause of update loop and i went to get a new install, i keep getting This site can’t be reached but it has solved it self on its own like yesterday morning, went to discord and it loaded up but its back to the error :/

      are you still having problems or no?

      Reply
  10. My problem is with my Microsoft ;-; i can’t even access the site!! Could someone help me fix this

    This site can’t be reachedCheck if there is a typo in login.live.com.
    DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN

    Reply

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