Browser issues can be extremely inconvenient. Internet access is an integrated part of modern life. In your household you likely have multiple users and devices accessing the internet at one time and an error like the “server IP address could not be found” can really impede your productivity.
What does the “Server IP address could not be found” error mean in Google Chrome?
The “server IP address could not be found” error can also appear as “server DNS address could not be found”. The heading of the error message screen will always say “This site can’t be reached”.
Typically, an error code is also shown at the bottom of the screen. We have dedicated troubleshooting articles for the most common error codes related to the “server IP address could not be found” error, namely:
What causes the “Server IP address could not be found” error?
Don’t let this error worry you because it is usually an easy fix. A DNS or IP address error can be caused by a number of different things:
- Outdated DNS or IP address used: If your local cache has not updated to a site’s new IP or DNS address, this error can be triggered. To solve this you can delete your cache for Google Chrome.
- DNS server side issues: DNS servers can suffer hardware and network failures, DDOS attacks, high latency, and other issues that can trigger this error. Thankfully DNS servers can be changed and there are some high quality public DNS servers available.
- Specific website is down: Sometimes a website may be down due to their own hosting or server issues or scheduled maintenance. Oftentimes the uptime status of popular websites can be checked using a service like WebsitePlanet or isitdownrightnow. If the website you are trying to access is down, there is not much you can do but wait until service is restored.
- Windows DNS service error: Windows DNS service may need to be restarted if it glitched when it tried to access a DNS server for you to access a website.
- Chrome installation issues: If the problem isn’t due to one of the above reasons, it may lie with Chrome itself. Many issues can be resolved by uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome. Make sure to download the Chrome installer from the official Google Chrome website.
- Proxy settings: If your proxy settings have somehow been altered or corrupted they may need to be adjusted back to automatic to prevent any DNS errors.
- Outdated Network Drivers: Check that your network drivers are up to date because this can cause so many issues, including Chrome errors. This can easily be done within the Device Manager using Windows integrated driver tools.
Thankfully none of these causes are too difficult to remedy. Below is a list of 7 solutions to work you through getting rid of this error and get back to using your browser as intended.
How to fix the “Server IP address could not be found” Chrome error
The following 7 solutions to the “Server IP address could not be found” error are straightforward and quickly completed. First you’ll check a website’s uptime status, before moving onto common DNS solutions, and finally Google Chrome and other possible causes.
1. Check Website Status
Websites can go down for a variety of reasons. In recent years, DDOS attacks have become increasingly common. DDOS attacks or Distributed Denial-of-Service attacks, are targeted malicious events, with the goal of overwhelming the server resources of a website with traffic. This can cause the website to crash. Amazon Web Services (AWS), GitHub, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Twitch, Netflix, HBO, and many more have been rendered unavailable to users because of attacks.
Other times, websites are down due to unexpected maintenance or failures. If you check the website status and the website is down, there is nothing further you can do until service is restored. This should be one of the first steps you take, to avoid unnecessary troubleshooting.
There are many services available online to check the uptime of websites. WebsitePlanet, isitdownrightnow, and Downdetector are three good options. Simply select an option above and navigate to their website by clicking the link.
Input the website address into their search box and a bunch of information on the uptime and history of that specific website should pop-up. You will be able to see if there are service problems based on the responses of other individuals all over the world. Please see the example below:
- Type the address https://downdetector.com/ in the Chrome address bar.
- Enter the address of the website you are having trouble accessing into the box ‘Which service are you having problems with?’
- In this example, we are looking at Discord. You can see that currently there are no reported problems with Discord, but that Discord did have a problem on April 11th at 9:40PM. You can also see the number of service problems reported by users over a 24 hour period.
2. Clear DNS Cache
The cache helps save time and improve browsing speeds by allowing your browser to skip the DNS lookup process for previously visited sites. You may need to clear your DNS cache if the information stored is outdated. Websites may change their domain name or IP address for a variety of reasons, and if your DNS cache already has a stored address it won’t try to fetch another, even if that one is no longer in use. Clearing the cache forces your system to look up the IP address again which should retrieve the updated address.
- Click the Start Menu and search for Command Prompt.
- Right-click on the Command Prompt app in the list, and select Run as administrator. This will bypass any permissions problems. In the pop-up window, select Yes to allow the Command Prompt app to make changes to your device.
- In the Command Prompt window, after C:\WINDOWS\system32> type the following commands, pressing Enter after each command:
- netsh int ip reset
- netsh winsock reset
- ipconfig /release
- ipconfig /renew
- ipconfig /flushdns
- Restart the computer and open Google Chrome to check if the error is fixed.
3. Change DNS Servers
Your DNS server is automatically set by your ISP (internet service provider) or router. Not all DNS servers are created equally and your ISP’s default DNS server may be bogged down by higher than average user activity. Slow DNS queries can cause the “server IP address not found” error. This issue can be fixed by selecting another DNS server. Google has a public DNS server that is popular because of it’s speeds and stability. Follow the steps below to change your DNS server to Google’s.
- Right-click the Start Menu button and select Network Connections.
- Under Advanced Network Settings select Change Adapter options.
- Now right-click the internet connection your system is connected to, and select Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4) from the list and click Properties.
- In the new window, select Use the following DNS server addresses at the bottom.
- Enter 126.96.36.199 as the Preferred DNS server and 188.8.131.52 as the Alternate DNS Server. This is the IP address to the Google public DNS server. Your browser will now run all its DNS lookups through their server.
- Click OK and open Google Chrome to see if the “server IP address not found” error is gone.
4. Restart DNS Service
You can also restart the DNS service to see if the Windows 10 service is bugging out and causing errors. This is super quick and easy.
- Press the Windows Key + R on the keypad. This will open the Run program.
- Enter “services.msc” and then click OK. This will launch a Service management window.
- The list of services should be alphabetical. Scroll down until you see the DNS Client listed.
- Right-click on DNS Client and select Restart.
- Try to use Google Chrome and see if the problem is resolved.
5. Reinstall Chrome
Chrome may be incorrectly configured or corrupt. If you reinstall Chrome you will receive a fresh and updated installation which may fix this error. Thankfully Google has continued to improve the installation process, and it is easy and painless. Follow the steps below to uninstall and reinstall Chrome. Don’t worry about your settings, Windows 10 will save all of your bookmarks and settings. You may need to log back into your account.
- Right-click the Start Menu button and select Apps and Features.
- Scroll through the list of apps and programs and find Google Chrome.
- Select Google Chrome and click Uninstall. You may be prompted again to be sure you want to uninstall.
- Now to reinstall Chrome, open Microsoft Edge or any other browser you have installed and enter google.com/chrome into the address bar.
- Look for the Download Chrome button on the page.
- A popup will appear titled Opening ChromeSetup.exe, select Save File.
- Open your downloads folder and search for the Chrome Setup file and double-click on it.
- Follow any prompts to allow Google Chrome to make changes to your computer. A new fresh copy of Google Chrome will be installed and updated.
6. Update Network Drivers
Network adapters are vital to allow your computer to connect to local area connections (LAN). Computers usually have a USB network adapter or wireless network adapter. Device drivers help software interface with a system’s hardware. If a network adapter has outdated or corrupted drivers, this can impede the function of the network adapter and in turn, your internet access. To update network adapter drivers:
- Right-click the Start Menu button and select Device Manager.
- Look for the Network adapters section and expand it to view all associated adapters.
- Right-click on each network adapter and select Update driver.
- Choose the option Search automatically for drivers, and Windows will search the system and Internet for the latest driver updates.
- Restart the computer and check if the error is fixed.
7. Check Proxy Settings
Proxy servers work to help reduce the burden of DNS servers. They act as an interface between your system and DNS servers. For example, a proxy server will retrieve DNS information stored on your system to feed to another user instead of accessing the DNS server directly. If proxy settings are configured improperly, errors can crop up. Windows 10 allows you to automatically detect the best proxy settings, which usually fixes this problem. Follow the steps below to access the settings through Google Chrome:
- Click on three dots in the top-right corner and select the Settings menu.
- On the Settings page, click Advanced on the left-hand side. Then select System from the expanded menu.
- Under the System settings select Open your computer’s proxy settings. A new window will open.
- In the Windows 10 Settings window, make sure Automatically detect settings is toggled on under the Proxy header.
- The best configuration for your computer and internet should be automatically set up. This may solve the ‘server IP address not found’ error upon relaunching Google Chrome.
Google Chrome Server IP address issue resolved
Following the seven solutions listed above should have fixed the “server IP address not found” error that was probably driving you mad. You learned to check if a website is experiencing service issues, flush your DNS cache, change your DNS server, restart your DNS service, reinstall Chrome, update your network drivers, and check your proxy settings. Hopefully you have learned some new skills and resources and are back to accessing all your favorite sites.