How To Fix the Error “This Site Can’t Be Reached”

Whether you want to watch videos, play online games, or find resources for a research paper, not being able to access a website is frustrating. This can often happen in Google Chrome, and one of the messages you may receive is, “This site can’t be reached.” There are numerous causes of this problem, but luckily, most of them are easy to fix.

Let’s discover why the “this site can’t be reached” error occurs in Google Chrome and find out how to solve it.

This Site Can’t Be Reached Causes

The most common reason you might not be able to reach a website is that the page is offline. The hosting server may be unavailable, so there’s not much you can do until it’s back online.

Alternatively, the server could be receiving too much traffic. This happens on popular websites, as the server can’t handle a huge number of requests simultaneously.

Another reason for a “this site can’t be reached” message is DNS lookup failures. Namely, you access websites using domain names (URLs entered into the upper part of your browser). Once you press Enter, Google Chrome accesses the page using the IP address and DNS network to translate the domain name into the protocol address. DNS lookup failures can occur when your DNS system is misconfigured or your Windows DNS client isn’t working.

This Site Can’t Be Reached Solutions

You can try many methods to solve the “this site can’t be reached” error.

Check the Website Status

The first thing to do is determine whether the error has to do with your system or the page itself. There are several reasons a website goes down, such as visitor overload, DDoS attacks, unexpected server failures, and scheduled maintenance. In that case, you can only wait for the administrator to restore the service.

Here’s how to check if a page is down.

  1. Open Google Chrome.
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  2. Go to the search box and enter one of the following URLs: downdetector.com or isitdownrightnow.com.
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  3. Type in the address of the website you want to check.
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  4. Confirm the status of the page.

Shut Down Your Firewall

Firewalls are security programs that shield your PC from hackers and malicious software. In general, they enable you to access pages without any issues. Sometimes, they can mistakenly block websites you want to reach.

If you believe the Firewall is blocking your web page, you can try shutting it down temporarily. You can do so by accessing the firewall settings on your Windows PC.

  1. Press your Start button and go to “Settings.”
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  2. Click “Update and Security.”
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  3. Followed by “Windows Security.”
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  4. Go to “Firewall and network protection.”
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  5. Choose your network profile from the “Domain network” menu. Select “Public network” or “Private network.”
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  6. Head to the “Microsoft Defender Firewall” section and turn the feature off by switching the setting to “Off.” Keep in mind that this makes your computer susceptible to unauthorized access. Therefore, only use it to test whether the “this site can’t be reached” problem is caused by firewall settings.
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Take the following steps to switch off your Firewall on a Mac.

  1. Press your Apple menu and click “System Preferences.”
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  2. Pick “Security” and click the “Firewall” tab.
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  3. Hit the “Off” button to deactivate the Firewall.
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  4. Tap the “Ok” key to save your changes.

After turning off the Firewall, reload the website. If the page still doesn’t load, restart your Firewall and try another solution.

Factory Reset the Router and Modem

The easiest solution to the “this site can’t be reached” issue is to restart your router or modem.

  1. Find the reset button behind the device.
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  2. Press it to turn off the modem/router.
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  3. Wait a few seconds and turn the device back on.

If a simple reset doesn’t fix the problem, you can try factory resetting your router or modem. This should resolve software issues that could be the cause of the connection problems. However, it also wipes out personalized settings, such as Wi-Fi passwords and network names. You’ll need to reenter your information after the reboot.

The reboot process depends on your modem/router, but it usually requires the following actions.

  1. Go to your router, modem, or combined device and examine the back.
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  2. Look for a small, recessed button. The purpose of the design is to eliminate the risk of accidental presses.
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  3. Grab a sharp pencil. You can also use a paperclip or sim pin – just make sure to straighten it.
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  4. Push your reboot key and hold it for about 10-15 seconds. In some cases, you may need to hold the button for more than 30 seconds to trigger your factory reset. The good news is that you can’t harm the device physically by pressing it too long. If you have a separate router and modem, do the same on both devices.
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  5. Wait for a couple of minutes for the system to process the changes.
  6. Visit the website and see if it works.

Clear DNS Cache

Whenever you access a website, Google Chrome saves files from the page on your device. This is known as the browser’s cache, which can sometimes be problematic if it’s corrupted or outdated.

You can delete your Chrome cache directly from the browser.

  1. Open Chrome and press the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner of the screen.
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  2. Press “More Tools,” followed by “Clear Browsing Data.”
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  3. Go to the upper section and choose your time range. If you want to remove everything, pick “All time.”
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  4. Check the fields next to “Cached images & files” and “Cookies & other site data.”
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  5. Click the “Clear data” option and then see if you can access your page.
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You can flush your cache from your PowerShell or Command Prompt too. Here’s how.

  1. Press the “Windows button + X” combination or right-click your start button.
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  2. Choose PowerShell or Command Prompt.
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  3. Type in the following line: ipconfig/flushdns
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  4. Tap the Enter button
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  5. You should now be able to reach your website if a corrupt or outdated cache is the culprit.

Reset Chrome Settings

Resetting browser settings in Chrome deletes configuration information, such as tab settings, saved forms, cookies, browsing history, and the home page. You can erase this data with a few clicks.

  1. Start Chrome and press the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner.
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  2. Choose “Settings.”
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  3. Go to the “Reset & cleanup” section.
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  4. Choose “Reset Settings” and “Reset Settings” again to confirm your decision.
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Restart Your Device

If rebooting the router doesn’t work, you can try restarting your device. This clears any temporary data and files that might be the cause of the problem. Here’s how to reset your computer.

  1. Press the Start button or Apple logo, depending on your operating system.
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  2. Choose the “Restart” option if you’re an Apple user. Alternatively, press the Power button if you have a Windows PC and select “Restart.”
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If you want to restart your tablet or smartphone, press and hold your power button until the “Restart” option appears. Tap it and wait for the system to reboot. After turning the gadget back on, check if you can access your webpage.

Reset Your TCP/IP Stack

Your TCP/IP stack determines how your information is processed on the web. Each computer has dedicated TCP/IP settings that can be edited manually via your RegEdit. Reverting to default settings usually does the trick if an improper configuration is the cause of the “this site can’t be reached” bug.

  1. Start your Command Prompt.
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  2. Type in this command: netsh int ip reset.
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  3. You’ll now see the items that have been rebooted.
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  4. Restart your device to finalize the process and see if the page is back up.

Restart Winsock

Winsock is a Windows API that allows different parts of the network software to communicate. For instance, it enables your browser and TCP/IP stack to exchange information. Resetting your Winsock can sometimes resolve connection issues resulting from improperly configured programs or malware.

  1. Bring up your Command Prompt.
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  2. Enter this line: netsh reset winsock.
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  3. Reset your computer.

Disable Chrome Extensions

Your Google Chrome may have numerous extensions that make your browser more functional. Although useful, they can also interrupt your network connections and prevent you from accessing certain websites. Fortunately, resolving this problem is straightforward.

  1. Go to Google Chrome and press the three vertical dots.
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  2. Choose “More Tools,” followed by “Extensions.”
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  3. Drag your blue slider to deactivate your extensions one at a time.
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  4. Confirm if the extensions triggered the “this site can’t be reached” message by trying to visit the page again.

Don’t Let Basic Bugs Hold You Back

The “this site can’t be reached” problem is annoying, but you can solve it pretty quickly. You just need to find the right troubleshooting method through trial and error. Even if this takes multiple attempts, the results will be worth it.

How often do you see the “this site can’t be reached” notification? How do you solve the problem? Let us know in the comments section below.

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