This site can’t be reached is perhaps the most annoying error message of the 21st century. We live in a time where the internet is not only a means of connecting with your friends and family but has rather evolved into a marketplace and a workplace. Our dependence on web-based applications and web-hosted software will keep on increasing over time.
This surge in internet activity is considered a revolution for business and human interconnectivity while it comes under the good side of the internet. But there is another side to the internet, which is malicious and dark, and potentially harmful for any user.
At times your antivirus or firewall can block access to a website having certificate issues. Even Google chrome fails to provide cognizance for such websites.
But amidst the chaos of blocking dark websites, at times, some business websites are blocked because of misunderstandings. The error of an inaccessible website can be frustrating, but that doesn’t mean you will be permanently devoid of access to the website.
We bring you a comprehensive explanation of the solutions to such problems.
What Does ‘this site cannot be reached’ error Mean?
The Internet merely connects all the computers globally, but access to any website is only possible using the internet and doesn’t just depend on your connection speed.
When you enter the web address, the URL is converted into an IP address. This task is undertaken by DNS servers that are responsible for managing the Domain Name System.
Your router or internet connection acts as a link between the website server and your computer. After the IP address of the entered URL is verified, your browser requests relevant data from the website to access it. Your browser shares information about the operating system and device on which the website is to be displayed.
The source website then transmits data in the form of packets.
At this point, your firewall takes over to ascertain the SSL certifications of the website before it can access your PC. Your firewall can easily block a website from rendering for security processes if it fails to produce the required certifications.
The next time you visit the website, only the essential files that have changed will be downloaded. It ultimately reduces the time required to load a website.
What are the common reasons for site error?
In simple words, site error can be understood as the website’s inability to locate the IP address or translate the website data into a webpage.
The error “this site cannot be reached” can crop up at any interval, be it an IP address, certifications, Wi-Fi IP address, data rendering, Cache files, government restrictions, or firewall settings.
1. Government restrictions
Some websites are under strict government restrictions, which bars the internet service provider from allowing users access to the said websites and all related webpages. Such bans often clash with the browser’s saved cache files and display an inaccessible website’s error.
In case you are visiting a banned website for the first time, the website will instead display a message that ‘access of the website is blocked by the government’s order.
2. Firewall/Antivirus Issues
A firewall is a network security system responsible for monitoring and controlling incoming and outgoing traffic based on predefined rules. These rules help your firewall establish a barrier between untrusted networks and protect your system from outside attacks as well as unnecessary network traffic.
Different firewall filters are updated from time to time, and websites using old certifications are often barred from being connected. While the network is not malicious but lacks security, which results in ‘this site cannot be reached error’ on Chrome and even on Mac.
If you are confident that the website is not a security threat, making firewall settings changes will allow you to access the website.
3. Expiry of Hosting Service
At times website owners miss out on renewing their hosting membership, which results in the removal of hosting services.
If the service duration is expired, you wouldn’t be able to access the website. Not until the owner of the website restarts the hosting service or changes the hosting service. It’s a clear case of a website-end connection issue.
Such issues cannot be resolved from your end. You will have to wait till the owner or concerned person in charge of website maintenance restarts the hosting services.
How to Fix ‘this site can’t be reached’ on Chrome (Windows)?
There are several ways to troubleshoot this issue. The common idea behind all troubleshooting related to this error is to check for system lapses, update settings, and remove previously saved data about any website. Let us begin with the steps you should follow to remove all possible causes from your end.
1. Check Internet Connectivity
The first thing to check is your internet connection. At times you will have a network connection but without internet access. It happens when your internet connection or membership ends in the middle of the day. Hence the data transfer from the host website to your browser gets disrupted.
You might be displayed this site can’t be reached on chrome in place of No internet connection. Login to your Internet service provider membership and check for membership expiry time. In case you face a connection issue despite having a membership, contact customer support for a quick resolution of your problem.
2. Clear cache and browser cookies
Cache files often create a clash point in case the website makes changes to its directory. Clearing browser cache files will allow your system to download new and updated data and re-enable access to the website. To clear the cache files on Google Chrome, follow these simple steps.
- Open your browser and press Ctrl + Shift + Delete button.
- Alternatively, you can click on the three dots.
- Click on more tools
- Select clear browsing data.
- Select all three options, browser history, cookies and other site data, Cached images and files.
- Click on Clear data.
Note: Clearing cookies will erase all your login details. You will have to re-login into the websites whose credentials are not saved in Google chrome. Learn more about the positive and negatives of browser cookies.
3. Restart DNS
DNS is responsible for managing the Domain Name System and restarting relevant services will ensure that there are no impending issues from your computer.
- Press Windows key + R to open up the RUN box
- Press Services.msc to access all the service tools
- Select Network Store Interface Service and click on restart
- Repeat the same process for DHCP and DNS Client
Once all three services have been restarted, DNS issues from your computer’s end will be resolved.
4. Reset your Wi-Fi modem
Resetting your Wi-Fi router at fixed intervals is a must-follow practice although not a commonly practiced one. After clearing all saved webpage files, the next step is resetting the Wi-Fi modem. Follow these simple steps to reset.
- Unplug the power cable of your Wi-Fi modem.
- Check for the reset button at the back of your modem.
- Hold the reset button for 10-20 seconds.
- Repeat the same process after plugging in the power cable to the modem.
- You will notice all lights flickering for a few seconds before the green lights glow, signaling that the internet connection is re-established.
- Your modem will be reset.
5. Check Firewall Settings
Windows Firewall rules can be changed by unintentionally clicking on allow access during a dialogue box prompt. One should have a better understanding of firewall settings and making changes to them without knowledge can create further issues on your browsers.
Since this is a PC setting, it affects all the browsers. The most feasible solution to get out of this situation is turning windows defender off and on again and clicking on Restore defaults.
It will allow the PC to get rid of all the firewall customization that could be why this site can’t be reached error on chrome. Know more about allowing network access to your Chrome Browser.
How to Fix ‘this site can’t be reached’ on mac Chrome?
If you come across this site that can’t be reached on Mac while using the Chrome browser, the reasons are the same although Mac settings are different. Hence, we will have to follow additional steps to achieve the same impact as on Windows chrome.
1. Reset your Wi-Fi modem
Reset your Wi-Fi modem by disconnecting it from power and pressing the reset button located at the back of the modem. Repeat the process after re-inserting the power cable. Doing so will reset the Wi-Fi modem. You can verify the reset process by the flickering LEDs on the modem.
After a couple of seconds, the modem lit the internet connection LED. It will resolve all your modem-based access issues.
2. Clear browser history
Another critical step is to clear all the cache files that might interfere with the website’s loading process. To remove the chrome cache files, follow these steps.
- Click the three dots icon on the top right corner.
- Select the more tools to link from the drop-down menu.
- Select Clear browsing data.
- Select Cookies and other sites and plug-in data, cached images, and files.
- Click on Clear browsing data to remove the data.
This will resolve all the conflicts related to the cached files.
3. Clear DNS cache
Removing DNS cache allows your browser to gather new information about the website, thus removing any data clash. Website data can change at any time, and when that happens, the saved DNS cache data doesn’t synchronize with the files causing failure to reach the website.
- To clear the DNS cache in the chrome browser, enter this URL in the address bar and select DNS from the list on the left-hand side.
- Right-click on the DNS option and select clear host cache.
4. Use VPN services
In case the website is blocked by the service provider because of some reason or the administrator may block regional users. Getting site can’t be reached on mac error is common when trying to access torrent or local streaming services of a different nation.
A VPN will enable you to access the websites and webpages using a proxy tunnel by masking your IP address and using the IP address of your VPN service provider.
Network errors are not uncommon these days and are often attributed to an overabundance of security measures by your system firewall, browser security settings, ISP’s website blockings, and clashes because of duplicate browser cache files and DNS cache.
There are measures which can be undertaken on your own. Suppose these steps fail to resolve your issues lookout for changes in the actual web address and contact a professional computer expert. There can be hardware, adapter, or driver issues that need to be checked.
Also Read: 13 Possible Ways To fix “Alexa Not Playing Music Error”
What does Error_address_unreachable mean?
Whenever the server doesn’t respond to your browser’s access request, it will display error_address_unreachable. The reasons can vary from administrator access and website maintenance to changes in the website IP address. Such issues cannot be resolved from the user’s end.
How safe is VPN use?
VPN service providers use a different technology that completely masks your IP address and is safe to use. Some countries like the USA and the UK have various internet regulations. VPN companies having headquarters can be forced by law to share your browsing history with government agencies.