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How to fix ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED on Chrome?

How to fix ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED on Chrome?

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED is one of those general errors that Google Chrome produces when an undetermined problem prevents you from visiting a website.

It could be frustrating to deal with an error that doesn’t give you a clear clue about the issue. In reality, many different problems can cause it, but we will examine the most common ones and how to troubleshoot the error. Read further for more information.

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED means that your Google Chrome browser’s attempt to load a website is blocked by something. Your browser keeps trying to load the website for some time, but after a while, the connection times out.

Chrome can’t specify the exact cause and informs you of an ongoing connectivity issue by displaying the generic ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message.

How does ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED look on different browsers

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED is an error code used only in Chrome, and you won’t see it on other browsers. It is accompanied by the message: “This site can’t be reached.” Clicking on Details expands the page suggesting some remedies.

Screenshot of How ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error looks on Google Chrome

Other browsers will acknowledge the issue with different error messages. For example, Firefox states: “Unable to connect.” It also adds a few pointers of what the problem might be.

How does ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED look on Firefox

Safari declares: “Safari Can’t Connect to the Server”; without further explanation.

How does ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED look on Safari

Common causes of ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error

Looking at the error message, you can assume that it originates solely from your browser. However, in reality, the issue may come from various places.

Indeed, the browser might be the problem, but in many cases, other factors play a part in the error.

Problems in your network, device, or browser often lead to the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message. The most common cases include:

  • Expired cache and cookies in your browser
  • A problem with your computer or router
  • Connectivity issues in your network
  • A firewall or antivirus software blocking access to the website
  • Settings of a proxy server or VPN network
  • Expired DNS cache
  • DNS server issues
  • Browser extensions blocking the connection
  • Corrupted Google Chrome browser installation
  • Hostname settings in the “hosts” file prevent the connection to a website

The problem might originate from the website itself, too. WordPress websites, in particular, may trigger the error in the following scenarios:

  • Plugins causing conflicts
  • Theme setup causing the error
  • Timeouts of PHP scripts
  • Temporary problems in the hosting server

How to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error

The first step of fixing the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error should be finding its origin. This will determine the follow-up actions to resolve the problem.

As a rule of thumb, start with the most general and quick fixes and gradually move to the more complex ones.

How to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error as a visitor

If your website suffers from the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error, there are more elaborated checks you can perform as a webmaster. However, you can first troubleshoot the error from a visitor’s perspective, as these checks are quicker and easier to perform.

Clear your browser’s cache and cookies

Your browser keeps cached files and cookies to speed up website loading. However, they might expire or become corrupted, leading to the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message.

Thus, you’ll have to clear your browser cache and cookies. Depending on your device or browser, the process varies. Read the following guides for different devices and browsers:

Test if the error occurs on different websites

In order to test if only a single website exhibits the error or if the problem is general for your browser, try entering another website. If you don’t experience the error while visiting other websites, it’s a clear indication that the browser is not the problem. If the error message occurs across different websites, you may consider the issue comes from your browser or network.

You can also use an online checker to determine if a website is down for other visitors. One of the most popular checkers is Down for Everyone or Just Me.

Restart your computer and router

There may be more elegant solutions, but the old method of turning off and on your devices may do the trick. An undefined problem in your computer or router might cause the error, and restarting them might solve it.

Check your Internet connection

If you have problems with the internet connection, you might get this message. Try switching your network.

For example, if you use home Wi-Fi, move to your mobile 3G/4G/5G network. Provided that the error stops while using the other network, the problem derives from your previously used network. In this case, contact your ISP (Internet Service Provider), so they can help resolve the issue.

Disable your firewall or antivirus program

Antivirus and firewall programs are instrumental in protecting you from various online threats. However, in some cases, they can be too strict and perceive a harmless website as a potential danger. The result of that may be your Chrome browser producing the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error when trying to reach a website.

To test if your antivirus or firewall software is blocking the connection, consider pausing them temporarily and try entering the website again. If the website is now accessible, it was blocked from either software. You may need to add the website to the whitelist of the antivirus or firewall program or change the software.

After that, make sure the security software is active again to protect you from real threats.

Disable the Proxy Server settings or the VPN

Nowadays, many organizations and individual users use proxy servers and VPN networks. They add an extra level of security by hiding your actual IP address and filtering the traffic.

However, some of their features may interfere with the connection to website servers, ultimately resulting in the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error.

If you use a VPN network, try disabling it and loading the website again. If the website loads, it means that the VPN has been blocking the connection.

To review the proxy server settings, click on the kebab menu in Google Chrome and select Settings.

Review the proxy server settings from Chrome Settings

Select System and then click on Open your computer’s proxy settings.

Proxy settings in Chrome
Disable the proxy server on macOS

Google Chrome will automatically open the Proxies settings of your macOS. Uncheck the boxes of all proxy options from the Select a protocol to configure the list, and press the OK button. Then, test connecting to the problematic website to see if the error is gone.

Disable the proxy server on macOS
Disable the proxy server on Windows 10

On Windows 10, Google Chrome will open the section Network & Internet > Proxy. Turn off all proxy settings and confirm the changes with the button Save.

Disable the proxy server on Windows 10

Flush the DNS cache

Every operating system (OS) has a DNS resolver that caches DNS records of previously visited websites. It helps reduce the DNS lookup time and speed up the website’s resolution.

The DNS cache is highly beneficial, but it may sometimes conflict with the connection to a website – the website’s IP might have changed while the DNS cache stores an outdated address. This could lead to the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error when visiting this website.

What would help in this situation is clearing the DNS cache in your operating system. The process for flushing the DNS cache depends on your operating system. Read the following guides to find the detailed steps for the different OS:

Change the DNS server

Every computer connected to the Internet uses a DNS server which provides the addresses of websites. Usually, your Internet Service Provider sets the DNS server automatically, but you can also use free, public DNS servers such as Google or Cloudflare.

  • Google DNS servers use the addresses and
  • Cloudflare DNS servers use the addresses and

If there is an ongoing issue with the DNS server address, your Chrome browser may return the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. In this case, you can switch your DNS server to check if it solves the problem.

Changing the DNS server on macOS

If you are a Mac user, open the System Preferences menu from the Dock or Launchpad, and select Network.

Open the Network settings in macOS

Click on the Advanced button for the currently used network.

Enter the Advanced network settings on macOS

Then, open the DNS tab to see the current DNS server address. You can either add a new DNS server by clicking on the + sign under DNS Servers, or edit the existing addresses.

Change the DNS servers on macOS

If you use either Cloudflare or Google, switch to the default DNS server supplied by your ISP. In case you already use the default one, try Cloudflare or Google.

Changing the DNS server on Windows

On Windows, you can change the DNS servers from the Control Panel. To open it, type “control panelin the search bar next to the Windows logo in the lower left corner. The first result will be Control Panel. Click on its icon to open it.

Review the DNS server settings from Windows Control Panel

From the Control Panel menu, navigate to Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center. Under the section View your active networks, click on the network’s button next to Connections. A new pop-up window will appear where you need to select Properties.

Open the network's Properties window in Windows

Another window for the Networking settings will pop up. In the list This connection uses the following items, find Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4), click on it, and press the Properties button.

Open Network Protocol Properties in Windows

Select Use the following DNS server addresses, where you can set the DNS servers in the fields Preferred DNS server and Alternate DNS server. Type the address of the default DNS server, or add Cloudflare or Google DNS servers. To confirm the changes press OK.

Change the DNS servers on Windows

Turn off Google Synchronization

Another possible reason for the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error in the Chrome browser is the synchronization to Google. You should disable it to find out if it is causing the problem.

To do so, click on the kebab menu in Google Chrome, and select Settings. Open the section You and Google, and press the button Turn off next to your profile name.

Turn off Google Synchronization

Disable extensions for Google Chrome or other browsers

Google Chrome extensions add many extra features to your browser. However, at times, their scripts might obstruct the connection to websites. This may lead to the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error.

Thus, inspecting the extensions might solve your problem. Click on the kebab menu in the top right corner of Google Chrome. Select More Tools > Extensions to see all installed extensions in your browser.

Opening the Chrome Extensions menu

Each extension has a blue ON/OFF switch. Try disabling the Chrome extensions one by one and loading the problematic website. If the website loads when one of the extensions is disabled, it is safe to assume it was blocking the connection. You can keep it disabled or replace it with an alternative one.

How to disable Chrome Extensions

Reinstall Chrome browser

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED may also be a result of a corrupted Google Chrome browser installation. If nothing else helps, consider uninstalling your current installation and installing a new up-to-date version.

Inspect the “hosts” file

Every operating system has a “hosts” file, which allows you to map chosen hostnames to custom IP addresses. With it, users can override the global DNS settings of domains.

Your “hosts” file might be modified, and the problematic website’s domain might lead to an invalid address. As a result, the website displays ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in your browser.

To inspect your “hosts” file, you need to open and edit it. If you are unsure how to do that, check this tutorial on modifying the “hosts” file on different operating systems.

Look for a line including the domain producing the error. If such an entry exists, delete it and save the changes to the “hosts” file. Reload the webpage to check if the error is now gone.

Inspect the “hosts” file


In this example, the hostname domain.com points to the invalid IP address The address creates a loopback causing the error ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Google Chrome when trying to reach the website domain.com.

How to fix ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED on a WordPress website

Besides network or device issues, ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED might be triggered by a website misconfiguration. Overall, WordPress is a stable platform for building websites, but due to the plethora of available plugins and themes, some combinations may lead to conflicts causing the error.

Disable the plugins

WordPress offers a wide selection of plugins extending the basic functionality of your website. They are extremely useful and time-saving as you can add the desired features quickly without writing a single line of code.

However, occasionally, there might be an incompatibility between plugins and themes, resulting in the error ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED.

If none of the general solutions above helped, try to disable the plugins on your WordPress website.

To do so, log in to your WordPress dashboard, and navigate to the section Plugins > Installed Plugins. Tick the box next to Plugins to select all plugins, select Deactivate from the Bulk actions drop-down menu, and press Apply.

Disable WordPress plugins that may cause ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED

In case the error prevents you from logging in to the dashboard, you can deactivate the plugins in alternative ways. Read the following guides to see the detailed steps:

Test opening the site again after the plugins have been disabled. If now the site opens, it means one of them is the culprit. Proceed by logging back to your dashboard, going to Installed Plugins, and activating the plugins one by one. When you enable the faulty one, the error will return.

You can then deactivate the plugin in question until the issue is resolved. Look for an update, contact the plugin developers to report the problem, or consider replacing it with an alternative.

Change the theme

In rare cases, your active WordPress theme may also impact the standard functionality of your website. As a result of that, your website may return the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Therefore, you can test switching to another theme.

The standard way of doing this is from your dashboard. Go to Appearance > Themes and click on the Activate button of one of the other installed themes.

Change the WordPress theme to fix ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED

The error may prevent you from accessing the dashboard. In this case, you can change the theme from your website’s database. For detailed steps, read this guide on how to change a WordPress theme from the database using phpMyAdmin.

If the error seizes after you change the theme, it indicates that the previous theme was the cause of the problem. Consider contacting its developers to report the issue, check if there is a theme update, or switch to another theme.

Increase the PHP max_execution_time variable

Another possible cause of the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error is a timeout from a PHP script. The PHP variable max_execution_time defines how many seconds a PHP script is allowed to execute before it is terminated. Each hosting server has a pre-defined value for this PHP variable.
On SiteGround servers, max_execution_time is set by default to 120 seconds, which should be enough for most PHP processes to complete. This value can be increased further on the Cloud Hosting plans, although if more than 120 seconds are needed for a PHP process to execute, there is most likely something wrong with a script.

If you are not a SiteGround user, ask your hosting provider what the maximum allowed value for max_execution_time is.

Contact your hosting provider

If none of the solutions above resolves the problem, consider contacting your hosting provider. The web server’s firewall might have blocked your IP address, or there might be another temporary problem with the server.

The support team should be able to check the server and firewall status and steer you in the right direction.


ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED is a general error on Google Chrome telling you that your browser’s connection to a website is blocked. Typically with such errors, the origin of the problem is never clear, and you must test a few solutions to resolve it.

This guide examined the common causes for the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error and their fixes. We hope it helps you find out the problem and fix it in no time.

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