This Site Can’t be Reached Error Message

“This site can’t be reached, www.example.com’s server DNS address could not be found. DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN.” Are you getting this error message when you try to open a webpage? It is a rather common error in the Google Chrome browser, often caused by a DNS lookup failure.

You may also get such an error message when your ISP’s DNS server is congested, busy, or experiencing a malfunction. In other cases, the error message may be triggered by the inability of the browser to reach the target website. 

This may be attributed to extension or plugin conflicts on your browser. Regardless of the cause, this guide will help you clear this error message in Windows 10, Android, and macOS.  

What Triggers the “This Site Can’t be Reached” Error Message? 

The error message means that the target website address cannot be reached with the search query. It may be triggered by something as simple as a network problem or just a spelling error in the website address. 

In most cases, though, the error message is as a result of a much more serious problem within the domain name system (DNS) server. On rare occasions, it may be as a result of poor internet connection or an outage. It may also be triggered by a misconfigured network, an unresponsive DNS server, or conflicts between Chrome, and a Firewall program. 

DNS lookup failure may also occur when the Windows DNS client is not working. In addition to these, several other things may also trigger this error message, including: 

  • Outdated or Corrupted Cookies on the Google Chrome browser
  • Outdated wireless adapters 
  • Wireless network connection malfunctions 
  • Invalid DNS cache 
  • Conflicts with the Antivirus software, preventing the browser from accessing the internet

The problem can be resolved by resetting or re-calibrating your DNS server, as illustrated later on in this guide. 

Effective Solutions for the “This Site Can’t be Reached” Error Message 

As you can see, this error message may be triggered by different problems, all of which require a different solution. Again, the most effective solution for this problem varies from one operating system to another. 

For the purpose of this guide, we will show you the best solutions for the “this site can’t be reached” notification on Windows 10, macOS, and Android operating systems. In this regard, here are some of the most effective solutions for the problem:

How to Fix This Site Can’t Be Reached on Windows 10

You may encounter the error message on almost all Windows versions, including Windows 10. The procedures discussed below are mainly meant to resolve this site can’t be reached Windows 10 problem. 

Although the steps may differ a little, the procedures are also usable for the same problem on other Windows versions. 

Solution 1: Change the IPv4 DNS Address

To change the IPv4 DNS address on your PC, you first need to open the Network and Sharing Center window. To do this, right-click on the network icon—located on the Task Bar of the computer. From the context menu that comes up, select the ‘ Network and Sharing Center’ option to open it. 

Next, you need to click on the ‘Your Network Connections’ option and proceed to select Properties. Now you need to double-check on the ‘ Internet  Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)’ option. This will open a new window requiring you to input DNS server address, enter the following:

  • Preferred DNS Server: 8.8.8.8
  • Alternate DNS Server: 8.8.4.4

Once done, ensure that the checkbox adjacent to the ‘Validate settings’ option is checked before clicking on the OK button. Go back to your browser to check whether the error message has cleared. If not, try the following solution. 

Solution 2: Restart the DNS Client Service

Restarting the DNS client on your PC may also resolve the issue on Windows 10. To do this, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open a Run dialog box. Input services.msc into the dialog box and press Enter on the keyboard. This operation will open a Services Window. 

Now scroll down the list of services to find the ‘ Network Store Interface Service’ (you may press on the N key to jump through the list and find the service faster). Right-click on the ‘ Network Store Interface Service’ entry and then select Restart from the context menu that comes up. 

Repeat the same steps to find and restart the DHCP client, and DNS client services on the same list of services. At this point, the DNS client should restart. Once that has happened, check to see whether you are still getting the error message. 

Solution 3: Update the Network Drivers

You may get the error message on Windows simply because the Network Adapter drivers are corrupted or outdated. In such a case, updating the drivers should fix the problem. 

To update the drivers, right-click on the Start icon on your PC, and select ‘Device Manager’ from the context menu that pops up. Next, expand on the ‘Network Adapters’ field, and then right-click on the ‘Wi-Fi Adapter’s option. From the context menu that appears, select the ‘Update Driver Software’ option. 

If you happen to get multiple entries for the same, select the one with 802.11b or has the word Wi-Fi in the title. On the next screen, select the ‘Search Automatically for Updated Driver Software’ option. Now follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. 

Solution 4: Flush DNS and Reset the Network Adapter

Another way to clear the “this site can’t be reached’ error message would be to Flush the DNS, and Reset your Network Adapter. This is how you should go about it:  

Step 1: Open a Command Prompt as the Administrator 

Right-click on the Start icon on the Task Bar of your PC, and then select the ‘Command Prompt (Admin)’ option. Now type ipconfig /flushdns into the Command Prompt, and then press Enter on the keyboard. 

Step 2: Run Commands to Flush DNS, and Reset the Network Adapter 

Next, you need to type ipconfig /release into the command prompt, and press Enter. Once the command has been executed, input ipconfig /all into the same command prompt and press Enter. Wait for that command to be executed, before running the ipconfig /flushdns command. 

Now type ipconfig /renew into the Command prompt, and press Enter. Next, type netsh int ip set dns and once again, press the Enter Key. Finally, you need to run the netsh winsock reset command on the same command prompt. 

Once done, close the window and restart the computer for the changes to take effect. If any of the above-described commands was not executed successfully, you should try the solution described in the following step.

Step 3: Alternative Solution to Flush DNS & Reset Network Adapter 

Follow the steps described above to open a Command Prompt as the administrator. Next, you should type netsh int ip set dns into the command prompt and press Enter. After the command has been executed, input netsh winsock reset into the prompt and press the Enter key on your keyboard. 

Once done, reboot the computer and check to see whether the error message is still appearing. 

Solution 5: Disable Proxy Settings 

If the above-described solutions don’t work, disabling Proxy settings on Windows 10 may fix the problem. To do this, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to open a Run dialog box. Now type inetcpl.cpl into the dialog box, and then press the Enter key. 

This operation will launch the Internet Properties window. Navigate to the Connections tab, and click on the ‘LAN settings’ button. Next, you need to uncheck the ‘Use a Proxy Server for your LAN’ option. Check to ensure that the checkbox adjacent to ‘Automatically detect settings’ is ticked before clicking on the Apply button. 

Now click on the OK button to close the window, and then reboot the PC for the changes to take effect. 

Solution 6: Run the Network Troubleshooter

This solution is particularly useful in cases where the user is unable to disable proxy settings on his/her PC. To run the Network Troubleshooter in Windows 10, open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows + R keys combination. 

Type ncpa.cpl ok into the Run box, and press Enter. This operation will open the ‘Network Connections’ menu. Next, you need to select and right-click on the currently-active Wi-Fi connection. You should then select the Diagnose option from the context menu that comes up. 

Allow the Troubleshooter enough time to diagnose your network until you get the DHCP is not enabled for the “Wireless Network Connection” error message. Once you get that error message, click on the ‘Try these Repairs as an Administrator’ option, and click on ‘Apply this fix’ on the next screen. 

Alternative Method to Troubleshoot the Network  

If the above-described troubleshooting steps do not work, there is an alternative way of doing it. In this regard, you need to press the Windows + I keys simultaneously to display the Settings menu. Next, select the ‘Update & Security’ option, and proceed to select Troubleshoot from the left-hand menu. 

Under the Troubleshoot menu, click on the ‘Internet Connections’ option, and then click on the ‘Run the Troubleshooter’ button. You should then follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process. Once you are done troubleshooting the network, restart the computer to save the changes. 

Launch your browser, to see if the “this site can’t be reached unexpectedly closed the connection” error message has cleared. 

Solution 7: Reinstall the Network drivers

If none of the methods have worked out so far, you may need to reinstall the Network Drivers on your Windows 10 PC. To do this, press the Windows + R keys simultaneously to launch a Run dialog box. Now type devmgmt.msc into the dialog box and press Enter on your keyboard. 

In the Device Manager window that has just opened, expand the ‘Network Adapters’ category. Now right-click on the currently-active Wi-Fi adapter, and select Uninstall. You may need to repeat this Uninstall operation just to be sure. 

Return to the Device Manager menu, and select Action. You should then click on the ‘Scan for hardware changes’ buttons. Allow the system enough time to discover the hardware and reinstall the appropriate drivers. Once done, reboot the PC and check to see whether the problem has been fixed. 

How to Fix the “This Site Can’t Be Reached” Error on Google Chrome 

If you are getting the error message on the Google Chrome browser, chances are that the browser is the problem. Therefore, you should try the following solutions to resolve this site can’t be reached Google Chrome issue: 

Solution 1: Reset the Chrome Browser 

A change in browser settings or browser extensions on the Chrome browser may also trigger this error message. The solution, in such a case, would be to reset the browser settings. To do this, you need to launch the Crime browser on your PC, and then click on the 3-dots menu icon.

From the context menu that comes up, select Settings. Scroll down the Settings menu, and click on the Advanced option. Scroll down the Advances Settings menu and select the ‘Reset Settings’ option. Finally, click on the ‘Reset Settings’ button on the pop-up window that appears. 

Once done, relaunch the Chrome browser and try accessing the website address yet again. 

Solution 2: Clear Chrome Browser Cache

You may also get the “this site can’t be reached” error message on Google Chrome if the cookies and cached files are corrupted. To fix the problem, in such a case, you need to clear the browser cache on your Chrome browser. 

To accomplish that, open the Chrome browser on your computer, click on the three-dots menu icon, and then select ‘More Tools’ from the context menu. Next, click on the ‘Clear Browsing Data’ option. Expand the drop-down menu on the ‘Time Range’ section, and select ‘All Time’.

Tick the checkboxes adjacent to Cookies, Browsing History, and Cached Images options. Finally, click on the ‘Clear Data’ button. Once done, re-launch the browser and check to see if the issue has been fixed. 

Solution 3: Reset Chrome Flags Settings

Launch the Google Chrome browser on your PC, type chrome://flags/ into the browser URL bar, and then press the Enter key. Ignore the caution displayed on the next screen and then click on the ‘Reset all’ button. 

Once you are done, reboot the computer to save the changes. 

Solution 4: Disable the Experimental QUIC Protocol

QUIC referrers to the Quick UDP Internet Connection protocol—a feature that is meant to offer a level of security equivalent to the one offered by TLS\SSL. However, this protocol has been proven to trigger this site can’t be reached Chrome problem. 

Disabling the protocol on the Chrome browser can help you clear the error message. To disable the QUIC protocol, type chrome://flags into the address bar in Google Chrome. Scroll down to the ‘Experimental QUIC Protocol’ section and expand the drop-down menu. 

From the drop-down menu, select the Disable option. Now close and then re-launch the browser to see whether you are still getting the error message. 

Solution 5: Reinstall Chrome

In the worst-case scenario, the above-described procedures may fail to fix the problem. This happens when the user profile and chrome files are corrupted. If that is the case, you should consider reinstalling the browser. 

To do this, press the Windows + I keys combination on the keyboard to bring up the Settings menu on Windows 10. Next, open the Apps option from the Settings menu, and then select the ‘Apps & Features’ option from the right pane. 

From the list of programs displayed, click the Google Chrome installation, and then click on the Uninstall button adjacent to it. Follow the on-Screen prompts to complete the process. 

Reinstall the Browser 

You should now navigate to the Google Chrome official download page and download installation files afresh. Once the download has finished, open the download folder on your computer, and double-click on the executable file to run it. 

Follow the on-screen prompts on the Installation Wizard window to complete the installation process. 

How To Fix The Error on Android Devices 

Users have also reported getting the “site can’t be reached” error message on their Android devices, especially when using the Chrome browser. Android devices also make use of a DNS service, which is abstract. The DNS server settings on Android devices may be changed from the Settings menu. 

If you are getting the “this site cannot be reached” error message on an Android device, the following solutions will help you fix it:

Solution 1: Clear Chrome App Data 

In most cases, the error occurs after there have been significant changes in the DNS server settings for the site you are trying to visit. Despite the changes, your Android Chrome browser may attempt to open the old IP address for that particular sir, as stored in its DNS cache. 

To fix such an issue, navigate to the phone Settings, and select the Apps option. From the list of installed applications, select Google Chrome. Next, tap on the Storage Orion, and then click on the ‘Clear Cache’, as well as ‘Clear Data’ buttons. 

Once done, launch the Chrome browser app, and check to see whether the problem has been fixed. 

Solution 2: Clear Chrome Browser Data

The other solution would be to clear browsing data for the Google Chrome app on your Android device. To do that, launch the Google Chrome application on your device, and then tap on the three-dots icon—located on the upper-right corner of the screen. 

On the displayed menu, go to History, and select all the options under both the Basic and the Advanced tabs. Finally, tap on ‘Clear Data’ to delete all the temporary files and cookies stored by the Chrome browser. 

How To Fix It On Mac 

While most users use the Safari Browser as their default browser on their Mac computers, a good number of them prefer using the Google Chrome browser. As a result, users have reported getting the “this site can’t be reached” error message on macOS. 

If you are one of them, you may apply the following solutions to fix the problem: 

Solution 1: Change TCP/IP4 Settings 

One of the most effective methods of resolving this site can’t be reached” on Mac is changing the TCP/IP4 settings on your device. Here is the procedure you need to follow to accomplish that:

Step 1: Navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ on your macOS device and then select Network. 

Step 2: Under the Wi-Fi Connection tab, click on the Advanced option, select ‘TCP/IP’, and then select the ‘Using DHCP’ option. 

Step 3: Now delete all the entries under the DNS tab, if you happen to find any 

Step 4: Under the TCP/IP tab, click on the ‘Renew DHCP Lease’ option, and then restart the Mac computer. 

Solution 2: Change the DNS Settings 

Navigate to the ‘System Preferences’ on your Mac OS device and then select the Network option. Now click on the ‘Advanced’ option under the Wi-Fi connection tab. Next, switch to the DNS, click on the plus icon, and change the DNS server to either Open DNS or Google DNS. 

Once done, launch the browser and check to see whether the error message has cleared. 

Final Verdict 

As you have learned throughout this guide, the “this site can’t be reached” error message may be triggered by several things. While troubleshooting for the actual cause of the problem in your case, it is advisable to start with the simplest solutions. 

Right from corrupted/outdated cookies and cached data on Google Chrome to misconfigured network settings, each cause required a different solution. Regardless of the cause, this guide will help you clear the “this site can’t be reached” error message on Android, Windows, and macOS devices.

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