How to get rid of ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Google Chrome?

By ivan.diskin | October 18, 2019 |

greater than 7 minutes

So, you launch Google Chrome, type in the web address that you wish to visit and wait for the page to load. Instead, you’re greeted with the error message ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED. The ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue has been troubling thousands of Chrome users for quite some time now. One moment the website is working fine, but when you try to open the same website later, the error message ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED pops up out of nowhere, and suddenly you can’t access the site.

No one appreciates connection errors, whether you’re in the middle of an important project or you simply want to entertain yourself with YouTube videos. What if you have no idea how to resolve ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Chrome? Don’t worry. This post intends to clear the confusion and hopefully get you out of this frustrating situation.

What Is the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED Issue?

When you encounter the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue when surfing using Google Chrome, it means that access to that particular website has been blocked. The error message reads:

“This site can’t be reached

<websitename> refused to connect.

Try:

  • Checking the connection
  • Checking the proxy and firewall

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED”

In most cases, the error appears without warning and affects certain domains only. So, why does Google refuse to open certain websites? This happens despite having visited the domain in the past. The reasons may vary from one PC to another. However, these are the most likely causes:

  • Proxy server problems
  • DNS problems
  • Corrupted browser cache
  • Incorrect system or browser settings
  • Misconfigured firewall settings
  • A faulty internet connection
  • A virus infection or your antivirus firewall blocking access to the site
  • ISP-related issues
  • The target site being down for maintenance
  • An outdated Chrome browser
  • Malicious add-ons or extensions in your browser

That said, the error is not limited to Google Chrome only. Other browsers like Microsoft Edge, Firefox and Safari are also affected with each browser displaying different error messages. Occasionally, Android users also run into the error when using Google Chrome. Seeing as it may be difficult to pin down the exact trigger, we recommend that you try out the solutions outlined below until you resolve the error.

How to Fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED Error

Solution 1: Check if the Website Is Down

You probably are getting the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue because the website that you’re trying to reach is down. So, your first approach should be to confirm the status of the website. The best way to do so is to visit a different web page using the same Chrome browser. If you encounter the error message on another website, then it means that the issue lies on your end. However, if you can access the other website without running into the error message, then it means that your target site could be down for maintenance or the servers are down.

In that case, you’ll have no choice but to wait it out.

Solution 2: Check Your Internet Connection

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED is an internet connection error. Therefore, you need to check if your router is responsible for the error message. To do so, restart your router by unplugging it from the power source. Give it around 30 seconds before reconnecting it to the power source and turning it on.

Once the router is up and running, connect your device to the internet and try accessing the problematic website again to see if it loads. If the same issue occurs again, try other troubleshooting steps.

Solution 3: Clear All the Cache and Cookies in Chrome

This is a simple yet effective method to get rid of the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message in Chrome. A browser’s cache contains a lot of information, including cookies, saved login data, browsing history, etc. The cache collects all this information to enable pages to load faster the next time you try to access the websites. However, if the cache gets corrupted or outdated, then you can run into connection errors.

The solution is to clear Google Chrome’s cache. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Run Google Chrome, and click on the three dots in the top right corner of the browser.
  2. Hover the cursor over “More tools” and select “Clear browsing data”.
  3. From the next screen that pops up, check all the boxes and select “All time” from the drop-down list next to “Time range”.
  4. Move to the “Advanced” tab and select all the options.
  5. Next, click on the “Clear data” button to empty your browser’s cache.

Once you’re done, you should be able to access any website without worrying about the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message.

Solution 4: Flush DNS

Just like a browser’s cache collects information based on how you use Chrome, the DNS cache temporarily stores the information based on your browsing history. This way, it improves the loading speed of the pages that you revisit.

However, if the DNS cache is outdated or corrupted, then it could lead to connection problems and probably throw the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message. The solution is to flush DNS using the steps below:

  1. Run “Command Prompt” as an administrator (press Win + X and select “Command Prompt (Admin)”).
  2. Type in the following command lines one by one, and hit “Enter”:
  • ipconfig / release
  • ipconfig / all
  • ipconfig / flushdns
  • ipconfig / renew
  • netsh int ip set dns
  • netsh winsock reset
  1. Wait for the process to complete, and then restart your computer.

Now try accessing the website again and check if it loads without issues.

Solution 5: Disable Add-Ons and Extensions in Chrome

Extensions are usually developed to add more functionality to browsers. However, this may not always be the case. Some add-ons are incompatible with Chrome and are likely to cause stability issues or even connection errors. If the error message started appearing after installing a certain Chrome extension, then it could be the culprit.

In that case, we recommend disabling all extensions in your Chrome browser to check if it fixes the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue. To do so, follow the simple guide below:

  1. Launch Chrome, and then go to More tools > Extensions.
  2. Click on the slider next to each extension to disable it. Once all the extensions have been disabled, try to access the website again. If it loads properly, then you know that one of your extensions is causing the error.
  3. Now, try enabling each extension one by one while checking if the website is accessible. Repeat the process with all the other extensions, and when you find the problematic one, delete it from your PC by clicking on the “Remove” button.

Solution 6: Adjust the DNS Address

  1. Launch “Control Panel” from the “Start” menu.
  2. Choose “Network and Internet” and select “Network and Sharing Center”.
  3. Click on the “Change adapter settings” link on the left pane.
  4. Right-click your network adapter, and select “Properties”.
  5. Click on “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” to highlight it and then select the “Properties” button.
  6. In the “Properties” window, select “Use the following DNS server addresses” and enter the DNS addresses in their corresponding fields:
  • Preferred DNS server: 8.8.8.8
  • Alternative DNS server: 8.8.4.4
  1. Click “OK” to validate the changes.

Restart Windows and check if your connection issue has been fixed.

Solution 7: Temporarily Disable Your Firewall

As we mentioned, Windows Defender or your antivirus could be blocking access to the website. To check if it’s the culprit, you’ll need to temporarily disable Windows Defender or your antivirus firewall. For Windows Defender, follow these steps:

  1. Access “Control Panel” via the “Start” menu.
  2. Open System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall.
  3. Click on the “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” option in the left pane.
  4. Click on “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)” in both private and public network settings.

If you use a third-party antivirus app, check the manual for instructions on how to turn off the firewall. Remember, turning off Windows Defender or your antivirus program is a risky move and should only be done for a short while. Immediately after checking if turning off the firewall resolves your connection issues, go back to Windows Defender or your antivirus to turn it on. If your antivirus is discovered to be causing the issue, you may consider switching to Auslogics Anti-Malware, which is a powerful tool designed to work smoothly without unnecessarily interfering with your processes.

Solution 8: Reset Your Proxy Server Settings

This may seem like a no-brainer but you should check if the proxy server settings are configured correctly. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Run “Control Panel”, click on “Network and Internet” and select “Internet Options”.
  2. Switch to the “Connections” tab and click on the “LAN settings” button.
  3. Under the “Proxy server” section, be sure to uncheck the box next to “use a proxy server for your LAN (These settings will not apply to dial-up or VPN connections)”.

Solution 9: Update or Reinstall Google Chrome

If the solutions above failed to resolve the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue, then try updating Google Chrome. Simply click the menu button, select Help > About Google Chrome. Chrome automatically initiates the process of checking for updates and then installs them. If it still doesn’t work, uninstalling Chrome and installing it again might help.

To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click “Start” and open “Apps and Features”.
  2. Scroll down and locate “Google Chrome” from the list of apps and features.
  3. Click on it to highlight it, and then select “Uninstall”. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process.
  4. Now, using a different browser, search for Google Chrome and download it afresh.

Hopefully, you should be able to use Chrome without running into the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message.

Tweak Your System Settings

If you’re still having trouble trying to resolve the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue, then try running automatic maintenance on your system with a renowned optimization tool like Auslogics BoostSpeed. The program has more than a dozen carefully engineered modules that can help you tweak your PC to improve performance.

From adjusting your Internet settings for faster browsing to removing unwanted PC junk files to fixing instability issues on a Windows PC, Auslogics BoostSpeed ensures that your system functions at optimal levels. It’s important to run regular system maintenance on your PC to keep your system healthy and avoid errors like ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Chrome.

Let us know if you were able to get rid of the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED issue in Google Chrome by leaving your comments below.

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