Encountering error codes is a common occurrence during the routine activity of web browsing. Familiar codes such as Error 404 are easily identified. However, enigmatic ones like the “This site can’t be reached” are more complex and lack clear steps for resolution. Navigating through these hurdles equips users with the capacity to troubleshoot browsing problems, ensuring steady access to needed websites.

In this article, we delve deeper into the root causes of the “This site can’t be reached” issue, providing comprehensive solutions to overcome this barrier. So, let’s get started!

The Roots of “This Site Can’t Be Reached” Error

The “This site can’t be reached” error is particularly irksome as it often lacks clear causal information. The error can emerge alongside various other codes like the DNS_PROBE_FINISHED_NXDOMAIN error, or ERR_CONNECTION_RESET code. These, alongside other connection time-out errors, lead to the display of a “This site Can’t Be Reached” error.

On the whole, the common causes of this issue could be traced back to DNS resolution errors, faulty internet connection, connection time-outs or misconfigured internet, network, or firewall settings. While Chrome provides fixes within each error screen, a more detailed troubleshooting process will be required for in-depth resolution.

How to Troubleshoot the “This Site Can’t Be Reached” Error: 5 Steps

A five-step approach to troubleshooting this issue involves:

  1. Restarting your internet connection
  2. Disabling your firewall and antivirus
  3. Clearing your browser cache
  4. Flushing your DNS cache
  5. Changing your DNS servers

1. Restart Your Internet Connection

If the issue arises from an error in your internet connection, the best place to start would be to restart your router or modem. It is advised that you disconnect your router’s power cable and wait for about a minute before reconnecting it. Upon restarting your internet connection, check to see if the website access issue has been resolved.

2. Disable Your Firewall and Antivirus

In some instances, the operating system’s default firewall could block access to certain pages, causing browsing issues. A quick fix to ascertain if the firewall or antivirus is the culprit would be to disable them temporarily and attempt to access the site again. You can restart your Windows firewall or disable Firewall in MacOS based on your OS type. Should the problem persist after this, do remember to reactivate your firewall and antivirus before moving forward.

3. Clear Your Browser Cache

Issues with cached files can also cause this error. Tackling this requires clearing your browser cache. In Chrome, this can be done by navigating through Settings > Privacy and Security > Clear Browsing Data and then choosing the Cached Images and Files option. After clearing the cached data, attempt to reload the problematic website again.

4. Flush Your DNS Cache

Just as with browser cache, your OS also stores IP addresses in a DNS cache, facilitating easy connection whenever required. If this cache retains oudated information about a website, it could lead to errors. To fix such issues, “flush” or reset your DNS cache based on your Computer type.

Here are steps to flush DNS in MacOS Ventura & MacOS Monterey:

  • Open Finder.
  • Click Applications.
  • Scroll down to the Utilities folder and click it.
  • Open Terminal.
  • In the Terminal window, enter the following command string:
    sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
  • Click enter, then input your admin password.
  • Click enter again.

To flush your DNS cache on Windows 11, please follow the steps below:

  • Press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to open Run dialog box.
  • In the Run dialog box, type

    and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with administrative level rights.

  • In the Command Prompt window, type the following command and then hit Enter:
    ipconfig /flushdns
  • You should see a message saying “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache”.

Please remember that flushing the DNS cache will interrupt your internet connection and temporarily disconnect you from the internet. You should ensure you’re not in the middle of an important task which requires internet connectivity, or save your work before you proceed.

5. Change Your DNS Servers

In certain cases, changing DNS servers may help. In Windows, this can be achieved via Control Panel > Network and Internet > Network and Sharing Center, followed by selecting the Change Adapter Settings option. In the DNS tab within macOS network settings, you can add the custom DNS servers after which you should be all set.


While the “This site can’t be reached” error might seem intimidating, tackling it isn’t as daunting as it appears. It typically arises due to issues with your internet connection or DNS and caching settings. The outlined steps provide a comprehensive guide to resolve these issues. However, if problems persist, you can always seek technical support to explore more advanced solutions.