How to Fix ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED on Chrome (9 Ways)

by Montel Anthony

Encountering the err_connection_refused error while trying to browse in Google Chrome can be both frustrating and confusing. This common issue signals that your device is unable to establish a connection to the website’s server, hinting at potential problems with either your network settings, the server itself, or occasionally, with your browser configurations. Understanding the underlying causes and potential fixes for this error is crucial for anyone relying on smooth, uninterrupted internet access for work, education, or leisure. By addressing this error promptly, users can ensure they remain connected to the vital online resources they depend on daily.

This article will explore a comprehensive suite of methods to resolve the err_connection_refused error, ranging from verifying the website’s status for potential server downtime to more technical solutions like adjusting proxy server settings and flushing DNS caches. Steps will also include simpler fixes, such as how to clear cache and cookies in Chrome, restart your router to improve your internet connection, and methods to disable antivirus or firewall settings temporarily. For those facing persistent issues, advanced troubleshooting tips will be discussed, such as changing DNS servers to Google DNS or Cloudflare DNS, disabling problematic Chrome extensions, or even reinstalling Chrome to clear any deeper issues. By following these strategies, users can navigate towards a resolution, ensuring their Chrome browsing experience is as seamless and efficient as possible.

1. Verify the Website’s Status

When encountering the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error on Google Chrome, the first step is to determine whether the issue is with the specific website you are trying to access or with your connection. This error often points to a problem with the website’s server rather than your own internet connection.

Use Online Status Check Tools

To quickly verify the status of a website, utilize online tools like “Is It Down Right Now?” or “Down For Everyone Or Just Me?“. These tools are straightforward:

  1. Enter the URL of the site you’re trying to visit.
  2. The tool checks in real-time whether the website is accessible globally or just from your connection.

These services provide immediate feedback on the status of the website and often include user reports and a history of the site’s downtime. For instance, “Is It Down Right Now?” monitors popular websites and provides a response time graph, which can be helpful to see if the issue is a recent development or an ongoing problem.

Try Accessing Other Websites

If the tool indicates that the website is up but you still cannot access it, the next step is to try visiting other websites:

  1. Open another website in Google Chrome.
  2. If this website loads without issues, it confirms that the original site is likely experiencing problems.
  3. If multiple websites do not load, this might indicate a broader connectivity issue on your end.

This approach helps isolate the problem, ensuring that you are not dealing with a more significant internet connection or browser issue. If other sites are accessible, it’s best to wait for the original site to resolve any server-side problems. In the meantime, checking the website’s official social media channels or support pages can provide updates on the status of the issue.

By following these steps, users can determine whether the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error is specific to the website they are trying to access or if further troubleshooting with their internet connection or browser settings is necessary.

2. Restart Your Network Device

Restarting your network device, commonly known as power cycling your router or modem, is a fundamental troubleshooting step that can resolve the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error by re-establishing a stable connection. This process is simple and can clear temporary glitches or conflicts that might be disrupting your internet connectivity.

Power Cycle Your Router or Modem

  1. Disconnect the Power Supply: Unplug the power cord from both your router and the wall outlet. This action ensures that all power is completely cut off from the device.
  2. Wait: Leave the device unplugged for at least 30 seconds. This waiting period allows the router’s internal capacitors to discharge fully, ensuring that all temporary settings are cleared.
  3. Reconnect the Power: Plug the power cord back into the wall outlet and then into your router. This step begins the reboot process of the router.
  4. Wait for Reboot: Allow some time, typically a few minutes, for your router to fully reboot and re-establish a connection with your internet service provider.

After completing these steps, try accessing the webpage again. If the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error is resolved, the issue was likely due to a temporary router glitch. If the error persists, further investigation into other potential causes might be necessary.

Check for Internet Stability Post-Restart

Once your router has restarted, it’s crucial to check the stability of your internet connection:

  • Monitor Connection: Observe if the internet connection remains stable or if it drops intermittently.
  • Test with Multiple Devices: Connect different devices to your network to ensure that the connection is stable across various devices.
  • Run a Speed Test: Use online tools to check the speed and quality of your internet connection. This can help determine if there are underlying issues with your internet service.

By following these steps, you can ensure that your network device is functioning correctly and providing a stable connection. If issues persist after restarting your network device, consider exploring other troubleshooting methods such as checking browser settings, firewall configurations, or the specific settings on the target website.

3. Clear Your Browser’s Cache

Like any good internet browser, Chrome stores information such as browsing history, saved login data, and cookies in its cache on your computer or device. This is done to load pages more quickly on subsequent visits. However, caches can become outdated and cause issues, as the cached version of a page might no longer match the current live version. Clearing your browser’s cache can easily resolve these discrepancies.

Step-by-step on clearing Chrome’s cache

  1. Open Chrome’s Primary Menu: Start by opening the primary menu located in the top-right corner of your Chrome browser window. Click on the three dots to access the menu.
  2. Navigate to More Tools: From the dropdown menu, select ‘More Tools’ and then choose ‘Clear browsing data’.
  3. Select Data to Clear: On the resulting page, ensure all listed file categories are selected to completely clear the cache. If not all categories are selected, Chrome will only remove the most recent entries, which may not fully resolve the issue.
  4. Choose Time Range: It’s often effective to select ‘All time’ as the time range to ensure all cached data is removed.
  5. Clear the Data: After selecting ‘Cached images and files’ along with ‘Cookies and other site data’, click on ‘Clear data’. Ensure to deselect other types of data if they are not relevant to the issue.

An alternative method involves entering chrome://settings/clearBrowserData into your address bar. This URL takes you directly to the settings where you can clear your browser data.

Revisit the site after clearing the cache

After clearing the cache, it’s important to reload the tab where the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error occurred:

  • Reload the Page: Try using keyboard shortcuts such as Shift + F5 or Ctrl + Shift + R to refresh the page, ignoring cached content. For Mac users, the shortcut is Cmd + Shift + R.
  • Check for Resolution: If the page loads correctly after clearing the cache, the issue was likely related to outdated or corrupted cache files.

Clearing the cache not only resolves potential errors but also ensures that you are viewing the most recent version of the website. If problems persist after these steps, further troubleshooting may be necessary, such as checking network settings or consulting additional resources.

4. Review and Adjust Proxy Settings

Navigating to Chrome’s Proxy Settings

To manage the proxy settings in Google Chrome, users should start by accessing the settings menu. This can be done by clicking the three dots in the upper right corner of the Chrome browser, selecting Settings, and then navigating to the System section. Here, one will find the option Open your computer’s proxy settings. Clicking this will redirect users to their operating system’s proxy configuration area.

For Windows users, this involves navigating through Control Panel to Network and Internet, then to Internet Options, and finally clicking on Connections and LAN Settings. It’s here that users can enable or disable the proxy server for their local area network.

Mac users will follow a similar path by clicking the Apple logo, moving to System Preferences, then to Network, selecting the active network, and finally clicking on Advanced and navigating to the Proxies tab.

Proper Configuration for Uninterrupted Access

Once in the proxy settings menu, it’s crucial to ensure that the proxy is configured correctly to avoid the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Incorrect proxy settings can lead to connection issues, including the web server rejecting the connection due to the IP address associated with the proxy.

For Windows:

  1. In the LAN Settings, users should verify that the Use a proxy server for your LAN option is unchecked if they are not using a proxy. If a proxy is needed, ensure that the address and port are correctly entered.
  2. Click OK to save settings and exit.

For macOS:

  1. In the Proxies tab, ensure that all protocols that should not be used are unchecked. If a specific proxy setup is required, check the appropriate protocol and ensure the proxy server address and port are correctly filled in.
  2. Click OK to apply changes.

After adjusting the proxy settings, it’s advisable to restart Chrome and attempt to access the website again. If the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error persists, users may need to verify whether the proxy server is operational or if further adjustments are needed.

By following these steps, users can effectively manage and troubleshoot proxy settings in Chrome to enhance their browsing experience and resolve connection issues.

5. Temporarily Disable Firewall and Antivirus Software

Antivirus and firewall programs are essential for protecting computers from security threats such as viruses and malware. They scan files and network traffic, blocking malicious activity. However, these security measures are not infallible and may occasionally block access to safe websites, resulting in the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error.

Identify potential blocks from security software

To determine if your antivirus or firewall is causing the issue, temporarily disable these programs. Ensure the website you are attempting to access is safe before proceeding with this method. Here are the steps to disable the antivirus software and firewall on different operating systems:

For Windows Users:

  1. Access Windows Security by navigating to Settings -> Privacy & security.
  2. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  3. Under Virus & threat protection settings, select Manage settings and switch off Real-time protection.
  4. Navigate to Firewall & network protection, open each network profile (domain network, private network, and public network), and disable Microsoft Defender Firewall.

For macOS Users:

  1. Click the Apple logo at the top left corner.
  2. Select System Preferences -> Security and Privacy.
  3. Choose the Firewall tab and click the lock icon to make changes.
  4. After entering your username and password, select Turn off Firewall.
  5. Click the lock icon again to prevent further changes.

If you are using third-party antivirus or firewall software, refer to the software’s documentation for specific steps to disable it.

Check site access post-disabling and remember to re-enable

After disabling your security software, try accessing the website again. If the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error no longer appears, this indicates that the firewall or antivirus was blocking the connection. You may need to add an exception for the website in your security settings or adjust the firewall/antivirus configurations accordingly.

Remember, it is crucial to re-enable your antivirus and firewall software after testing. Disabling these protections, even temporarily, can expose your computer to viruses and malware. Always ensure your security settings are active to protect your system from threats.

By following these steps, you can identify and resolve issues related to security software blocking website access, ensuring a smoother browsing experience.

6. Flush and Renew DNS

Flushing and renewing the DNS (Domain Name System) are crucial steps in resolving various internet connectivity issues, including the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error on Google Chrome. This process clears any stored IP addresses and DNS records from your cache, potentially resolving security and connectivity problems.

Commands for Windows and macOS

For Windows Users:
To flush and renew DNS on Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows Key and type CMD in the search bar.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  3. Type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • ipconfig /flushdns – This command clears the DNS cache.
    • ipconfig /registerdns – This registers the DNS again.
    • ipconfig /release – This releases the current IP configuration.
    • ipconfig /renew – This renews the IP configuration to establish a new connection.

For macOS Users:
On macOS, the commands vary slightly depending on the version:

  • macOS Big Sur (11.0.01) and later: Open Terminal and type:sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
     
  • macOS High Sierra (10.13) to macOS Catalina (10.15): Use the following command in Terminal:sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder
     
  • macOS Yosemite (10.10) through macOS Sierra (10.12): Enter in Terminal:sudo dscacheutil -flushcache; sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache
     

Effect on Web Access Improvement

Flushing the DNS removes outdated or incorrect DNS information, which can prevent your browser from finding and connecting to websites correctly. After clearing the DNS cache, your system will query DNS servers for the new, correct entries the next time you try to access a website. This can significantly speed up your browsing experience and resolve issues where websites do not load or display the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error.

Renewing the DNS and IP configurations also assists in resolving any IP conflicts within your network, which could be another reason behind connectivity issues. By releasing and renewing the IP address, your computer re-establishes a fresh connection to your network, potentially bypassing any previously encountered network glitches.

Following these steps should help enhance your web access and mitigate common connectivity problems. If issues persist after performing these actions, further investigation into network settings or consulting with an IT professional may be necessary.

7. Update your DNS Server

Updating the DNS (Domain Name System) server can significantly improve your internet connectivity and resolve issues like the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error in Google Chrome. Often, the DNS provided by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can become overloaded or even go offline, which necessitates a switch to a more reliable DNS server.

How to Change DNS on Different OS

Windows:

  1. Access Network Settings: Open the Start menu, go to Settings, and select ‘Network & Internet‘.
  2. Select Connection: Choose the connection (e.g., Wi-Fi) you wish to modify and click on ‘Hardware properties‘.
  3. Edit DNS Server Assignment: Next to DNS server assignment, click ‘Edit‘. Change from ‘Automatic‘ to ‘Manual‘.
  4. Enter DNS Addresses: Enable IPv4 or IPv6 as required and enter the DNS addresses. For enhanced security, select ‘Encrypted preferred, unencrypted allowed‘.
  5. Save Changes: Click ‘Save‘ to apply the new DNS settings.

macOS:

  1. Open System Preferences: Click the Apple logo and select ‘System Preferences‘.
  2. Navigate to Network Settings: Choose ‘Network’, select the active network, and click ‘Advanced‘.
  3. Modify DNS Settings: Go to the DNS tab, remove existing DNS entries, and add new ones by clicking the ‘+’ button.
  4. Apply and Exit: Click ‘OK‘ to save your settings.

Linux (GNOME Environment):

  1. Access Network Settings: Navigate through the system settings to ‘Network‘.
  2. Edit DNS Configuration: In the IPv4 or IPv6 settings, set DNS to ‘Manual‘ and input the new DNS server addresses.
  3. Apply Changes: Save the settings and restart the network manager if necessary.

Several reliable public DNS servers offer improved speed, privacy, and filtering options:

  • Google Public DNS: Addresses are 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Known for speed and reliability.
  • Cloudflare DNS: Provides addresses 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1, focusing on privacy and speed.
  • OpenDNS Home: Offers customization options with addresses 208.67.222.222 and 208.67.220.220.
  • Quad9: Blocks malicious domains in real-time with addresses 9.9.9.9 and 149.112.112.112.
  • AdGuard DNS: Known for ad-blocking capabilities with addresses 94.140.14.14 and 94.140.15.15.

If you encounter issues with a custom DNS, reverting to your ISP’s default DNS may sometimes resolve connectivity problems. However, switching to a public DNS can often provide a faster and more secure browsing experience.

8. Disable Chrome Extensions

Identify problematic extensions

Google Chrome extensions enhance browser functionality but can sometimes cause connectivity issues, such as the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Users should regularly audit their installed extensions, particularly those not developed by Chrome’s official developers. These third-party extensions often lack consistent updates and support, potentially leading to browser errors.

To identify problematic extensions, users should access the Extensions menu in Chrome. This can be done by clicking the kebab menu in the top right corner, selecting More Tools > Extensions. Here, users can view all installed extensions and assess their necessity and functionality. It’s advisable to remove extensions that are no longer needed or have not been updated recently, as these could contribute to connectivity issues.

Method to disable and check site access

Disabling extensions can help determine whether they are the source of the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Users should:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click on the three dots in the top right corner to access the browser’s menu.
  2. Navigate to More tools and then select Extensions.
  3. Locate the extension suspected of causing the issue. Each extension has a toggle switch that can be turned off to disable it temporarily.
  4. Disable the extensions one by one, refreshing the browser each time to check if the site access issue resolves.

If disabling an extension resolves the error, it is advisable to keep it disabled or uninstall it completely. For extensions necessary for daily operations, users may consider looking for updated versions or alternatives that do not compromise website connectivity.

In cases where extensions are found to be corrupted, users might see a message indicating that the extension may have been corrupted and is disabled by Chrome. This is a security measure to protect user data and browsing safety. Extensions that are not from the Chrome Web Store or are considered unsafe are automatically disabled and cannot be re-enabled unless they are hosted on the Chrome Web Store. Users can contact the extension developer to upload it to the Chrome Web Store to regain functionality.

9. Reinstall Chrome

Reinstalling Google Chrome can often resolve persistent issues such as the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error by removing any corrupted files and resetting the browser to its default settings. This process involves uninstalling the current version of Chrome from your system and then installing the latest version from the official website.

Steps for a Clean Installation

  1. Uninstall Chrome: Begin by uninstalling Google Chrome from your computer. For Windows users, go to ‘Control Panel’ > ‘Programs’ > ‘Programs and Features’, select Google Chrome, and click ‘Uninstall’. Mac users should drag Chrome from the Applications folder to the Trash.
  2. Delete Remaining Data: After uninstalling, ensure that all Chrome data is deleted by removing the Chrome folder from your computer. In Windows, this is typically located in C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome. For Mac users, navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome and delete the folder.
  3. Download and Install Chrome: Visit the official Google Chrome website to download the latest version. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Chrome on your computer.
  4. Sign in to Chrome: Once reinstalled, open Chrome and sign in with your Google account to restore your bookmarks, history, and other settings if they were previously synced with your account.

Check for Issue Resolution with a Fresh Install

After reinstalling Chrome, it’s important to check if the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error has been resolved:

  • Test Website Access: Open Chrome and try accessing the website that was previously showing the error. If the site loads without issues, the problem was likely related to a corruption in the old installation of Chrome.
  • Monitor Browser Performance: Observe the performance of Chrome after the reinstallation. Look for improved loading times and responsiveness.
  • Verify Synced Data: Ensure that all your synced data such as bookmarks and passwords are correctly restored. If any data is missing, you may need to manually import or re-enter it.

Reinstalling Chrome is a robust solution for addressing various browser-related problems, especially when simpler troubleshooting steps like clearing the cache or disabling extensions have failed. This method ensures that users benefit from a fresh, clean installation devoid of any residual errors or issues.

Conclusion

Throughout this article, we have navigated through a plethora of strategies aimed at resolving the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error in Google Chrome, highlighting the vitality of seamless internet connectivity in our digital age. From verifying the website’s status and restarting network devices to more specialized approaches such as updating DNS servers or reinstalling Chrome, each method serves as a crucial step towards ensuring an uninterrupted browsing experience. These remedies not only cater to immediate connectivity issues but also fortify the user’s digital environment against potential future disruptions.

Embracing the insights provided, users are well-equipped to tackle one of the most common yet perplexing errors encountered on the Chrome browser. It becomes evident that a proactive approach, coupled with an understanding of underlying technical nuances, can significantly mitigate such challenges, enhancing the overall quality of online interactions. As we conclude, let this serve as a resourceful compendium for those seeking to elevate their browsing experience, underpinning the importance of continual learning and adaptation in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

FAQs

1. What can I do if I encounter an ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error in Chrome?

If you receive an ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error in Chrome, this typically points to a server-side issue that you cannot directly fix. However, you can attempt several actions to possibly resolve the issue: refresh the page, clear your browser’s cache and cookies, check your network connection, or reach out to the website’s administrator for further assistance.

2. Is there a way to bypass an ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error?

Bypassing an ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error is not straightforward since it generally indicates a problem on the server’s end. You can try several troubleshooting steps such as refreshing the page, clearing your browser’s cache and cookies, ensuring your network connection is stable, or contacting the website’s administrator for more information.

3. How can I resolve a connection refused problem on my browser?

To resolve a connection refused problem, consider disabling your firewall or antivirus software temporarily. Sometimes, these security programs can block your connection to certain websites. By pausing them, you can determine if they are the cause of the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. If the website loads after disabling these programs, you may need to adjust their settings to allow for the website.

4. Why might websites refuse to connect?

Websites might refuse to connect due to issues with your browser’s stored data. Start by clearing your browser’s cache and cookies, which are saved to enhance loading times but can become corrupted and cause connection problems. This simple step often resolves connectivity issues.

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