Did you just try to open a website in Chrome, only to be met by an error telling you “This site can’t be reached” and showing an ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message?
Unlike some other error messages that you might see, the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED error indicates that something is going wrong with the connection from your computer to the website, rather than with the website itself.
In some cases, the error is just a temporary glitch, and it will go away if you reload the page. But in other situations, you’ll need to perform some troubleshooting on your computer to fix the problem.
In this post, we’ll explain what the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED error means in more detail. Then we’ll take you through 13 troubleshooting steps that you can implement to fix the issue.
Check Out Our Video Guide to Fixing the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED error
What Does “ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED” Mean?
In order to explain what the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message means, we first need to quickly explain what’s going on underneath the hood in Chrome when you try to visit a site.
When you click on a link or enter a website’s domain name in your address bar, Chrome needs to make a connection to that server. Once Chrome establishes that connection, it will request the specific files that it needs to render the page, such as all of the code, images, and so on.
The ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message is essentially telling you that Chrome tried to make this connection, but something went wrong with your computer or internet connection that made Chrome unable to establish or maintain the connection.
Because Chrome can’t connect to the website’s server, Chrome is unable to render the website, which is why your browser shows this error message instead.
In order to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED issue, you essentially need to figure out what’s going wrong with Chrome that’s preventing it from being able to connect to the website’s server.
How To Fix “ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED” in Google Chrome (13 Solutions)
Here are 13 troubleshooting steps that you can implement to figure out what’s triggering the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED error.
1. Check Your Internet Connection
The first thing you should do when you see the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message is to check your internet connection to make sure it’s still working.
If your internet connection dropped right as you were trying to access a website, Chrome will throw this error.
You could’ve lost your internet connection because a cable became unplugged, you moved out of wifi range, your router has an issue, your phone’s data connection is spotty, and so on.
One way to check is to open a desktop or mobile app and see if it still works. For example, if you use Spotify, you can try to play a song that you haven’t already downloaded to your computer. If Spotify is still able to play the song, you know that your internet is still working and that there’s something specifically going wrong with Chrome.
2. Reset Your Network Settings
Even if your internet is working properly, it’s possible that there could be some misconfiguration in your device’s network settings that are blocking connections to the website and triggering the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message.
Typically, the cause can be traced to an issue with your TCP/IP settings, which you can fix by resetting your network settings.
Resetting in Windows
To reset your network settings on Windows, open Command Prompt as an Administrator. You can do this by right-clicking on Command Prompt and choosing Run as administrator.
Once the prompt opens, you’ll need to run some commands.
First, you’ll reset your TCP/IP settings by entering the following command and hitting Enter on your keyboard:
netsh int ip reset
Next, you can reset the Windows Sockets interface (Winsock) by running the following command:
netsh winsock reset
To finish things out, you’ll need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
Resetting in macOS
If you’re using macOS, you can reset your network settings without using the command-line interface:
- Open System Preferences.
- Open the Network settings.
- Select your internet connection — the one that’s marked as connected.
- Click the Advanced option in the bottom-right corner.
- Go to the TCP/IP tab in the advanced settings.
- Click the button to Renew DHCP Lease.
3. Check Firewall Settings or Antivirus Software
Another potential cause is an overly aggressive firewall or antivirus software.
In an attempt to keep your computer safe, your firewall might be blocking the connection to the website you want to visit, which will trigger the error message because Chrome isn’t allowed to connect to the website.
To check if this is a problem, you can try temporarily deactivating your computer’s firewall or antivirus software. If that fixes the problem, you can try resetting your firewall’s settings to get rid of any potential misconfigurations, or you can choose a different antivirus tool altogether.
Here’s how you can disable the built-in firewalls for Windows and macOS devices:
- Windows: Open your Control Panel and go to System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall > Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off.
- Mac: Open the Security & Privacy section in your System Preferences settings.
4. Use a Virtual Private Network (VPN)
If you only see the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message when trying to access a specific website, it’s possible that your internet service provider (ISP) is blocking that specific site.
One solution to get around this block is to use a VPN service, such as the free ProtonVPN service. These services will encrypt your connection, which will let you get around any blocks that your ISP might have in place.
5. Disable VPN or Proxy Server
If you’re using a VPN or proxy server, those services can also trigger the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message if they’re not working properly. So while a VPN can be a solution in the case that we detailed above, it can also cause problems if it’s not working properly.
To check if this is the problem, try disabling any VPN or proxy servers that you’re using. If Chrome starts working again, you know what’s causing the issue.
To disable a VPN, you’ll need to close or disable the software itself. If you’re using a Chrome extension as a VPN, you can disable it from Chrome’s Settings > Extensions menu (we’ll discuss extensions in more depth later).
To disable a proxy server, you might need to go through your device’s connection settings. Here’s how to do it on Windows:
- Open Control Panel and search for “internet options”.
- Click on the Internet Options result to open a pop-up with your network settings.
- Go to the Connections tab in the Internet Properties pop-up.
- Click on LAN settings.
- Uncheck the boxes for Automatically detect settings and Use a proxy server for your LAN.
If you’re using macOS, you can follow Apple’s documentation to manage your proxy settings.
6. Flush DNS Cache
When you visit a website, your browser/computer needs a way to look up the actual IP address of the server connected to the domain name that you’re visiting. To look up the IP address, your computer uses the Domain Name System or DNS for short.
To help speed up your internet browsing experience, your computer will store the IP addresses of servers in a local DNS cache. However, if data in this cache is incorrect for some reason, it can trigger the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message.
To fix any potential problems, you can flush your computer’s DNS cache. This will help force a fresh connection to the valid IP.
Once you’ve flushed your computer’s DNS cache, you should also flush the Chrome browser’s DNS cache by entering the following address in your Chrome browser bar:
Then click the button to Clear host cache:
7. Clear Your Chrome Browser Cache
In addition to clearing your DNS cache, you should also clear your Chrome browser cache.
To speed up your browsing experience, Chrome stores some of a website’s static files in a local cache, called the browser cache. If something becomes corrupted in this cache, it can trigger errors such as the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message.
To clear the Chrome browser cache, enter the following address in your Chrome browser bar:
Then click the Clear browsing data option:
In the pop-up, you can choose what data to clear:
- Select All time as the time range.
- Select Cached images and files to clear the browser cache.
- Click Clear data.
8. Use Cloudflare DNS (18.104.22.168)
When we talked about flushing your DNS cache earlier, you learned that DNS is what your computer and Chrome use to look up the IP address of the server behind a website’s domain name.
In order to perform this look-up, you can configure your computer to use different DNS providers. However, if there’s an issue with the provider that your computer is configured to use, that could cause the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message.
To fix this, you can configure your computer to use the free 22.214.171.124 DNS service from Cloudflare, which is a reliable and privacy-friendly option that should fix the issue. Cloudflare maintains detailed documentation that tells you how to configure 126.96.36.199 on various platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.
9. Deactivate Chrome Extensions
Some Chrome extensions might inadvertently trigger the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message by interfering with your connection in some way.
An easy way to test if this is the problem is to deactivate all of your Chrome extensions. If the error goes away, you know that one of your extensions is causing problems. You can reactivate them one by one until you find the culprit.
To manage your Chrome extensions, you can visit Settings > Extensions or you can enter the following address in your Chrome browser bar:
10. Update or Reinstall Chrome
If you’re using an older version of Chrome, this could be triggering the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message through some type of compatibility or configuration issue.
To rule out any edge-case issues here, make sure that you’re using the latest version of Chrome. You could also go one step further and completely reinstall Chrome to make sure you have a clean copy.
To check for Chrome updates and apply them, enter the following address in your browser bar:
Chrome will automatically check for updates and apply them if available. To finish the process, you’ll need to relaunch your browser, which you can do by clicking the Relaunch button:
If you’re experiencing the issue on your Android or iOS device, you can update the Chrome app via the app store or your system’s settings.
11. Reset Chrome Settings
To rule out other potential issues with Chrome itself, you can reset Chrome to its default settings.
Chrome includes a built-in tool to help you quickly do this. To access it, enter the following address in your browser bar:
Once there, scroll down to the bottom of the settings area and click the Advanced option to expand additional settings. At the bottom of the advanced settings, you’ll see an option to Restore settings to their original defaults:
12. Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool
To help debug issues that might be causing problems with Chrome, Chrome includes its own built-in Chrome Cleanup Tool. The tool will scan your computer for harmful software that might be interfering with Chrome and triggering messages such as ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED.
To run this tool, you can enter the following address in your Chrome browser bar:
Then click the Find button to run a scan:
13. Scan Your Computer for Malware
One last potential cause of the ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message could be malicious software or viruses on your computer. This malware could be intentionally interfering with your connection, which would trigger this message (among spawning a host of other issues).
If you ran the Chrome Cleanup Tool, it might’ve flagged some issues. But for a more comprehensive check, you might want to run a full malware scan on your device using a malware scanner, such as Malwarebytes.
The ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED message is an error that you might see in Chrome when you try to access a website. It means that something’s going wrong with your device’s connection that’s preventing Chrome from successfully connecting to the website’s server.
To fix the issue, you’ll need to troubleshoot what’s preventing your device from making that connection. By testing the above 13 solutions in order, you should be able to fix things right up and get back to browsing in no time.