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What Is "err_connection_refused" And How Can I Fix It?

By James LePage
 on March 27, 2022

What Is "err_connection_refused" And How Can I Fix It?

By James LePage
 on March 27, 2022

When using internet devices, error messages may appear from time to time but they don’t have to be mysterious and confusing. Knowing what the error messages mean and what to do about them will enhance your internet experience.

This guide will focus on the err_connection_refused error message as well as what could cause such an error message and how this error can be resolved.

What does the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED” error message mean?

On whatever web browser you are using, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or other browsers, you may get this message, err_connection_refused. This means that whatever page you tried to reach within your web browser, the page is unreachable. Along with this message may be suggestions on how to fix this problem. You may see a message that says, “check your connection” or “check the proxy and the firewall”.

There are a few reasons why this error message may appear, but typically it can be narrowed down to these six areas:

  • Website status
  • Router or internet provider
  • Browser cache
  • DNS cache,
  • proxy server settings, or
  • Antivirus software or firewall

How to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error message?

Now that you know what err_connection_refused error is and what can cause it, the following will explain ways to resolve this issue.

Check the website status

The first task at hand is to find out whether the problem is created by the web page owners or the hosting provider that hosts that particular website. The key is to check the website status and find out if the particular web page you are trying to visit is down for everyone or just you.

There is a website called Down for Everyone or Just Me in which you can enter the webpage or website you were trying to visit. The result will tell you if the website is down or if it’s a problem on your end. For example, if you type the website, “www.johnadams.com”, a message appears in red saying, “It’s not just you! johnadams.com is down”. In this case, there’s nothing for you to fix because the problem is with the website owner or the host provider’s server.

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If you type the website, www.isotropic.co, you will be informed, in a message that appears in green, “It’s just you. isotropic.co is up”. In this case, the problem is on your side and you should be looking to isolate whether your router, web browser, DNS cache, proxy server, antivirus software, or firewall is causing the problem.

Restart the router or contact your provider

A faulty internet connection may be what’s causing the “err_connection_refused” error message. If the internet or wifi connection icon is not visible or is intermittently visible on the device that you are using, then you have a possible nonexistent or unreliable internet connection. Check on another device to confirm that it is also experiencing the same condition. If it is, this confirms a faulty internet connection.

Try restarting your router to see if your internet connection reestablishes. Push the power button on your router to turn it off. Wait about five minutes and turn the router back on. If your internet or wifi connection icon is still not seen or is still only intermittently seen after the router has fully powered back up, it could be a problem with your internet provider.  

Clear browser cache

There is a possible reason your web browser could be contributing to the appearance of an err_connection_refused message. You may need to clear your browsing data in your browser cache. 

Browsing data are elements of websites that you have visited or browsed for that are stored in a database. The purpose is to provide a faster page load or an enhanced user experience the next time you want to visit a webpage again. If changes were made to a particular website that made your browsing data out-of-date or stale, this can cause the “err_connection_refused” message to appear.

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Clearing web browser data can be done on any web browser that you may be using, although the procedure may differ. The types of data that may need to be cleared are:

  • Browsing history,
  • Cookies,
  • Temporary files,
  • Cached images and files, and
  • Other website data

However, sometimes the issues causing the error message are specific to the internet browser that is being used. For example, it has been reported that to clear an err_connection_refused error in Chrome, sometimes the Google Chrome synchronization feature had to be turned off.

Clear the DNS cache data

A DNS cache works much the same way as a browser cache. The DNS cache contains temporary data for every page the user has visited. If the data in the DNS cache is outdated, manually clearing the DNS cache may also solve the err_connection_refused problem.

Check and adjust the proxy server

A proxy server is a middleman computer on the internet with a unique IP address. It transmits web page requests to the webserver and receives web page data to send to you. Changing the DNS server address or the proxy settings to a preferred DNS server may get you better internet speed and resolve the err_connection_refused problem. 

Again, different procedures depend on what device and operating system you are using, but changing the DNS address or manually clearing the DNS cache is possible on whatever device you are using.

Temporarily disable antivirus software or firewall

Antivirus software and firewalls may prevent you from visiting certain websites because of the security criteria they are set up for. This is to protect you from unsecured websites that may pose a viral danger to your device. 

Temporarily disabling the antivirus software or firewalls and then trying to visit the web page again will let you know if the antivirus software or firewall is causing the issue. When visiting the website with the antivirus software or firewall disabled, if the err_connection_refused error does not reappear, this tells you that your antivirus software or firewall was preventing you from visiting that website. However, this method is highly discouraged since it can open your device to possible viral risks that the antivirus software and firewall is supposed to protect your device from. Be sure to have a backup of your system before attempting this.

Now you know what the err_connection_refused message is and how to systematically narrow the scope of what can be causing your err_connection_refused problem. Generally, the error message can be caused by the website status, router, the web browser cache, the DNS cache, the proxy server, the antivirus software or the firewall. This should give you enough knowledge that will help you apply methods to resolve your internet err_connection_refused issue. 

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Article By
James LePage
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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!
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