What is ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Chrome? How to Fix it?

The ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error occurs when accessing a website in Google Chrome, and it refuses to establish a connection. Explore the ways to resolve it.

Updated: 15 Feb, 24 by Susith Nonis 16 Min

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When browsing the internet, you may sometimes encounter errors that prevent you from accessing a specific website or web page. Due to such errors, you will have a less enjoyable experience using the internet. Among all, one common error users may encounter while using Google Chrome is ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED or ERR CONNECTION REFUSED .

This error is pretty frustrating and indicates that something major has gone wrong on the client side. It does not indicate any specific cause, like other errors. As a result, novices panic when they receive such errors. However, addressing and fixing ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED is quite easy.

In this article, we'll discuss the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error, its causes, and potential ways to fix it, allowing you to browse the internet seamlessly using Google Chrome.

When you access a specific website through Google Chrome, but the browser cannot establish a connection or refuses to connect, you encounter ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED. Hence, we can say that it is a connection error. It is a client-side error, and a poor internet connection is a major possibility for the occurrence of this error.

This error is also encountered in browsers like Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari. Let us see what the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error looks like in other browsers.

Google Chrome

Error message: This site can’t be reached or This webpage is not available

Microsoft Edge

Error message: Hmmm…can’t reach this page Error

Mozilla Firefox

Error message: Unable to connect

Safari

Error message: Safari Can’t Connect to the Server

Error Code

ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED

Error Type

Connection

Error Variations

●     This site can’t be reached

●     This page is unavailable

●     Unable to connect

●     Hmmm…can’t reach this page

Error Causes

●     Poor internet connection

●     Faulty Chrome extensions

●     Cache issues

●     The interference of firewall, antivirus, or VPN (Virtual Private Network)

You encounter this issue in Google Chrome due to common reasons, such as a poor internet connection. Well, there might be other causes, as follows:

  • Issues with browser cookies
  • DNS cache issues
  • Chrome extension issues
  • Incorrect internet settings
  • Antivirus, firewall, or VPN interference
  • Outdated browser version

Fixing this error is pretty easy if you know the exact cause. However, due to the unknown cause, you might need to try out a few things to resolve the error.

The following are some simple and effective ways to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error

1. Check the Website Status 

Before considering other troubleshooting methods, check the status of the website you want to visit. Sometimes problems with your internet connection are not the root cause of the error. Instead, it may be a result of the website server issue.

The best method to rule out the possibility that the website server is the issue is to try to access the website from another browser or internet connection. If the problem exists, this means there are some issues on the server side. But if you have this problem only in your Chrome browser, you should follow the next steps to discover and solve the problem.

Further, check whether the website is not accessible only to you or other users. To check this, you can use Down For Everyone Or Just Me. Enter the website URL and click on the ‘or just me?’ button.

What is ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED in Chrome? How to Fix it?

It provides the website's status – online (up) and offline (down). If the website is down, you can simply wait to get it fixed by the owners. If the website is online and you can’t access it, it indicates a problem with your browser, internet connection, etc. In this case, you can follow the below troubleshooting steps.

2. Check Proxy Settings

Many users leverage proxy servers to enhance data security by using a different IP address when going online. This can result in the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Proxy servers are useful as they help you filter server communications and cache data, and keep your IP address private.

Usually, the error appears when a website server rejects the IP address linked to the proxy server, denying you the connection to the website.

This means checking your proxy settings if you get the error is a worthwhile shot, as there is a high possibility the proxy is incorrectly configured or is offline.

If you are browsing on Chrome, you can find proxy settings in the Chrome browser. You need to follow the below-listed steps:

Step 1: Open Chromes settings menu 

Evaluate Your Proxy Settings

Step 2: Click "Advanced" at the bottom of your screen or type "System" in the search field.

err connection refused

Step 3: Select the "System" option

Step 4: Click "Open your computer's proxy settings."

err_connection_refused chrome

Step 5: Uncheck all the proxy protocols you can access

chrome err_connection_refused

Step 6: Check if you still get the error when accessing the website. 

If the err connection refused error does not clear, proceed to the next step.

3. Restart Your Router

If the cause of the error is internet-related problems, restarting your router will help. A hard reboot or switching your router on and off can fix internet-related issues. However, it is still important to remember that this only sometimes fixes internet-related issues.

This is a good starting point before you engage your internet service provider to confirm issues with your connection.

Once the router is up and running, check if you still get the error on your browser. If unresolved, there is likely another cause.

4. Adjust Your DNS Address

An outdated DNS cache entry and the DNS address can cause ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED Chrome. The error usually occurs when the DNS address is offline or overloaded.

Usually, your internet service provider automatically assigns the DNS server address, but you can still change it if necessary. The process of changing your DNS address depends on your computer’s operating system.

Enhance your internet speed and security by choosing the right DNS server. Discover our top recommendations and how they can improve your browsing experience in our detailed guide to the best DNS servers.

How to configure DNS in macOS

Follow the below steps to set DNS on macOS.

Step 1: Open "System Preferences."

Step 2: Select "Network."

Step 3: On the right of your network service, click “Details”.

Step 4: Select "DNS."

Step 5: If you want to add a new DNS server, click on the "+" button.

Double-click on the existing DNS IP address to edit an existing DNS.

How to configure DNS in Windows Operating System

Follow the below steps To change the DNS address on Windows,

Step 1: Go to settings and select "Network and Internet."

Step 2: Select "Change Adapter Setting."

Step 3: Right-click and select “Properties > IPv4> Properties.”

Step 4: Select "Use the following DNS server address."

Step 5: Enter a new address and click "Ok."

You can change your DNS server to a public DNS server temporarily. The following are some public DNS servers available: 

  • Google’s public DNS: 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
  • Cloudflare’s free DNS: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1
  • OpenDNS Home: 208.67.222.222 or 208.67.220.220
  • AdGuard DNS: 94.140.14.14 or 94.140.15.15
  • Quad9: 9.9.9.9 or 149.112.112.112

Once you have changed your DNS server settings, try reaccessing the website.

5. Clear Browsing Data 

Clearing your browsing data and the cache is one of the fastest methods to fix the Chrome ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error.

To clear browsing data, follow the below steps:

Step 1: Open your Chrome browser, and click on the three buttons at the top right side of your screen.

err_connection_refused vps

Step 2: Select "More tools" and click "Clear browsing data."

Step 3: When clearing data, select "All time" in the range option and mark browsing history, other site data, cookies, and cached images.

Step 4: Once all the options are checked, click on the "Clear data" option.

Step 5: Restart the browser after the process and check if you still get the error when accessing websites on the browser.

6. Uninstall unnecessary Chrome extensions

With time, you may have several extensions you don't need on your browser. Some extensions may contain harmful code that may interfere with your browsing experience. Disabling or uninstalling extensions you don't need can help you to solve err connection refused error.

Here are the steps to uninstall unnecessary Chrome extensions:

Step 1: Open Chrome and click on the screen's three-dot buttons in the top right corner.

Step 2: Select "More tools" and click on the "Extensions" option.

Step 3: You will get a list of extensions on your browser. Click the "Remove" button on extensions that you don't need.

Step 4: Try browsing again to see if you still get the error.

7. Disable Firewall and Antivirus Software Temporarily

A firewall and antivirus software protect computers from viruses and other online threats. They regularly scan your files and network for any malicious or suspicious activities and block them from affecting your computer system.

In addition, these programs also block unsafe websites. Hence, if a website you try to access is not secure, firewall and antivirus software block it and prevent you from accessing it.

In this case, disabling the firewall and antivirus software temporarily would be a great solution. If you use your system’s default firewall or antivirus, you can disable it from your system settings.

However, if you leverage any third-party, specialized software, follow the software-specific steps to disable the firewall and antivirus. Ensure to go through software documentation before implementing any step.

Note: Disable firewall and antivirus software temporarily. Otherwise, you may be at great risk of infecting your computer with viruses and malware.

8. Clear Your DNS Cache

Like a browser creates a cache, our computer’s operating system does the same. The DNS cache comprises temporary entries for all pages you visit within our browser. These entries store the domain names and addresses of all websites you access or visit.

The DNS cache serves the same purpose as the browser cache, i.e., it speeds up the loading process. It does not have to contact the site’s DNS server frequently. If the entry in the DNS cache is too old and does not match the website’s current version, you receive the error ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED.

In such a scenario, flushing the DNS cache is the solution. It is straightforward to flush the DNS cache.

Flush the DNS Cache on Windows

Step 1: Go to the “Command Prompt” from the Start Menu.

Step 2: In the command prompt, execute the following command:

ipconfig /flushdns

The above command flushes all the DNS resolver cache successfully.

Check out the detailed guide to flush DNS on Windows here.

Flush the DNS Cache on macOS

Step 1: Open “Terminal” from the Spotlight Search.

Step 2: Type the following command in Terminal and hit “return”.

sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder && echo macOS DNS Cache Reset

This will clear the DNS cache.

After this, try accessing the website and check if the error has been resolved.

9. Troubleshoot the Internet Connection

If the internet connection is a problem causing the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error, it becomes essential to troubleshoot the internet connection. Windows and macOS systems have built-in troubleshooting tools to identify and fix internet issues.

Troubleshoot the Internet Connection on Windows

Step 1: Go to “Settings” from the Start menu or simultaneously press the keys – Windows key + I –.

Step 2: Choose “Network & Internet”, and click “Troubleshoot”.

Step 3: Select the network adapter you want to troubleshoot and click “Next”.

Step 4: Wait for a while until the system analyzes issues. If issues are found, implement the suggested fixes.

Step 5: Once done, reboot the computer and check whether the error resolves.

Troubleshoot the Internet Connection on macOS

Step 1: Disconnect all external devices from your MacBook except a keyboard and monitor.

Step 2: Shut down the system.

Step 3: Turn the system on and press and hold the key – D.

Step 4: Next, choose the preferred language.

Step 5: Wait until Apple Diagnostics is running.

Step 6: If the system identifies any errors, it suggests possible fixes.

Implement the fixes and reboot the system.

10. Deactivate VPN

VPN stands for Virtual Private Network. It is among the security solutions that mask your original IP address and keep you anonymous while using the internet. This prevents hackers, third parties, and Internet service providers from peeking into your browsing history and Internet activities.

A VPN can interfere with the Internet connection and result in the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. Deactivating a VPN can help you get rid of this error.

It is better to review a VPN service's software documentation or guidelines and deactivate it temporarily. Once your error resolves, ensure to connect back to the VPN service to surf the internet anonymously.

11. Reinstall Chrome

The last option you can try is to uninstall the Chrome browser. Like other applications, Chrome also cannot be 100% bug-free. Your browser installation may contain issues if you haven’t updated it for a long time. Another reason for the error may be the browser and operating system issues.

In such cases, uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome can be a great solution. Remove the current Chrome installation and install the latest version from its official website.

However, before you uninstall Chrome, try resetting it to bring back its original settings.

Here is how to reset Google Chrome:

Step 1: Open Chrome on your system.

Step 2: Click on the three dots in the top right corner.

Step 3: Choose “Settings” and click “Reset Settings”.

Step 4: Next, choose “Restore settings to their original defaults” and click “Reset Settings”.

If any of the above solutions do not work to resolve the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error, it indicates that there might be a significant issue on the server side, i.e., with the website.

In such situations, you can only wait patiently for website owners to resolve the error. If accessing the website is urgent, you can ask the website owner for a possible reason and suggest a workable solution. Before that, mention all the solutions you have already tried, as the website’s support team can suggest another new solution.

These were some effective ways to fix the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error. It is the connection error typically occurring in Google Chrome. Client-side issues, such as poor internet connection, Chrome extension issues, antivirus and firewall interference, etc, primarily cause it.

Though connection errors seem daunting, they can be fixed. So, while fixing such errors, you must try out all options available patiently.

Let us know in the comments which solution has helped you resolve the error.

People also read: 

The ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error occurs when a server refuses the connection request, indicating that the server is not accepting requests but is reachable. Conversely, the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error implies that the server did not respond to the request within a particular period, resulting in a connection failure.

It is not possible to prevent the ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED error from taking place. However, you can fix it if it occurs using one of the above solutions.

The poor internet connection, Chrome extension issues, antivirus and firewall interference, outdated browser version, incorrect internet settings, and DNS cache issues are the causes of ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED.

Susith Nonis

Susith Nonis

I'm fascinated by the IT world and how the 1's and 0's work. While I venture into the world of Technology, I try to share what I know in the simplest way with you. Not a fan of coffee, a travel addict, and a self-accredited 'master chef'.