Websites don't load - troubleshoot and fix error messages

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Are you having trouble getting a website to load? Don't worry — we're here to help. This article will show you how to fix the problem so you can get back to surfing the web.

Note: If you see the shield icon Mixed Content Shield in the address bar and you're having trouble with that website, please see How does content that isn't secure affect my safety? for more info.

First, let's figure out where the problem is

With a little detective work, we can narrow down the cause of the problem.

  1. Open a new tab and check to see if you can load another website like google.com or mozilla.com.
  2. Launch another browser, like Internet ExplorerSafariGoogle Chrome, and try to open the site you were having problems with.

The problem only happens with certain websites

If you see any of these error messages, it might just be a problem with Firefox's cache:

  • The connection was interrupted
  • The connection was reset
  • The connection has timed out

Try clearing Firefox's cookies and cache

Do these steps and then reload the website you're having trouble with.

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History....On the menu bar, click on the Tools menu, and select Clear Recent History....At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu, and select Clear Recent History....
  2. In the Time Range to clear: drop-down, select Everything.
  3. Click the arrow next to Details to display the list of items that can be cleared.
  4. Select both Cookies and Cache.
  5. Click Clear Now.
  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, go over to the History menu and select Clear Recent History....On the menu bar, click on the History menu, and select Clear Recent History....At the top of the Firefox window, click on the History menu, and select Clear Recent History....
  2. In the Time Range to clear: drop-down, select Everything.
  3. Click the arrow next to Details to display the list of items that can be cleared.
  4. Select both Cookies and Cache.
  5. Click Clear Now.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu , choose History and select Clear Recent History....
  2. In the Time Range to clear: drop-down, select Everything.
  3. Click the arrow next to Details to display the list of items that can be cleared.
  4. Select both Cookies and Cache.
  5. Click Clear Now.

If clearing Firefox's cookies and cache didn't work, it's probably a sign that there is a problem with the website itself. In that case you'll just have to wait for it to get fixed. With big sites like Twitter or Facebook this may only be a few minutes.

If you don't see any of the error messages above, check to see if any of the specific problems below match what you see:

The website loads but doesn't work properly

If the website doesn't look right or doesn't work the way it's supposed to, you should check out the following articles:

The problem only happens on a secure (https) website

Look at the web address in the location bar. Does it start with https:// (notice the "s")? If so, check if you see one of the following error messages. Click on the error message to find the solution for it:

The problem only happens in Firefox

If another web browser works just fine, one of following solutions should fix things:

If you see the following error messages, Firefox is trying to access the internet through a proxy server :

  • The proxy server is refusing connections
  • Unable to find the proxy server

To check your proxy settings:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select OptionsAt the top of the Firefox window, click on the Tools menu and then select OptionsOn the menu bar, click on the Firefox menu and select Preferences...At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Edit menu and select Preferences

    Click the menu button New Fx Menu and choose OptionsPreferences

  2. Select the Advanced panel.
  3. Select the Network tab.
  4. In the Connection section, click Settings....
  5. Change your proxy settings:
    • If you don't connect to the Internet through a proxy (or don't know whether you connect through a proxy), select No Proxy.
    • If you connect to the Internet through a proxy, compare Firefox's settings to another browser's (such as Internet Explorer — see Microsoft's guide to proxy settings)(such as Safari — see Safari: Set up a proxy server).
  6. Close the Connection Settings window.
  7. Click OK to close the Options windowClick Close to close the Preferences windowClose the Preferences window

The problem happens in all web browsers

This is probably a problem with your internet connection. See Firefox and other browsers can't load websites for some troubleshooting suggestions.

Other, less common problems

  • A website reports that Firefox is outdated, incompatible, or not supported - See Websites say that Firefox is outdated or incompatible even though it's the latest version.
  • A plugin has crashed - This means that a plugin which is being used to display content on the current page has unexpectedly quit. See Send plugin crash reports to help Mozilla improve Firefox for more information.
  • Malicious website errors - If you see a "Suspected Attack Site!" or "Suspected Web Forgery!" warning, Firefox has blocked access to the website you're visiting to protect you from malware or web forgery (phishing). For more information, see Phishing and Malware Protection (Mozilla.org).
  • Offline mode - If you see a message about offline mode, you may have set Firefox not to use your network connection. Make sure your computer has a network connection and then:
    • At the top of the Firefox window,On the menu bar, click on the File menu and make sure that Work Offline is unchecked.Press the Alt key to temporarily turn on the Menu Bar, click on the File menu (Windows XP, just click on the File menu) and make sure that Work Offline is unchecked.Click the menu button New Fx Menu , click Developer and make sure Work Offline is unchecked.
  • The page isn't redirecting properly - This problem can be caused by problems with cookies. See Websites say cookies are blocked - Unblock them for more information.
  • If you get a File not found error, try the troubleshooting steps in these articles:
  • Content Encoding Error - If you get the error message, Content Encoding Error or The page you are trying to view cannot be shown because it uses an invalid or unsupported form of compression, use these steps to diagnose and fix them:
    1. Check the settings of any Internet security applications you use (including firewalls, anti-virus or anti-spyware programs, and privacy protection programs). You should try to remove any permissions those applications have for Firefox, and then add them again. For program-specific instructions for a number of applications, see Configure firewalls so that Firefox can access the Internet.
    2. Follow the Standard troubleshooting steps.
  • This address is restricted - This error occurs when you are attempting to connect to a web server on a port that is reserved for another application. If the website you are trying to visit contains a colon followed by a number in its address (for example, http://website.com:23), try removing that portion (http://website.com) or replacing it with :80 (http://website.com:80). If this doesn't work, you may have been given an incorrect address.




Based on information from Error loading websites (mozillaZine KB)



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