Websites don't load - troubleshoot and fix error messages

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 Mixed content blocking in Firefox

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.org.
  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. Click the Library button 57 library icon , click 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.
  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:

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 connection settings in Firefox:

  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced panel.
  3. Select the Network tab.
  4. In the Connection section, click Settings….
  5. Change your proxy settings:
  6. Close the Connection Settings window.
  7. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.
  1. Click the menu button New Fx Menu Fx57Menu and choose Options.Preferences.
  2. In the General panel, go down to the Network Proxy section.
  3. In the Network Proxy section, click Settings….
  4. Change your proxy settings:
  5. Close the Connection Settings dialog.
  6. Close the about:preferences page. Any changes you've made will automatically be saved.

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:
    • 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.
  • DNS cache is invalid - DNS is the service that converts a website's domain name into the IP address that Firefox uses to connect to a website. This information is saved to your computer's DNS cache in order to improve speeds. However, if the DNS cache record is corrupt or the website has changed IP address, Firefox may be directed to the incorrect server. The Firefox and other browsers can't load websites article explains how to flush the DNS cache. For additional information, see https://www.whatsmydns.net/flush-dns.html



Based on information from Error loading websites (mozillaZine KB)

// These fine people helped write this article:AliceWyman, Chris Ilias, philipp, David Tenser, Cheng Wang, Tonnes, Michael Verdi, scoobidiver, Swarnava Sengupta, Jason, NicoleRipp, Wesley Branton, scootergrisen. You can help too - find out how.

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