What is the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT Error?
An ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error typically means there is something wrong with your local network connection. However, that’s not always the case.
According to the WordPress support documentation, a connection timed out error appears when your website is trying to do more than your server can manage. It’s particularly common on shared hosting where your memory limit is restricted.
When you visit a website and it doesn’t load, your browser will try for around 30 seconds or so until it terminates the connection. After which it will return an “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error, indicating a communication problem. In Google Chrome you might see this as “This site can’t be reached. Domain.com took too long to respond.”
Due to all the different web browsers, operating systems, and servers, the error can present itself in a number of different ways. But most of them have the same or similar meaning. “ERR_NETWORK_CHANGED” and “ERR_CONNECTION_REFUSED” are two very closely related errors that can usually be solved with the same troubleshooting steps below.
Below are a few examples of how the error might present itself in different browsers.
How to Fix the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT Error
Where should you start troubleshooting if you see this error on your WordPress site? Without a great deal of context, it can sometimes be frustrating and overwhelming where to even begin. Typically these are either client-side problems (issues with your network connection or firewall) or an issue with the server at which the site is hosted (memory limits, execution times, etc.).
1. Check Your Connection
Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge all recommend that you should check your network connection. While this might sound obvious, they all point to checking your connection first as it’s one of the most common reasons for the error. Here are a few things we recommend:
- Restart your home or office router. This only takes a few minutes and solves more problems than a lot of people would like to admit. To completely power cycle it, disconnect the power supply and then wait 30 seconds before plugging it back in.
- Check to see if you’re on a bad or slow wifi connection. This is a common occurrence on busy public wifi hotspots such as coffee shops or airports.
2. Disable Firewall and Antivirus Software Temporarily
Firewalls and antivirus software are intended to protect users and their systems. They scan your device regularly and automatically block any suspicious activity. However, this type of security can at times lead to connection issues.
This is because firewalls can often block pages they don’t need to or reject content that is completely safe. We’ve seen this happen many times with software like AVG. To check whether this is the case for you, try disabling your firewall and antivirus programs. Of course, this is only advised if you know for sure that the site you’re intending to visit is safe.
Additionally, you should only disable this kind of software temporarily. Switch it back on after you’ve finished checking to see whether the error has been resolved, so you don’t become vulnerable to attacks. If you repeatedly encounter errors because of your firewall or antivirus software, you may want to consider changing what you’re using.
These types of tools also have what is called a “false-positive” report you can fill out. If you’re 100% positive that a site your visiting is blocked and shouldn’t be, you can let the software developer know. Here are a few quick links:
3. Disable Proxy Settings
Sometimes you might see the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error if you are utilizing a proxy service. This is usually pretty rare, especially on the client-side. However, one might have been set without you even knowing it. To disable or check to ensure no proxy settings are enabled, follow these steps.
Access the Settings menu in your Chrome browser. This will open up the complete menu of options. Under the System section (you’ll need to click Advanced at the bottom to see this), you should find an entry titled Open proxy settings. By selecting it, you’ll be taken to the corresponding menu:
4. Change DNS
The next thing you can try is changing your DNS servers. By default, DNS servers are automatically assigned by your ISP. But you could try temporarily changing these to a public DNS server, such as Google or Cloudflare.
- Some prefer to use Google’s public DNS (188.8.131.52 and 184.108.40.206) long-term due to them sometimes being more reliable.
- Cloudflare also offers secure and blazing fast free DNS (220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168) which we will be using in this example. If you want to use Google’s the steps are the same, you simply replace the DNS server addresses with Googles.
Tip: If you’re already using a free DNS server and having issues, removing it and defaulting back to your ISP’s DNS servers also sometimes fix things.
Google and Cloudflare aren’t perfect 100% of the time and there have been a few instances where we’ve noticed switching back has resolved the issue. This is especially true if you’re using a Wifi hotspot in an airport or coffee shop.