When Some Websites Do Not Open On Your Computer – Troubleshooting Guide
Has it ever happened that a specific website you are trying to access never loads on your computer? Your internet connection is working fine and you can open Google, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube but some websites never load due to unknown reasons or you are stuck at a white screen of death.
There may be different causes for the non availability of some websites over a given period of time. Here are some case scenarios:
- The website you are trying to access is down because the web server which is hosting the files of the website is having server side problems.
- The website has migrated to a new address.
- You are having issues with your network connection.
- Your Internet service provider might have blocked access to specific websites e.g YouTube, Blogger or maybe a personal domain.
- Your Windows Firewall is blocking access to a particular website.
- Your browser is loading the webpage from its internal cache.
- Your browser has a site blocking extension installed.
- Your router has been mis-configured or needs a hard reboot
- Your Windows host file has an exception list which is permanently blocking access to some websites from every other browser e.g Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera or Safari
1. Check Whether the website in question is down for you or everyone else
Go to downforeveryoneorjustme.com and enter the URL of the website which is not loading on your computer. Click the “just me” button and the site will tell you whether the website in question is loading for everyone else or whether it’s just you who is unable to open that specific website on your computer.
Conclusion: If the website is down for everyone, there is nothing you can do. Check back later!
2. Check whether the website loads in a different browser or not
Try to determine whether it is a browser specific issue or not. It is possible that the website never loads in Internet Explorer but loads perfectly fine in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. You must not ignore this step as your browser might be the real culprit and you must determine the cause of the problem through proper diagnosis in every step. For example, some browser extensions can block access to specific websites as defined by the user.
Conclusion: If the site opens in another browser, be rest assured the browser you were using earlier has some problems in it’s preferences. Explore the settings and if possible, uninstall and reinstall the browser to see if that helps.
3. Check Your Windows Hosts File
Open your windows hosts file located at C:\Windows\system32\drivers\etc\ folder and see whether there is any blocked list defined at the bottom. The format followed is 127.0.0.1 www.domain.com domain.com.
In normal circumstances, your Windows host file should look something like this:
Which means that no website is blocked on your system using your system’s host file. There might be another problem but it is important that you check the host file configuration at least once, just to be on the safe side.
Conclusion: If your Windows host file is neat and clean and no exception list is defined, move on to the next step. However, if you see the same website listed at the bottom of Windows host file, delete the lines, save the file and you are done!
4. Clear your Browser’s cache and Browsing History
Go to your browser’s settings panel and complete delete your browsing history and cache. Here is how you do it in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer. Also remember to delete all temporary internet files using a system maintenance utility such as Auslogics BoostSpeed, Ccleaner, Tuneup utilities and so on.
Conclusion: Cleaning up your browser’s cache and browsing history might help as after the clean up, your browser will try to connect to the website, instead of retrieving the previously cached files from it’s local cache.
5. Check Windows Firewall Settings
Did you or another user of your system intentionally configured Windows firewall and blocked access to specific websites e.g YouTube, Facebook or Google News? Try turning off the default Firewall service of Windows from control panel,uninstalling third party Firewall software and check whether the problem persists or not.
6. Check Whether your system has a parental control software / network blocking program installed
Did you by any chance activated the parental control feature of Windows 7?
Did you or any other user of the same computer installed a parental control application or network blocking program on the system? Perform a thorough check of installed programs and applications from Control Panel > Programs and Features, remove suspicious programs which you think might be the cause of this problem.
Conclusion: If you find suspicious applications, uninstall them and restart your computer.
7. Clear Your Computer’s DNS cache:
Open Windows command prompt by typing cmd in search box, type ipconfig/flushdns and hit the return key. This command flushes your DNS cache and ensures that your computer’s network connection empties all the DNS data for previously visited websites and establishes new connections.
If you have recently switched from Open DNS or Google’s public DNS server to a DNS server provided by your Internet service provider, flushing the DNS cache might just help.
8. Switch to Google public DNS or Open DNS
It is very much possible that the default DNS server of your ISP is having problems retrieving specific websites, so you can try using Google’s public DNS or Open DNS as an alternative and check whether you can access the website which never loads. Related reading: Solving 500 website not available error using Google’s Public DNS
9. Restart Your Router or Modem
Type 192.168.1.1 in your browser’s address bar and access the router’s preferences page. Do a soft reboot of the router and restart your browser when the router has finished booting.
This mechanism ensures that your router renews the IP address of each system attached to the device and there are no IP address conflicts between two or more computers or mobile devices using the same computer network. On rare occasions, a misconfiguration in your network might be a reason why some websites never open on your computer, so doing a soft reboot in the router might bring back things to normal.
If restarting the router or modem doesn’t fix the problem, trying doing a hard reboot of the router by performing a factory reset. You can reset the modem to factory default by pushing a hair pin at the back of the router’s hole, see the following illustration as an example:
Conclusion: In 90% of the cases, doing a soft reboot of your router should automatically fix the webpage not loading problem. If it doesn’t and you are out of luck with the hard rebppt method as well, move on to the final step.
10.Restart Your Computer
Honestly, there isn’t any logic as why you should restart your computer but since you have come this far and want to fix the problem at all costs, try firing all your weapons. Restart your computer, the router and check back again
11. Call Your Internet Service Provider
If everything fails, call the support staff of your Internet service provider and log your problem with them. That’s all you can do!