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. Here are some case scenarios:
- The website you are trying to access is down because the webserver which is hosting the files of the site 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 misconfigured or needs a hard reboot.
- Your Windows host file has an exception list that 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. Open on another device
It is another essential thing that you should do before doing anything else. If some websites are not opening on your computer, you should try opening them on your mobile or another computer. You can also ask your friend to do that for you. If those websites are opening on another computer, you are in trouble.
3. 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 its preferences. Explore the settings and, if possible, uninstall and reinstall the browser to see if that helps.
4. 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:
This means that no website is blocked on your system using your system’s host file. There might be another problem, but you must 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 the Windows host file, delete the lines, save the file, and you are done!
5. Clear Your Browser’s Cache And Browsing History
Go to your browser’s settings panel and completely delete your browsing history and cache. Here is how you do it in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Internet Explorer. Also remember to remove 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 cleanup, your browser will try to connect to the website, instead of retrieving the previously cached files from its local cache.
6. Delete All Browser Extensions
Nowadays, most of the browsers support or allow users to install extensions so that they can extend the functionalities to the optimum level. At times, those extensions can cause issues due to some reasons like compatibility, lousy coding, etc. If so, you may face such a problem on your computer. Therefore, it is a wise choice to remove all the extensions from your browser so that you can be ensured whether the extensions are the culprit or not.
7. Reset browser
If the solution, as mentioned earlier, is not working for you, you should try resetting the browser. Again the process is different, and it depends on the browser you are currently using.
8. Scan PC with antivirus and anti-adware
If your computer is attacked by any malware or suspicious program, it might block websites from opening on your computer. For example, some malware prevents users from opening any security-related sites. In that case, you need to scan your computer with a reliable anti-virus like Avast or Kaspersky. If you have Malwarebytes, it would be great as well. It is meaningless to mention that you need to remove any suspicious file caught by your security shield. After that, do not forget to restart your PC for a fresh start.
9. 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 the control panel, uninstalling third-party Firewall software, and check whether the problem persists or not.
10. Check Whether Your System Has A Parental Control Software/Network Blocking Program Installed
Did you, by any chance, activate the parental control feature of Windows 7?
Did you or any other user of the same computer install 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.
11. Clear Your Computer’s DNS cache
Open Windows command prompt by typing cmd in the 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.
12. 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 site, which never loads. Related reading: Solving 500 website not available error using Google’s Public DNS.
13. Use VPN (if you are not using)
If you have landed on a country based website, you might not be able to open that unless or until there is an exception. For example, you cannot open Spotify in India. However, if you use a VPN, you would be able to open that from any country. Just like that, some websites do not load at all when opening from a different nation. Therefore, you should try out some VPN software for Windows or Mac to check whether you can open them or not.
14. Disable proxy
Like a VPN, the proxy can create a problem as well. There is some advanced malware that can change the proxy settings automatically and without any permission. On the other hand, if you have been using any proxy server with your system, follow this tutorial to disable it.
- Press Win + I to open Windows Settings panel.
- Go to Network & Internet > Proxy.
- On your right-hand side, make sure the Automatically detect settings is enabled and Use a proxy server settings is disabled.
15. Disable proxy from LAN settings
This is a prevalent issue when adware or different malware attack your PC. Different adware enables this setting, and hence users get the problem to open that site on their computer. No matter which Windows version you are using, but you can find the solution here.
- Search for Internet Options in the start menu or taskbar search box if you are using Windows 10.
- Go to Connections tab and click on LAN settings.
- Remove the tick from Use a proxy server for your LAN option and save your change.
Now, try opening the same website that was not loading.
16. Add HTTPS in the beginning
In various nations, the government has blocked multiple sites. For instance, you might not be able to open some favorite torrent sites in India since the Government of India has released a regulation for ISP’s to block those sites. However, in many cases, if you add https, in the beginning, you can open the website smoothly. In simple words, let’s assume that the site is http://www.a-custom-site.com, and it is not opening on your computer. Therefore, you can try opening this site after adding the https instead of HTTP. So, the URL would be https://www.a-custom-site.com.
17. Change the time zone of your system
Although there is a mystery behind this solution, it works in different conditions. No matter whether you are using Windows, Mac, or Linux, you can change the time zone of your system without any problem. On Windows, open the Windows Settings Panel by pressing Win + I buttons. After that, go to Time & language > Date & time. On your right-hand side, you should find the option to set a different time zone.
18. 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 hairpin 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 reboot method as well, move on to the final step.
19.Restart Your Computer
Honestly, there isn’t any logic as to 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
20. 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!