Websites don't load - troubleshoot and fix error messages

Firefox Firefox Last updated: 12/17/2021 38% of users voted this helpful

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're having trouble with a website, click the padlock icon Fx89Padlock in the address bar to see if Firefox has blocked insecure parts of the page. See Mixed content blocking in Firefox for details.

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 or
  2. Launch another browser, like Internet Explorer or Microsoft EdgeSafariGoogle 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 menu button Fx89menuButton to open the menu panel.
  2. Click History and select Clear Recent History…
  3. In the Time Range to clear: drop-down, select Everything.
  4. Below the drop-down menu, select both Cookies and Cache. Make sure other items you want to keep are not selected.
  5. Click OKClear 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

If you connect to the Internet through a proxy, compare Firefox's settings to Internet Explorer's — see Microsoft's guide to proxy settings.See Enter proxy server settings on Mac at Apple Support for more information on proxy settings.

To check your connection settings in Firefox:

  1. In the Menu bar at the top of the screen, click Firefox and then select Preferences or Settings, depending on your macOS version.Click the menu button Fx89menuButton and select Settings.
  2. In the General panel, go down to the Network Settings section.
  3. Click Settings…. The Connection Settings dialog will open.
  4. 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.
  5. Close the Connection Settings dialog.
  6. Close the Settings 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 How to reset the default user agent on Firefox.
  • 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 (
  • 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 More and make sure Work Offline is unchecked.Click File in the Menu bar (you can press and release the Alt key to temporarily show the Menu bar), then 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,, try removing that portion ( or replacing it with :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

Based on information from Error loading websites (mozillaZine KB)

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