Fix ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT Error When Browsing in Windows

Continue your browsing session with these fixes.

A man who is working on his laptop checks his watch for time

Have you ever come across ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT while trying to access a website on your Windows PC? This can happen in any browser when your Internet or server takes too long to respond. In this tutorial, we take a look at some solutions to help you solve this problem. They apply to Windows 11 and Windows 10 unless we have specified otherwise.

What Is the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” Error

When you try to access a website and get the error message “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT,” you might easily assume that your local network connection is having issues. However, that isn’t always the case.

When you want to visit a website, your computer sends a request to the server asking for access. Once the server validates your request, your browser connects to the website.

When you ask a website for access, a timer will start to run. If you don’t get the approval before the timer ends, you will see the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error in your browser.

Possible Causes of ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT Error

Some of the reasons that cause the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error include the following:

  • Server not found: one of the most common reasons for the connection timed out error is when you ask a server for access but the server is currently down, or you have entered an incorrect website address.
  • Server doesn’t respond: the server takes a long time to validate your connection request to give you access.
  • Slow internet connection: a slow and unreliable internet connection can take a few seconds or minutes to communicate with the server. In such a case, the browser will terminate your connection because it is taking too long to reach the server for access.
  • Server error: it is also possible that the server you’re trying to reach is slow and before it grants your access, the browser times out the connection.
  • Firewall: at times, your firewall could block access to certain websites because it suddenly stopped recognizing them or the website was blacklisted.

How to Fix ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT

If you’ve come across this issue yourself, here are a few things that you need to try in order to get your browser up and running again. First off, check to see if your internet connection is working properly. After you’ve confirmed that, you can go ahead and try these fixes.

1. Turn Off Your Firewall

Your firewall may occasionally prevent you from accessing the Internet. So one thing to try when you can’t connect to the websites you want to visit is disabling your firewall.

  1. Click on the Search button in Windows and look for Windows Defender Firewall.
Opening Windows Defender Firewall by searching for it using the search button
  1. Click on “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” from the left-side menu.
Opening the Windows Defender Firewall settings to turn it off
  1. Select “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)” under both “Private Network Settings” and “Public Network Settings.”
Turning off private network settings and public network settings
  1. Click “OK” to confirm.
  2. Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Tip: You can also completely disable Windows Defender if you want to.

If disabling the firewall didn’t fix the connection timeout problem, try the other solutions from this list.

2. Change the Timeout Duration

If your internet connection is slow, changing the timeout duration can help you connect to the web successfully. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Click on the Search button, type “Registry Editor” and open it.
Opening Registry Editor by searching for it
  1. Go to the following path: “Computer\HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings.”
Using the location path to create a registry file
  1. Right-click on the blank space inside the “Internet Settings” registry folder and click “New,” then select “DWORD (32-Bit) Value” and name it as “ReceiveTimeout.”
  1. To set your own timeout duration, multiply the seconds by 100. If you want to set the timeout duration to 5 minutes, enter the value 3000 after multiplying the seconds by 100 (300 X 100). If you want to change it to 10 minutes, you should enter the value 6000 (600 X 100).
Setting a timeout duration using a registry file
  1. Restart your PC.
  2. Now when your browser attempts to connect to a server for access, it will take longer before it times out.

3. Delete Your Browser’s History & Cache

Another thing you might want to try is deleting your browser history, caches, and cookies to remove all accumulated files. It could be this data that is preventing successful communication with the server or slowing down the communication.

Chrome

  1. Open the Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the three vertical dots and then select “Settings.”
Opening Google Chrome's settings menu
  1. Now, click “Privacy and security.”
Inside Google Chrome's settings menu, select the "Privacy and security" menu 
  1. Click “Clear browsing data.”
Clearing browsing data of chrome
  1. Select “Browsing history,” “Cookies and other site data,” “Cached images and files.”
  1. Click “Clear data.”
Confirming the decision to clear all of Google Chrome's data

Microsoft Edge

  1. Launch Microsoft’s Edge browser.
  2. Open the menu by clicking on the three horizontal dots in the top-right corner, and selecting “Settings.”
Opening the settings menu of Microsoft Edge by selecting the option
  1. Click “Privacy, search, and services.”
Selecting the Privacy, search, and services menu in the settings menu of Microsoft Edge
  1. Under “Clear browsing data,” click “Choose what to clear.”
Clicking on "Choose what to clear" option
  1. Check all the boxes.
  2. Now, click “Clear now.”
Selecting the "clear data" option to delete Edge's browsing history

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Open Firefox, type “about:preferences#privacy” in the address bar and hit Enter.
Configuring Firefox's privacy settings
  1. Select the “Delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed” option in the “Cookies and Site Data” section.
Selecting the option to delete cookies and site data when Firefox is closed

4. Flush DNS Cache

DNS (Domain Name System) is like a phonebook for the Internet that keeps a database of all publicly accessible websites and their IP addresses. Sometimes, the DNS file on your PC can get corrupted, and your browser can fail to read the DNS to route you properly.

By clearing the DNS cache, you shall be resetting the DNS to its default state removing any corruption in the file that is causing the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error.

  1. Right-click on the Start button in Windows 11 and then select “Windows Terminal (Admin).” If you’re using Windows 10, select Run and type in the command wt, then press Enter.
Launching Windows Terminal (Admin) using right-clicking on the Start button
  1. Enter the following commands and press Enter after each command.
ipconfig/flushdns
ipconfig/registerdns
ipconfig/release
ipconfig/renew
Clearing DNS using Windows Terminal
  1. Restart your PC to see the effects.

5. Connect With a VPN

If you are getting an ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error, you might want to try accessing the web page in question with your VPN turned on.

Fix Err Connection Timed Out Error Windows Vpn
Image source: Pixabay

In case your access is blocked or restricted, a VPN can bypass these limitations and connect to the website successfully.

6. Use Your Browser in Compatibility Mode

If you recently installed the latest Windows update on your computer, there’s a chance that it may have caused this problem. Check to see if your browser functions properly on Windows 7 or Windows 8 by running it in compatibility mode.

  1. Right-click on your browser’s shortcut on the desktop, and select “Properties.”
Opening the properties of Google browser
  1. Click on the “Compatibility” tab, and check the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” checkbox.
Turning on the compatibility mode
  1. In the drop-down menu, select Windows 8 or any other previous version of Windows.
Selecting the previous version of the OS to run the browser in compatibility mode
  1. Click “Apply,” then press the “OK” button to save the changes.

7. Disable Proxy Settings

Another reason why you could be getting the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error is proxy settings. Turning these off should let you connect to the Internet successfully.

  1. Click on Start and search for “Settings.”
Searching for "Settings" using the Start menu
  1. Click “Network & internet,” and then select “Proxy” on the right.
Opening the "Network & Internet" settings page to configure the proxy settings
  1. Turn off “Automatically detect settings” under “Automatic proxy setup.”
  1. Also, disable “Use a proxy server” under “Manual proxy setup.”
Turning off proxy settings

8. Reset Your Web Browser to Default

A recent update or a glitch could have made your browser inoperable. This can be fixed by simply resetting your browser and relaunching it. Here’s how to do that:

Chrome

  1. Go to “Settings” in Chrome.
  2. Click “Reset settings” in the sidebar.
Selecting the Reset Settings option to reset Google Chrome browser
  1. Select “Restore settings to their original defaults” on the right side of the screen.
  2. Hit the “Reset settings” button.
Confirming the decision to reset Google Chrome
  1. Once Chrome resets back to default, it will open up again.

Microsoft Edge

  1. Go to “Settings” in your Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. In the left pane, click “Reset settings.”
Choosing the option to return Microsoft Edge to its default settings
  1. Click “Restore settings to their default values.”
  2. Now click “Reset.”
Confirming the decision to reset Microsoft Edge

Firefox

  1. In Firefox, click the hamburger menu in the upper right corner.
  2. Select “Help,” and then click “More Troubleshooting Information.”
Selecting the "More Troubleshooting Information" in Firefox settings menu
  1. Now, click “Refresh Firefox.”
Selecting the "Refresh Firefox" option to reset Firefox to default
  1. Select “Refresh Firefox” again in the confirmation window.
Confirming the decision to reset Firefox to default settings
  1. Mozilla Firefox will now return to its default settings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to prevent the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error in the future?

ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT is one of the most common browser errors, but you can prevent it from happening again with these suggestions:

  • Regularly clear the DNS cache.
  • Clear your browser cache every few days, or at least once a week.
  • Check if your browser is updated to the latest version.
  • Don’t install add-ons from untrusted sources.

Will changing my DNS server fix the ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT error?

The timeout issue doesn’t actually have anything to do with your DNS server. You should be flushing the DNS cache instead in an attempt to fix the error.

What are some other connection errors I might stumble upon while browsing?

Connection timed out Wi-Fi: this error appears when your Wi-Fi server takes too long to respond to a data request from your device.

Connection time-out TCP: you see this error when there’s a misconfiguration of the TCP settings. You can fix it by manually changing your TCP configuration.

Connection attempt timed out: you might experience this error because of a network issue. Check for any problems with the network diagnosis tool, and if any are found, fix them.

The connection request timed out: this error is caused by your network settings. Configure your network settings correctly to fix this error.

Connection server timed out: due to a network overload or problem, the server takes a bit longer to respond. This error is shown when the server has taken too long to respond to your connection request.

Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels All screenshots by Abdul Moiz

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