How To Fix The Err_Connection_Timed_Out Error (Step By Step)

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  • In today’s post, we’re going to take a deep pe into the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error and examine why you might see this and what you can do to fix it quickly. Simply put, it’s an indication that the system is unavailable and the time given for one to connect has elapsed, and now the request has timed out. But what does that actually mean?

    Let’s find out!

    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. chúng tôi took too long to respond.”

    Due to all the different web browsers, operating systems, and servers, the error can psent 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 psent itself in different browsers.

    Mozilla Firefox

    In Mozilla Firefox the error will show as “The connection has timed out.” The server at chúng tôi is taking too long to respond.

    Microsoft Edge

    In Microsoft Edge, the error will show as “Hmmm… can’t reach this page. chúng tôi took too long to respond.” In Edge, however, it does also contain the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error.

    Safari

    In Safari, the error will show as “Safari Can’t Open the Page. Safari can’t open the page chúng tôi because the server where this page is located isn’t responding.”

    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.

    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 ptty 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.

    If you’re on Windows, you will see a “Local Area Network (LAN) Settings” window appear. You will want to confirm that the “Use a proxy server for your LAN” option is unchecked.

    The same goes if you’re using a VPN like ExpssVPN or TunnelBear. Make sure you’re not connected by accident.

    4. Change DNS Servers

    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 pfer to use Google’s public DNS (8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4) long-term due to them sometimes being more reliable.
    • Cloudflare also offers secure and blazing fast free DNS (1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1) 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.

    Windows

    In Windows simply open up Command Prompt by pssing the Windows logo key and R. Then type “control panel” and hit Enter.

    For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

    For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

    Mac

    To change DNS servers on a Mac, go to System Preferences…

    Then add Cloudflare’s DNS server addresses.

    For IPv4: 1.1.1.1 and 1.0.0.1

    For IPv6: 2606:4700:4700::1111 and 2606:4700:4700::1001

    5. Flush/Renew DNS

    You can also try flushing your local DNS cache. This is similar to clearing your browser cache. It could be that the site you’re trying to visit isn’t resolving to the correct IP address. If you’ve just migrated your WordPress site to a new host, it’s important to wait for things to fully propagate. This can sometimes take up to 24 hours, although it can be as little as a few minutes. This depends on your DNS provider and the TTL value of your DNS records.

    Windows

    In Windows simply open up Command Prompt and enter the following:

    ipconfig /flushdns

    You should see a “Successfully flushed the DNS resolver Cache” if it worked.

    Mac

    For macOS users, you can enter the following in the terminal:

    dscacheutil -flushcache

    Note: There is no success message on Macs.

    6. Check Your Hosts File

    Every computer has what they call a local hosts file. This is a file that contains manual DNS entries which are mapped to specific IP addresses. Typically this is only edited when you want to pview your DNS before switching over domains to a new host. Or perhaps you have a local development site running using a tool like DevKinsta, Vagrant or Docker.

    There is a multitude of different ways this file could have been changed or edited. Therefore, it’s always good to check to ensure the website you’re trying to access isn’t in there. Just follow the steps below.

    Windows

    C:WindowsSystem32driversetc

    Double-check and make sure the website you’re trying to visit isn’t listed in there. If it is, remove it.

    Mac

    To check your hosts file on a Mac, we recommend getting Gas Mask. It’s a free application which can be used as hosts file manager, hosts files editor, and switch between them. It makes everything quick and easy! Otherwise, you can follow the steps below to edit your hosts file on Mac manually.

    Enter in the following command and pss Enter (you will most likely be prompted for your administrator password as well).

    sudo nano /private/etc/hosts

    Double-check and make sure the website you’re trying to visit isn’t listed in your hosts file. If it is, remove it.

    7. Check the DNS of Your Domain

    You should also verify that the DNS of your domain is correctly pointed to your hosting provider. If you’re a Kinsta client we have an in-depth post on how to point your domain and or DNS to Kinsta. If you recently migrated your WordPress website to a new host, it could be the DNS was cached incorrectly on your computer. In which case, step 5 above should resolve that. Or it may simply be too soon and you need to wait a few hours for the DNS to fully propagate.

    8. Clear Browser Cache

    Web browsers store information in cache on your computer. This includes your browsing history, saved login data, and cookies – all of which are recorded in order to load the relevant pages more quickly the next time they’re visited.

    Although they’re useful, caches can cause numerous issues when they become outdated. Fortunately, this problem is easily solved by clearing your cache.

    But before you do that, you can easily check to see if it’s a browser cache issue by first opening up your browser in incognito mode. Or you can try a different browser. If you’re still seeing the error, then you will want to proceed with clearing your cache.

    On the resulting page, you’ll need to make sure that all listed file categories are selected. If they aren’t, Chrome won’t be able to empty the entire cache. Instead, it will simply remove the most recent entries, which won’t result in the desired effect:

    An alternative method of completing this process is to enter the following URL into your address bar:

    chrome://settings/clearBrowserData

    The resulting screen should grant you access to the same options we’ve outlined above. Here are some other helpful links for clearing cache.

    9. Look at The Maximum Execution Time

    The rest of the troubleshooting steps we’ll be ping into are those that have to do with the configuration of your WordPress site or server that may help fix the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error.

    The first is the maximum execution time set for your site. On most servers, the default time is set to 30 seconds. This is the amount of time a PHP script is allowed to run (after which it times out). On shared hosts, this is typically set low or left at the default.

    You can’t easily modify this from WordPress as the chúng tôi file is located on your server. To modify this, we recommend reaching out to your hosting provider to see if they can help. At Kinsta, we set the default maximum execution time to 300 seconds.

    If you want to try and modify this yourself, it can usually be done with one of the following options. Both will depend on how your hosting provider conps their servers.

    Option 1 – Modify Max Execution Time in chúng tôi File

    If you have a php.ini file in your home directory, find the max_execution_time parameter and modify it. For example, if it’s set to 30 seconds, you can increase it to 300 seconds.

    max_execution_time = 300

    Option 2 – Modify Max Execution Time in .htacess File

    If the above option doesn’t work, you might be able to change it within your .htaccess file. Just like with the php.ini file, this is typically located within your home directory. Place the following in the top of your .htaccess file:

    php_value max_execution_time 300

    10. Temporarily Disable Your Plugins

    As with most WordPress errors, a plugin can definitely be the root of the problem. To determine if that’s what’s happening, you’ll need to disable all of your site’s plugins. However, if you’re getting the “ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT” error it means you don’t have access to your WordPress admin area. This means you will need to SFTP into your site. We recommend using FileZilla.

    Once your SFTP client is ready, connect to your website through it and navigate to your WordPress root folder. In case you can’t find it, it’s usually called public_html, html, public, www, or your site’s name. If you’re a Kinsta client, it’s your public folder.

    Open that folder, and navigate to the wp-content directory. Inside, you’ll see a folder called plugins, which contains inpidual subdirectories for each of the plugins installed on your site (both active and inactive).

    WordPress will now not be able to find any of your plugins. When that happens, it will automatically disable those plugins.

    Now, try accessing your WordPress dashboard. If the timeout error is gone, then you can assume that one of your plugins was the culprit. All you have to do is p out which one was at fault.

    Return to the wp-content directory, and rename your original plugins folder correctly. Then, you’ll need to disable each of your plugins one by one, until you find the culprit.

    To do this, open the wp-content/plugins directory. Inside, you’ll find one folder for each of your plugins. The process you’re going to follow is much the same as before:

    1. Start with the first folder, and rename it to anything you like.
    2. Check your website to see if the error is gone.
    3. If it isn’t, return the plugin folder from the pvious step to its original name.
    4. Move on to the next plugin on your list, repeating the above steps.

    This process can take a while if you have a lot of plugins, but it’s vital to check each plugin in turn. If at any point you identify the plugin that’s causing the error, you can uninstall it or replace it with another tool.

    If you make it to the end of these steps without finding a solution, you can move on to the next stage of troubleshooting.

    11. Temporarily Revert to Default Theme

    Now that you’ve ruled out your plugins as the cause of the timeout error, it’s time to do the same with your active theme. In fact, your theme could also be creating compatibility issues.

    Unfortunately, the process doesn’t work the same as above. WordPress won’t revert to the default theme if simply rename the theme folder, you would end up with an error like “The theme directory “theme name” does not exist.” Or if you try to rename the entire theme directory folder, you end up with “ERROR: The themes directory is either empty or doesn’t exist. Please check your installation.”

    Therefore, you need to access your WordPress database by logging into phpMyAdmin. If you’re a Kinsta client, this can be found within the “Info” section of the MyKinsta dashboard.

    Under the “option_value” column you will see the current name of your theme. Change this to one of the default themes, such as ” twentynineteen.”

    Check your website again to see if this has fixed the error. If it did, it simply means it’s a problem with your WordPress theme and you might want to try reinstalling it or reverting to your most recent backup.

    12. Increase the Memory Limit

    The WP_MEMORY_LIMIT parameter allows you to specify the maximum amount of memory that can be consumed by PHP. If you are using shared hosting, it’s most likely set to a low value such as 64M. At Kinsta, we set the default memory limit to 256M.

    You can increase the memory limit by adding the following to your chúng tôi file. This must be placed above the wp-settings.php inclusion.

    define( 'WP_MEMORY_LIMIT', '256M' );

    Not sure what your current PHP memory limit is set to? If you have access to your WordPress dashboard and are running WordPress 5.2 or above, you can see the PHP memory limit under the “Site Health” tool.

    Summary

    Connection and timeout errors are never fun to troubleshoot, but hopefully, you have a little more knowledge in your toolbelt now to help resolve it quickly.

    (Suggested reading: Learn how to fix the ERR_CACHE_MISS error in Chrome)

    If you enjoyed this article, then you’ll love Kinsta’s WordPress hosting platform. Turbocharge your website and get 24/7 support from our veteran WordPress team. Our Google Cloud powered infrastructure focuses on auto-scaling, performance, and security. Let us show you the Kinsta difference! Check out our plans

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