How to Fix: 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' Error

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Infopackets Reader 'Emmy-Lou' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am having trouble accessing eBay. The error message I get is: 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' Other times, it is 'This site can't be reached. eBay unexpectedly closed the connection'. On the page with the error message, it says to: 'Try: Checking the connection, checking the proxy and the firewall, and Running Windows Network Diagnostics'. The official error message is ERR_CONNECTION_RESET (but sometimes it is ERR_CONNECTION_CLOSED). Can you help? "

My response:

Troubleshooting this error message can be rather vexing. Below I'll explain the most common reasons this error appears, along with resolutions.

How to Fix: 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' Error

There are a few possibilities here, and I'll list the most common causes in order:

  1. The router and modem need to be power cycled (reset). Power off each device (or only one device if you have a combo modem and router), wait 10 seconds, then turn it back on and try and connect to the site again. Based on my experience over the last 30 years, modems and routers need to be reset every so often because they corrupt data packets. The only way to fix this is to power off the device, wait, then power it on and try the accessing the site again.
     
  2. It's also possible you have a bad modem or router. If you've power cycled the modem / router and it fixes the problem, but you have the same issue within a short period of time after that, then you likely need to replace the modem or router. Usually it is the router that needs replacing - you can test this theory by using another router / borrowing one from a friend for a few days to see if it fixes your problem. If you are not tech savvy this may not be an easy solution as routers need to be configured to connect to your modem (as per your Internet Service Provider settings). If you need help troubleshooting this, I would be more than happy to assist you using my remote desktop service, described further down.
     
  3. The computer you're using may be infected with malware which is interfering with your network connections. You can test this theory by attempting to access eBay (or whichever website you're having problems with) on another computer on the same home network. If you get the exact same result on another computer, then chances are that it's not your computer, but is in fact the modem or router - or possibly your Internet service.
     
  4. Your network card / WiFi device may be bad, or you may have a bad wired network connection. If you're using a wired connection, try using another cable to see if it's the cable causing issues. If not, try using another network card or connect a new USB WiFi adapter to see if that helps. If you're using a laptop that has WiFi and you're not using a wired connection, try plugging in a USB WiFi adapter to see if it improves.
     
  5. The operating system may be corrupt and/or the root certificates have been compromised. Root certificates are used to connect your machine to HTTPS (secure HTTP) when accessing secure websites; if the certificates are invalid then connections can unexpectedly break or produce error messages. One way to troubleshoot this is to use another computer on the network to see if you have the same issue. If the other computer connects fine (many times), then this is likely an isolated issue related to the first computer.
     
  6. Although rare, it's possible your Internet service is having network issues. Sometimes the Internet service to the home has a bad connection which can then cause unreliable service. Another possibility is that a network switch somewhere on the Internet is not working properly. In either case, this can cause the connection to break unexpectedly. If it is your Internet Provider that is causing problems (this is difficult to prove), the only resolution is to call your Internet provider to have them investigate and test your connection by remote. If they send someone out to your house to investigate, that may cost quite a bit; in that case you can contact me to look into the issue for you (for a fee) as I will do much more testing than what their techs can do.

There may be other issues to look at, but these are the most common. If you need help troubleshooting this, I can assist by remote - described next.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

As you can see, troubleshooting 'This site can't be reached. The connection was reset.' error has many possibilities. If you are not tech savvy or if you would prefer to have someone knowledgeable like myself troubleshoot this for you - I would be more than happy to assist using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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