How to solve problems connecting to the server

"Unable to connect to the server" is one of the error messages that often appears when we encounter connection problems: here's what to do to solve it.

If you have problems connecting to a website, one of the main error messages that we see appear on the screen of our PC, smartphone or tablet is the one that reads Unable to connect to the server. This is a very generic warning, and it's no coincidence that it may be displayed while we are using online software or services installed on our device.

Understand then that it is impossible to provide a general solution when it is impossible to establish a connection to the server, since each situation should be investigated in detail to understand what is the origin of the anomaly found. And put in place actions to contain it permanently. In any case, we will try to answer to the most frequent bugs reported by the users on the web, with a guide that wants and has to investigate the multiplicity of cases first in a wider way and then with more targeted actions.

Cannot connect to server: how to solve the problem

Before focusing on solving the "Cannot connect to server" message with a specific web browsing browser, in our case we have chosen the most popular ones, namely Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Microsoft Edge, it is however possible to try to put into practice some basic solutions, which might turn out to be unexpectedly effective. The first one is rather trivial, and simply asks you to check the connection status, considering that lack of Internet access is often the cause of the problem. In case you use a Wi-Fi network, then try turning your modem or router off and on again. Secondly, make sure that on the PC or device on which the error occurs that there is no proxy server or Parental Control software that automatically blocks access to the Internet.

The third solution then aims to check the firewall, often present on devices with cumbersome and high restrictions, which block access to public IP addresses. Opening web pages and accessing online services might also be prevented by the presence of an antivirus, which you'll then have to temporarily disable in case it is the source of the bug. Finally, in case it is impossible to establish a connection to the email server using any mailbox, the advice is to try changing the type of connection used and verify that the access data used, i.e. username and password, are correct.

Check it using another browser

Looking deeper into the problem, one of the options available to you to get back connected is to try loading the website of your interest using an alternative browser. At this point, we'll be faced with two different paths, depending on the outcome: all browsers fail to load the website, or the page returns a problem only with our device's default browser. The first scenario describes a situation where the cause of the bug is to be found elsewhere, perhaps in the modem in use, the wireless access point or the security program for Internet browsing. The second scenario, on the other hand, almost always implies that the "Cannot connect to server" error is due to connection problems through a proxy server, which makes it impossible to load websites.

In such a situation, we will have to go and check the browser's connection settings. For Firefox, we'll just have to click on the menu button, indicated with three horizontal bars on the right side of the screen, and select the Options item. After that, select the General panel, then move to the Proxy Server section and click on Settings. You can then change the proxy settings, either by selecting No proxy, if you do not connect to the network through a proxy or are unsure if you connect through a proxy, or by comparing Firefox settings with those of another browser if you do connect through a proxy.

For Google Chrome, but also for Microsoft Edge, which is based on the same Chromium, in case it is impossible to access the server, it is important to remember that this browser does not come with its own proxy system, relying on the Internet properties of the system installed on the PC. To check and possibly reset these options, we can go to the Settings menu, the one indicated by three vertical dots, select Advanced Settings, then click on Network and Change Proxy Settings. Make sure that the Automatically detect settings option is checked in the LAN Network Settings section and select our preference if necessary.

Delete cookies and cache and check for malware

If you find that your browser loads only some websites but not others, you can also try to delete cookies and cache, i.e. temporary files that help speed up browsing. To do this, we have to select "History" in the toolbar and then click on "Clear Browsing Data", remembering to tick the "All" option. If deleting cookies and cache does not solve the problem and it is still impossible to load some websites, it is then advisable to check if the device you are using is affected by malware, proceeding with a scan. Some types of malicious programs have been known to prevent various online sites from loading.