5 tips for accessing websites that won’t open

It’s a damn frustrating predicament. You are trying to access a website but it does not open. Here are some tips that will help you solve the problem.

How do you consult sites that are inaccessible at first sight? (Credits: Unsplash)

While browsing the web, you are trying to access a website. But the latter is simply not accessible. Several reasons can cause the problem. The site server could be down due to excessive traffic, maintenance or even a major crash (remember the fire at the OVH data center in Strasbourg that destroyed countless servers). To find out for sure, feel free to visit Down Detector, which reports site and app outages in real time.

Additionally, the problem may come from an internet connection that is failing. Other possibilities, you are not authorized to access the site or the page you are trying to return to no longer exists. Before applying the following solutions, remember to carry out such manipulations that can already be life-saving:

  • refresh the page
  • Clear your browser cache and restart
  • Verify that the entered URL is correct
  • Reboot your device
  • Disable parental controls for your antivirus
  • Check the status of your internet connection

If nothing works, follow these tips :

Open hidden links on Google

If the server stops responding, it may be appropriate to open the cached link. For information, Google regularly takes screenshots of web pages in case they are not accessible. Older backups that can be opened very easily if there is a problem with a site:

  • Do a Google search to find the site you want to open.
  • Then click the down arrow (or the three small vertical dots) and then click hidden.
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Open a cache link on Google (screenshot David Douïeb / Tom’s Guide)

Navigate through the Internet Archive

This digital archive holds countless snapshots of web pages that can be viewed for free. A real journey into a time machine. If you are looking for specific content on a site that is not accessible, Internet Archive will be useful to you as long as your site is listed there. As proof of its usefulness, the Internet Archive had privately held MySpace pies back by recovering 500,000 songs in 2019.

  • Type your URL in the search bar and tap Browse history.
  • Then select the desired year and month and hover over the day.
  • Then just press Backup time for REACH there.
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Internet Archive (screenshot of David Doepp / Tom’s Guide)

Disable your browser extensions

Browser extensions are very useful. But they can sometimes prevent certain sites from loading. Thus, you will simply have to deactivate it to access your content. For example, the popular Adblock extension, which blocks online ads, is often detected by certain sites which then encourages the user to deactivate it. And for good reason, ads are usually their main source of income.

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How to disable Adblock (screenshot David Douïeb / Tom’s Guide)

Use a VPN

Some sites are geo-restricted. In other words, it is not available in the area you are in. Fortunately, it is possible to circumvent this geo-blocking through the use of a VPN. This VPN will allow you to have another IP address located in another geographic area. By doing this, you will be able to access the blocked content initially. To learn more, check out our guide to installing a VPN.

Navigate through web proxy

It is also possible to go through a web proxy that hides your exact location. This can be very useful if you find yourself on a public computer that is full of restrictions. We recommend that you refer to Startpage which offers a free proxy service directly in its search engine. To use it, find the site you want to consult, then click on the “Anonymous” icon:

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Anonymous mode on Startpage (screenshot by David Douïeb / Tom’s Guide))

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