How to Tell If a Website Is Down for Everyone or Just You

And what to do once you know

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If a website keeps loading but never fully opens or if it displays an error message and doesn't let you view the page, your first question should be, Is this site down? Your next one should be, Is it down for everyone, or just me? This distinction makes all the difference when troubleshooting the problem. There are certain steps you can take if the site is down for everyone and others if it's down for just you.

Keep reading to learn how to determine if the site is actually down or if there's just something preventing you from seeing it.

Before taking any of the steps below, try reloading the site. To do so, select the Reload (circular arrow) icon, which is usually found to the left of your browser's search or address bar. If that doesn't work, proceed with the following instructions.

Well, Which Is It?

Learning whether a site is down for everyone or just you is the easy part. There are several websites that can help you with this task. The most popular is Down for Everyone or Just Me. Select the link, enter the URL of the troublesome site in the text box, and select or just me. A results page tells you whether the site is actually down.

Down For Everyone Or Just Me home page

Now, what if Down for Everyone or Just Me is down? There are several similar sites you can try, including Down.com and Is It Down Right Now.

If none of the "site down checkers" is working for you, try to access a few of your other favorite sites. If none of them is working, it's likely there's an issue with your internet service. In this case, you'll need to learn what to do when you can't connect to the internet.

The Website Is Really Down

If the tool you're using also finds the site in question down, you can assume it's down for everyone else as well, meaning there isn't a lot you can do to solve the problem. In fact, the only thing you can really do to "fix" a down website is wait it out.

The issue could be anything from a webmaster who forgot to pay the hosting bill to a bandwidth overload, both of which are out of your control. The good news is, if it's a popular website, it's likely to be back online shortly, maybe even within minutes.

One of the few things you can do to remedy a down website is contact the site owner and let them know about your experience. If it's a smaller site, they might not be aware of any issues, and you telling them could help get it back online quicker.

Just One Page Is Down

It's also possible that part of a site is down while other parts remain operational. For example, when a popular site like Facebook is down, it's usually just an issue with image uploads, videos, status posts, or something similar. It's not common for the entire website to be offline.

To see if the site is down or just a single page, delete everything in the URL except for the domain name. For example, if the address of the problematic page is https://example.com/videos/pages/49156.html, enter just https://example.com into the URL field in your browser and press Enter on your keyboard.

If this URL works, then the site is working just fine; it's just the specific web page you're trying to reach that's down. It's also possible that the page has been permanently removed.

Access an Archived Version

If all or part of the site is down, you might be able to access an archived version. Check Google for a cached version of the page you're trying to view. If Google stored a copy of the web page in its cache, you can access it there even if the site is down.

If that doesn't work, try viewing the website on Wayback Machine, a service that stores web pages periodically for archival purposes.

The Website Isn't the Issue

If one or more down website detectors identified the site as being online, then the problem must be on your end. Unfortunately, troubleshooting why you're not able to view a functioning website is more complicated than dealing with a down site. There are a number of factors that can contribute to you not being able to view a website and the following steps, taken one by one, can help you diagnose the problem.

  1. Double-check the URL. Entering a malformed URL is one of the most common reasons for not being able to access a web page. The website might redirect to a different site or an error page, making it seem like the site is down when it's really not.

  2. Try opening the site on a different device that uses the same network. For example, if you first tried it on your laptop with your home's internet connection, try it on a family member's laptop using the same connection.

    If the site opens on the second device, you've confirmed that it's live but the first device you tried it on is unable to reach it for some reason. You now know to troubleshoot the initial device rather than your connection.

  3. Try the website in a different web browser. There might be add-ons or permissions enabled in the browser that are forcing the page to go down each time you try it.

    If the new browser lets you access the website, you might have to reinstall the other one, uninstall an extension or two, or reset the browser's settings. To confirm if you need to do those things, try the website in a fresh browser that you haven't customized.

  4. Restart the web browser by closing it and then reopening it. If you're on a tablet or phone, close the app completely before trying again.

    If the site is still down, restart your whole device.

  5. Delete the browser cache. There might be cached files that are interfering with your browser's ability to download fresh web pages.

  6. Use different DNS servers. The DNS server your device is using might have flagged the website as malicious or might have bad entries that deny you access to the site even though it's completely safe.

    There are several free DNS servers you can pick from to see if DNS is the reason the site is down for just you.

  7. Scan your computer for malware. A virus or other infection could be halting your access to the site if it's truly dangerous.

    However, some malware scanners report false positives, making the site appear to be down even though it's completely safe. If you suspect that this is happening, temporarily disable the antivirus software and see if the site works. If it does, you can try a different antivirus program in hopes that it won't block the site.

    Firewall software could also be to blame for a down website. Try a different firewall program if the one you're using doesn't let you make site-specific exceptions.

  8. Treat the site as a blocked site. For whatever reason, your network or device might be blocking the site, in which case trying to unblock it could be helpful.

    Some techniques for unblocking a website include some of the steps you've already tried, as well as new ones like disconnecting Wi-Fi to use a mobile network, using a VPN service, and running the site through a web proxy.

    If you find that the website is being blocked, talk with the network administrator to learn what you can do to keep it unblocked in the future.

  9. Restart your router. This is more of a solution for when no website will load or for when all websites are sluggish, but you can still try it in this scenario.

  10. Check with your internet service provider. At this point, you've done all that you can from your side, and the only thing left to do is ask your service provider if they're blocking the site or if they're having trouble accessing it, too.

They might be performing upgrades to the network that are interfering with certain sites. Or maybe there's been a system-wide failure that's knocked out access for a number of users, including you.