Website not loading? Try Down Detector, the Wayback Machine, or a VPN


Nothing can disrupt your surfing rhythm more than a website that doesn’t load. You stare at the blank, white wall of your screen and wonder, “Is that it?” Fortunately, there are a few different ways to make the website work together.

Sometimes websites won’t load because of a problem with your system. Tap or click here to find out if a website crashed due to an error on your side. However, that is not always the case.

If a website still won’t load, you can try a few different methods. Here are four ways to get over the dreaded “404” message and get to the content you want to see.

1. Try the Downward Detector

Sometimes the problem lies with the website itself. To see who is responsible for a stubborn web page, go to Down detector. This site provides real-time monitoring of outages.

When a web service gives you trouble, enter its name in Downdetector’s search bar. You will find out if their services are not available.

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Downdetecor also shows an overview of outage reports and a collection of social media posts from users complaining about an outage. This site keeps its finger on the pulse of internet outages. Be sure to bookmark for help the next time a site doesn’t load in your browser.

2. Clear your cache

Google Cache is a great way to quickly view the page you want to see. To access it, enter the name of the site or the specific page you want to load into the search engine. Once you find the result on the search page, go to the right side and click on the three vertical dots on the side.

Click on that and a new box will appear. At the bottom you will see an option called Cached. Click It.

You just opened the webpage. Look for the cache option in your browser when a webpage doesn’t load. Or you can try this next strategy.

3. Try this handy trick with the Wayback Machine

You have probably heard of this site. It’s a digital archive of the Internet that started in 1996. If you’re still having trouble accessing a site, look it up on the wayback machine to see if anyone else has archived it in the past.

It may seem like a long shot, but it’s worth a try. Look up the article or website in a search engine to use this trick. Then copy the URL of the result, like so:

Then go to the wayback machine and enter the URL you just copied. If you’re lucky, someone else archived that page!

4. If all else fails, try a VPN!

Maybe the problem isn’t with the site’s server or your connection. It could just be your IP address. Some content is limited by location, so try a VPN to change your IP address.

When it comes to VPNs, there’s one we recommend more than any other: our sponsor, ExpressVPN.

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