What does “Server IP address could not be found” mean?
You usually encounter the “Server IP address could not be found” error if a domain name you entered doesn’t match an Internet Protocol address (IP address).
When you type a domain name into the address bar on your browser, a DNS server attempts to find a corresponding IP address for the server of the website you want to visit. Since a server may not be using a static IP address, this information can change over time. If the DNS fails to find the right IP address, you’ll receive an error message: “Server IP address could not be found” or “failed to obtain IP address.”
If a server IP address cannot be found, there are a few likely reasons for this:
- The website you’re trying to reach is down.
- The DNS server is storing old, out-of-date IP addresses, and needs to have its cache cleared.
- The DNS server is down, or malfunctioning in some way.
- You are using an old or incorrect domain name.
With the exception of the last option — an incorrect domain name — there is nothing you can do to resolve these issues. The problem lies with the website server, or with the DNS server. However, while these are the most common causes, the error may sometimes be the result of problems in your browser or device, and you can fix these issues using the tips below.
How to fix the “Server IP address could not be found” error
To resolve a “Server IP address could not be found” error, try the following fixes. Bear in mind that these will only work if the problem lies with your hardware or software, and not with the website or DNS servers.
Check your internet connection
While it seems obvious, double-check that your internet is connecting properly. It may appear that you are online, but if your ISP is reporting outages in your area, that is what could be causing the issue. If your internet is persistently disconnected, try rebooting your router.
Clear your browsing data and cache
Your browser saves information about websites you’ve visited previously to make loading them faster in the future. However, if this cached data is out of date, it could be causing the error. Try clearing your browser cache on Chrome:
- Open the dropdown menu at the top-right corner of the browser, marked with three dots.
- Open the “History” menu and click “History.”
- Click “Clear browsing data.”
- Check all boxes and click “Clear data.”
Restart Google Chrome
If the problem lies with your browser, try closing the Google Chrome browser completely, and then restart the browser.
Check your proxy settings
If you are using a proxy server, make sure that the proxy itself is working, and check your proxy settings. This process will vary depending on your operating system, but you will have the option to turn your proxy off and on, disable and enable its “Automatically detect” settings, and even set specific domains for which the proxy can be bypassed.
Check your network adapter settings
Windows users will sometimes run into connection errors as a result of an out-of-date network adapter. To update your adapter and check that it is working properly, follow these steps:
- Open the “Start” menu in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen and search for “Device manager.”
- Open the “Network adapters” menu.
- Click “Network adapter” > “Update driver software.”
- Click “Search automatically for updated driver software.”
- If updates are available, accept them and restart your device to complete the process.
Restart your VPN
VPNs occasionally result in connection errors. This could happen because the website you’re trying to reach doesn’t want you to use a VPN, or because the VPN server you were using is temporarily down or overloaded with traffic. Select a new server to try and resolve the problem.
Refresh the DNS Client service
Windows systems have their own DNS Client service built into them, to help with DNS cache and IP lookup processes. Try restarting this service to fix the error:
- Press “Win” + “R” on your keyboard.
- Input “services.msc” in the text field and click “Enter.”
- Select your DNS Client service and click “Stop.”
- Right-click your DNS Client service and click “Start” to complete the reset.
Reset IPv4 settings
As a final resort, you may wish to reset your IPv4 (internet protocol version 4) connection.
If you use the Windows 10 or 11, you can rest your IPv4 connection with the following steps:
- Type “ipconfig /release” and press “Enter.”
- Type “ipconfig /flushdns” and press “Enter.”
- Type “ipconfig /renew” and press “Enter.”
- Type “netsh int ip reset” and press “Enter.”
- Type “netsh winsock reset” and press “Enter.”
If you use the macOS, you can reset your IPv4 connection with the following steps:
- Open the “Apple” menu at the top right-hand corner of the screen.
- Click “System preferences” > “Network.”
- Select your “Connected” internet connection and click “Advanced.”
- Click “TCP/IP” > “Renew DHCP lease.”
- Click “OK” to complete the process.
Use Windows Network Diagnostics
You can also ask Windows to troubleshoot the problem for you:
- Press “Win” + “R” on your keyboard.
- Type “Control panel.”
- Click “Network and internet” > “Network and sharing center” > “Troubleshoot problems.”
- Click “Internet connections” and follow the on-screen instructions as Windows tries to assess and resolve your connection issues.
Is the “Server IP address could not be found” problem persisting?
If you have tried all of the steps listed above and none of them are working, the most likely answer is that the error message is not being caused by your browser or OS.
The website you are trying to reach is probably down, or a DNS server is having problems finding the right IP address automatically.
In both cases, the best thing to do is to wait for a while and try again at regular intervals. An administrator might flush DNS cache data from the problematic server, or the website might come back online. Either way, patience is your best option.
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