Why does my browser hang or display a connection failed message?

Answered By: Geraldine O'Beirn
Last Updated: Aug 01, 2017     Views: 94

Assuming there is no known temporary problem with the resource you are trying to access - for service interruption notices see Library Blog or Information Services Status of Key Services (links below)

it is likely to be caused by something in your local PC, Device or Browser setup. These often fall into one of the following categories:


Firewall problems often present themselves as hanging web pages which often eventually result in a connectivity error from your browser. If you are behind an organisational firewall try testing access to the same resource from a PC outside of any organisational firewall, and if necessary temporarily disable any PC local firewall via your own PC's firewall configurations. (Note that most personal home PCs/laptops do not by default have local firewalls configured).

Browser popups

Browsers can have various settings which affect access to e-resource pages. Pop-up blockers are one of the more common causes of access problems. You may typically see inactivity after clicking a button/link which should normally open a new window. Sometimes you may notice a security notification message in your browser’s information bar when this happens. To avoid pop-up errors add * as a trusted site in your browser's pop-up settings.

Browser PDF handling

Each browser has its own settings to control how PDFs open from a web page, see Troubleshoot viewing PDF files link below to help you configure your browser.


Note:  A good way to confirm whether or not your problem is caused by your local PC setup would be to test access from a different browser and/or PC outside of any firewalls.


If you need further help with PC/browser configuration please contact IT Service Desk on the ground floor of the McClay Library.


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