What does server cannot be found mean on Safari?

Modified Nov. 3, 2023, 8:44 p.m.


Sometimes when you want to go to a specific website in Safari on your iPhone or Mac, an error will appear saying that Safari can’t find the server. I’ll tell you what it means and how to fix it.

Safari cannot open the page because the server cannot be found. It means that the server linked with the domain name of the web page you are trying to open cannot be reached by your computer or smartphone, or does not exist at all. I’ll explain all of this better, keeping the explanation simple. But the first thing to check is if the URL you are trying to reach is correct.

The domain name and web server

A domain name is the first part of the URL of the website, for example on our site here the domain name is techbrowser.com. But a domain name by itself is not useful, the main purpose of it is to provide a human-readable address for a website.

But a website is always stored on a specific server. As a server has an IP address, something like, we could use only IP addresses to reach the websites. But it’s quite difficult to remember and use these IP addresses. That’s why the domain names exist.

A domain name is redirecting you to the web server containing the website you are looking for.


For your mac or iOS device to know to which server a domain name is linked, it will request a domain name server, a DNS. Your device will send a request to this DNS, asking if the domain name you are trying to reach is known and to which web server you need to send a request.

The DNS is replying to your device with information about the web server, or an error telling you that the domain name is not known or not linked to any web server.

The meaning of the error Server cannot be found

The error Server cannot be found means that the domain name you are trying to reach is not linked with any IP address. There is nothing behind the domain name, no server to send the requests.

Safari, like any web browser, needs to know the server’s IP address to request the webpage, but in this case, it cannot. So the error Server cannot be found is shown.

How to fix it

1. Check your network connectivity

It can be an issue on your side, check your network and try to restart any network device you have at home.

2. Try on a different connection

Your internet connection can have an issue because of your ISP. Try with a different connection, like your mobile connection to see if you can reach the webpage.

3. Restart your device

Restarting your device will reset the network settings and therefore might fix the issue. Restart your iOS device or Mac and try to reach the webpage again.

4. Check the URL

The most frequent issue is a typo mistake when you wrote the URL. Check the URL and domain name to be sure there are no mistakes.

The difference with the error cannot connect to server

redirecting you to a server that Safari cannot find. There are many possibilities :

  1. The web server storing the website is down
  2. Your Mac or iOS device cannot reach the server because of a connectivity issue

If the web server is down, there is nothing to do on your side. You can only wait for the website to fix the issue. Just wait and try again later.

But it might be a connectivity issue on your side, here are some things to check.

How to fix the error cannot connect to server

1. Are you connected to the internet?

Check your connectivity, and try to reach other websites or anything else that requires internet. If you’re not connected to the internet then Safari won’t be able to reach any server.

2. Try a different network connection

The issue can be on your ISP side. If you are connected to the WiFi, try the mobile connection or the other way. If only the WiFi is not working, you can try to restart your network device.

3. Disconnect to VPN or Proxy

If you are using a VPN or a Proxy, disconnect from it. These are changing the network route used to reach the website, therefore there might be an issue with it.

4. Restart your device

Restarting your computer or iOS device will reset all the network configurations and might help to fix the issue. Try to restart your device and try again to reach the website.

5. Use a VPN

If the issue is not on your side, a VPN might fix the issue. A specific post would be needed to explain it clearly, but as it changes the network route used to reach the website, you might be able to reach it using a VPN.



Maxime Levesque is a technical engineer with more than 5 years of professional experience. He is an expert in computer and phones, mostly on Apple products. Maxime is also the founder of TechBrowser.

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