Have you been hit with the dreadful ‘The proxy server is refusing connections’ error on your Firefox browser lately? This error is mostly seen on either Mozilla’s Firefox browser, or occasionally on the anonymity offering TOR browser.
There can be multiple reasons behind why the webpage that you are trying to access won’t open without a hassle. It can be adware or malware, an error in your LAN settings or Firefox’s proxy settings itself. It is also possible that the webpage/website is itself at fault, and in that case, I can’t help you.
Let’s take a look at some solutions and methods that will help you fix the proxy server connection error.
1. LAN Proxy Settings
To check LAN proxy settings on Windows 10, hit the Windows button on your keyboard and type Configure Proxy Server before hitting the Enter key. That will open a pop-up window for Internet Properties.
Under Connections, click on LAN Settings to check if your system is using any proxy settings under the Proxy server heading. If yes, you will see an IP address. Uncheck the option and save everything.
Reboot your computer and launch Firefox to check if the site loads correctly or not.
2. Firefox Proxy Settings
If the LAN settings are set to the required parameters, check if your browser’s proxy settings have been altered. Press on the ALT key to view additional browser options, click on Tools, and select Options.
Click on Advanced in the left sidebar. Under the Network tab to the right, click on Settings next to Configure how Firefox connects to the Internet.
That is where you can manage your proxy settings. It should be set to No proxy by default. On some browsers, it can also be set to Use system proxy settings which should work fine if your LAN proxy settings are set correctly in Step 1 above. To be on the safe side, set it to No proxy.
Click on OK. Restart Firefox to check if you are still getting the proxy server error.
3. Proxy Files in Registry
At times you can trace the ‘The proxy server is refusing connection’ error back to leftover proxy files in the Windows Registry. To edit the registry, hit the Windows key and type regedit before hitting enter. This should open file explorer.
You will have to navigate to the following folder. Check out the folder path:
If you see any files with the word proxy in its name, delete it. I would recommend you to take a backup first in case things go haywire. No need to reboot the system for this step and you can restart Firefox.
4. Reset Network Settings
This one is worth a try even though it is not precisely a Firefox-specific solution. If the site you are trying to load is not working on any other browser like Chrome and Safari, then you should try and reset network settings.
If the site is loading fine on Chrome but not on Firefox or Quantum, then you may skip this step.
To reset network settings, open the run command prompt and run the following commands one by one.
netsh int reset all
netsh int ip reset
netsh winsock reset
netsh winhttp reset proxy
These commands will reset your network proxy settings to their default values.
5. Fix a Hijacked Router
Consider yourself lucky if Firefox works fine after following the above steps until you reboot your computer. If that is the case with you, then there is a possibility that an unwanted malware or software is misbehaving. It is force-changing the settings at reboot.
A simple way to test this theory is to reboot your PC, launch Firefox browser, and check for any changes in the proxy settings to explore if it still shows No proxy. In case the settings are different, then there is a possibility that a rogue software or code is forcing that on your computer. Don’t worry. There’s an easy way to find out whether your computer is infected or not.
Enter MiniToolBox from Bleeping Computer. Download this small but useful software and run it. There is no need to install it.
Click on Select All to find proxy errors on all installed browsers including Firefox. The software will take a few moments to diagnose and create a Notepad file with a detailed report on its findings. You can choose to save the generated report.
In the report, you will spot whether or not proxy settings were found to be enabled or not and if yes, what software is causing it.
6. Adware Issues
There are two types of ads. The ones that are intrusive and we don’t like viewing them because it deteriorates our user experience while surfing the web. The other ones seem alright and help us discover new, exciting stuff.
Adware belongs to the third category. Their objective is to download ads and banners, and sometimes bad lines of codes, to your browser or system and wreak havoc. Maybe, you got hit with one of them.
The trusted team behind Malwarebytes has developed the AdwCleaner. So download it, install it, and run it to examine if your computer is infected. If yes, AdwCleaner will suggest remedies and steps. For the most part, it will take care of the situation on its own. AdwCleaner is free to download and use, and it is not ad-supported.
7. Disruptive Tech
Another common problem can be malware. These are software designed to disrupt and gain access to your computer — could be a virus, trojan, or spyware. Once again, we will look no further than Malwarebytes to resolve the issue.
The free version of Malwarebytes is good enough and should be able to resolve proxy server connection error in no time. Malwarebytes is free to download. Install and run it to check if any of the malicious plugins, virus or trojans were hiding in your computer.
Don’t Take No for an Answer
If your browser tells you no when you visit a webpage and throws up an error, don’t just sit there cursing it. Switching browsers every time you come across this error is not a solution. Take matters into your own hands and try one of the above solutions to figure out which one resolves the proxy server connection error.
As noted above, there can be many factors involved like network settings, browser settings, adware, malware, trojan, and so on. Go through each step one-by-one until you can find the right solution to fix the error.
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Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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