How to Solve Error 522 – CloudFlare Connection Timeout

Whether you are a web hosting service provider, a web developer, or the owner of a website, CloudFlare might be essential to your business. For the unaware, CloudFlare is among the leading Content Delivery Network (CDN) available today, which makes it essentially important to everyone whose business is directly connected to the internet. Being a widely used service, the most common problem with CloudFlare that many users face is how to fix error 522.

The CloudFlare error 522 is “connection timed out error”, which means that the server is unable to reach and connect with the origin web server. There are several reasons that could result in the CloudFlare error 522, some of the commons ones are listed below:
  • The origin server is experiencing heavy traffic, which could take a long time to respond.
  • The requests sent by CloudFlare are being blocked by the origin web server (firewall).
  • There is a problem with the IP address set in the DNS settings of the origin server.
  • A network routing issue between the origin web server and CloudFlare.
Note: The Error 522 that you may come across when browsing the internet is related to the server-side. This means that the Google Chrome error 522 is not actually caused by the browser, but the website itself. So if you are looking for a way on how to fix error 522 Chrome, this solution should work for you too.

How to Fix Error 522 – Website Admin

Step 1: Decrease the Server load

Too many visitors at once can result in the origin server dropping requests, thus causing the connection to time out. The first course of action is to check that the server is not overloaded, by running command “w” on the command line.

Depending on the hardware and software installed on the machine, a load average should be more or less within 10 – 20. If your load average exceeds 20, it means your server is overloaded and you need to contact your hosting provider about it.

Step 2: Create Firewall exceptions that could be blocking requests

In most cases, an installed firewall plugin, or a rate-limiter can block important IPs, causing different connection timeout errors. Make sure that you add CloudFlare IPs in iptables, .htaccess, and to your firewall as well.

As explained in CloudFlare’s official blog post, all the requests that are sent through CloudFlare come through a handful of IP addresses. Firewall and rate-limiting plugins can often be triggered by this, thus blocking all requests from their server. Make sure you all of the IPs mentioned here are whitelisted by your hosting service provider.

Step 3: Update or Disable web plugins

In some cases, certain plugins related to security and optimization can also cause error 552. WordPress plugins can cause certain pages to not properly load, thus sending incorrect information to the CloudFlare server.

Plugins like WHM and CPanel are also known to block server requests sent by CloudFlare, due to the IP conflict that has been mentioned earlier. In order to know how to fix error 522, make sure you disable such plugins, or add CloudFlare IPs to the exceptions.

How to Fix Error 522 – Website Visitor

If you are looking for a way on how to fix error 522 that you encountered while surfing the web, there is a good chance that it is a back-end issue. However, there are cases when DNS conflicts have been known to cause CloudFlare error 522 when a particular visitor tries to access the website.

A well-known method to fix error 522 from the website visitor end is by flushing the DNS cache.

Step 1: Open the Command Prompt menu (Terminal on Mac OSX)

In Windows, click on the Start icon at the bottom-left corner of the screen and type “command prompt”. You can also open Run and type in “cmd” to access Command Prompt.

Mac users can click on Applications on the top utility bar of the screen, click on Utilities, and double click on Terminal to open it.

Step 2: Type in the command to flush DNS server cache

Windows users (all versions) must type in “ipconfig /flushdns” and press enter to successfully flush DDNS cache from the computer. Depending on the running version of Windows, you should receive a message “Windows IP configuration successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.”

Mac OS 10.10 users must type in “sudo discoveryutil mdnsflushcache” into the Terminal command line, whereas Mac OS 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 should enter “sudo killall -HUP mDNSResponder” into the command line. If this method does not work, your only hope is to contact the website admin and inform them about the connection timeout error.

Flushing your DNS cache could help you connect the website which has been giving you the error 522. Here is a video to help you flush DNS cache on your Windows PC:
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