If you’re a Chrome user and are seeing ‘Error 3xx (net::ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS’ or ‘This webpage has a redirect loop – ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS’, you’re not alone. This happens often and can be temporary or permanent depending on the URL you’re visiting and the specific cause of the problem.
This tutorial will walk you through everything you need to know about the too many redirects error in Google Chrome.
HTTP redirects are a method for a website to point your browser to a different page instead of the one linked. This could be because of maintenance, the page has moved or for other reasons. For example, a company might change its domain name and redirect the website at the old domain to the website using the new domain.
Chrome can cope with up to 20 redirects without giving the error but once that threshold is broken, it will throw the ‘ERR_TOO_MANY_REDIRECTS’ error.
The transaction goes something like this:
- The browser sends a GET message to the web server
- The server responds with a 3xx message with the redirected URL
- The browser acknowledges the message and goes to the new address
- The browser loads the website
Chrome can cope with up to 20 of these redirects at once with no problem. If there are more than that, you see the error.
A redirect loop is where the browser is sent to a redirected URL which directs it back to the original URL, which redirects it again and so on. This is surprisingly easy to do as a website administrator. I’ll show you what you can do if you see the too many redirects error in Google Chrome.
Too many redirects as a visitor
If you’re visiting the website, you can clear your browser cache and cookies.
- Open Chrome
- Select the Chrome pull-down menu at the top
- Select Clear Browsing Data from the pull-down menu
- Select checkbox next to Cached Messages and Files
- Then click Clear Data
Now retry the URL that gave the error. You should now be able to browse the website.
If that doesn’t work try another browser. If another browser works but Chrome does not try this:
chrome://extensionsin the Chrome address bar
- Hit Enter
- Try disabling your extensions one at a time, retesting website after disabling each one
Make sure to just disable one before retesting otherwise you won’t know which one was causing the issue. The goal is to see if you can isolate the cause of the problem to a specific Chrome extension.
Too many redirects as a website administrator
If you manage or run the website, you have work to do. You have a redirect set somewhere that is either looping or repeating itself too many times. Let’s find out which redirects are looping back so you can resolve the problem on the administrative backend of your website.
- Navigate to Redirect-checker and type in your URL
- Select analyze to see what is redirecting and to where
- Identify those redirects that loop back to themselves
- Change the looping redirects through the administrative interface for your website
“Change the looping redirects through the administrative interface for your website” may sound a little loose but the exact method depends on what platform your website uses. For example, in WordPress, you could be using a redirect plugin or need to modify your .htaccess file. In Joomla you could be using Redirect Manager, in Magento, you would use the Rewrite Management tool. You get the idea.
All you need to do is identify the redirect causing the problem then fix the problem in whatever platform you use to administer your site, referring to your platform and hosting company’s documentation for guidance.
Once you’ve fixed the problem, retest the links thoroughly to make sure the fix worked as expected.
There are different types of redirects, all with codes beginning with 3xx.
- 301 – Page moved permanently.
- 302 – Web page temporarily unavailable.
- 303 – Used to redirect after a PUT or a POST to prevent a refresh of the page.
- 307 – Web page temporarily unavailable for something planned. Successor to 302 redirects for HTTP 1.1.
- 308 – Permanent redirect for other reason.
- 300 – Special redirect that isn’t used very often.
- 304 – Special redirect indicating a cache refresh for cached web pages.
Why redirects are used
There are lots of legitimate reasons to use redirects and you would be amazed at just how often they are used. The most common reason for using a redirect is when you’re moving the page to a new host or URL. If you have worked a lot on your SEO, you don’t want to lose it all when you move a page.
Instead, you use a 301 redirect to tell browsers and search engines your page has moved. This still gets visitors to the page and retains all the SEO benefit you earned.
A 302 or 307 redirect is useful if you’re testing the page or updating it to conform to style or new technology. If the URL structure is going to remain identical, you only need to add a temporary redirect before publishing the page for real.
Redirects are very useful for managing a website without losing SEO juice or visitors. They do require care and testing but can be a very useful tool.
If you have any suggestions for ways to handle too many redirects, please comment below.