Chrome's Offline Cache Mode uses cached files automatically to fix "This webpage is not available" errors

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 22, 2013
Updated • Apr 22, 2013
Google Chrome

I think we have all been in a situation where a website that we are currently browsing becomes unavailable from one moment to the next. This can happen when an article goes viral for instance and a multitude of the average user count starts accessing the website at the same time. It can also happen if the site is moving to new servers, having hardware issues, experiencing a DOS-attack, when the site has been banned or blocked in the country you are living, and and and..

Most web browsers display an error page of sorts when a website cannot be reached at any given time. The Chrome web browser displays a "This webpage is not available" error page with options to reload the page or click on the more button to retrieve additional information. Reloading may help if the connection error was just a flux, but most of the time it may take minutes, hours and sometimes even days before a site comes back to life.

If you have visited the website before you can retrieve some of the information from Chrome's cache. That's a manual process though and not really something that works too well in most cases.

this webpage is not available error

Google has started to implement a new experimental feature into Canary versions of the web browser that adds an Offline Cache Mode to it. The feature, when enabled, tries to complete the request by displaying the cached version of a page in the browser to the user. As noted before, this works only if the page has been visited before and not if it is a brand new page or site that you never visited before in your life (or since the last clearing of the browser cache).

To activate the new feature do the following:

  • Make sure you are running the latest version of Google Chrome Canary. Check for updates with a click on the menu button in the top right corner and the selection of About Google Chrome.
  • If you are running the latest version, type chrome://flags in to the address bar and hit the enter key.
  • Locate the following entry on the page:

Enable Offline Cache Mode Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android. Reads from web resources when the source is unavailable will be satisfied from available stale cache entries.

offline cache mode

  • Click on the Enable link underneath it and restart the browser afterwards.

The Offline Cache Mode feature is now activated and will spring in to action automatically when a website cannot be accessed in the Chrome browser. The feature will make its way down in to all other Chrome editions eventually. (via Francois)


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  1. Kenneth said on February 26, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Deborah,

    First of all, you need to make sure that you Administrative User or logged in to Administrator’s account.

    Try disabling the UAC (required Administrator’s right).


  2. Deborah said on January 19, 2015 at 11:22 am

    I am Sight Impair here .
    I have several problem with Google Chrome here
    1- Only at times will it open up to my Emails ,FaceBook. I don’t us it much But I use it more for keeping in touch with Family Members ,,It even refuses to open properly to let me go to YouTube or play game on MSN here
    I tried to remove it to redownload it ..It’s refusing this do to something to do with this Adminstrator on it
    And the Google Chrome tends to change here
    Can please me fix from your end please
    I don’t know how to do this . And as I said I am almost Blind
    Thankyou would be greatful for your help

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 19, 2015 at 12:18 pm

      Deborah, it is difficult to analyze what is wrong without looking at your computer directly. My first suggestion is to try another browser just to see how it goes. You could try Firefox which you can download over at, Internet Explorer which is built-in if you are using Windows, or Opera which you can download from

      Another thing that may help you is to increase the text size on websites you visit. You can do so by holding down CTRL on the keyboard and using the mousewheel or alternatively instead of the mousewheel the plus and minus keys on the keyboard.

      1. Deborah said on January 20, 2015 at 1:34 am

        I tried to remove Google Chrome here ..But it’s refusing me .Says I need permission from Adminstrator .Now how do I do this .
        Please reply ASAP

  3. Ghulam Murtaza said on September 28, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    Display an error

  4. umer said on July 10, 2013 at 12:15 am

    this is amazing feature think of situation where you had guideliness somewhere online and your internet crashes due to whatever reason or drama you can still hopefully access that page and complete your work.

    Or when you need to look at a reference for something and you dont have connection but you still can go to their site and visit the page you skimmed cause you thought you got it.

  5. ilev said on April 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    I would preferred an option to display latest Archived pages.

  6. Rick said on April 22, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    WOW – what an absolutely useless feature (for me anyways). If I like an article that much, I’ll pdf it or take notes from it.

    The only reason I go to a site is for new content which caching can’t help with. And don’t most of us have the cache located in ram to keep our SSDs from constant reading and writing of web content? :)

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on April 22, 2013 at 2:20 pm

      Rick, it can help for pages that are updated dynamically. Think a comment heavy thread on Reddit that you are halfway through, reload, to find out that it won’t load.

      1. Rick said on April 22, 2013 at 2:29 pm

        I guess … maybe I haven’t suffered this because I’m not a Reddit fan. The only time I have run into an issue is when a sites database crashes and to be honest, no article is that important that it can’t wait or isn’t available in some form at another site.

        Sometimes I wish the browsers would stick to their main purpose. Adding this, removing that, oh here’s a new feature that no one really needs. Stick to making a secure speed-browser thank you!

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