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How to fix ‘cannot parse response’ error in Safari?

Safari is one of the major browsers still left standing after Chrome’s massive market domination. While it does carve out its own niche, there are still things that it gets wrong and running into random bugs or glitches still isn’t something surprising. 

In this article, we’re taking a look at how to fix Safari’s “cannot parse response” error and the causes behind the problem.

Also read: How to enable Desktop Mode in Safari on iOS 14?


What causes this error?

The error essentially means that Safari cannot parse the URL response that it’s getting from the website. That can happen due to a number of reasons including

  • Corrupt browser cache
  • Outdated browser version
  • Conflicting programs

How to fix this?

Here are seven fixes you can try out. 

Restart your PC or router

Restarting your network equipment, such as your router or PC, can help freshen things up a bit, resolving this error in the process. Make sure you also have an active internet connection before you try again. 

What is the difference between a 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz WiFi Frequencies?
Photo by Misha Feshchak

Refresh the page

The solution to many errors on the internet is simply refreshing the page you’re visiting. Refreshing the page can also help refresh the ongoing web traffic, which can resolve the error.


Clear cookies and cache from Safari

A corrupt cookie or cache can cause all sorts of issues on a browser, including Safari, here’s how you can remove all cookies and cache to see if that resolves the error. 

Here’s how to clear your browser data on a Mac.

Step 1: Open Safari, click the Safari menu and select Preferences.

Step 2: Open the Privacy tab and click the Manage Website Data button. 

Step 3: Select the problematic website and click Remove. 

If you’re on an iPhone, follow these steps. 

How to fix 'Safari Can't Find Server' issue?
  • Tap on Safari.
  • Scroll down and tap on Clear History and Website Data.
  • Then confirm by tapping on Clear History and Data.

Update Safari

Next up, check to make sure that Safari is up to date. While the browser should automatically keep itself updated, there’s a chance that the error may have caused it to drop back a few versions. If that’s the case, updating your browser can help.


Disable extensions

Disabling extensions from the Preferences menu and then enabling them again one at a time until the error pops up again is a somewhat effective way of singling out any extensions that may be causing the problem.


Modify DNS Settings

Your iPhone (and Mac) uses automatic DNS settings to resolve the internet addresses you input into IP addresses for websites. If there’s an issue with these DNS servers or settings your browser can get unreadable responses.

Here’s how you can change your DNS settings on an iPhone.

How to fix 'Safari Can't Find Server' issue?
  • Tap on Wi-Fi.
  • Then tap on the ‘i’ button beside the connected WiFi network.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the next page and tap on Configure DNS.
  • On the next page, tap on Manual and then on Add Server.

You can then add one of the following DNS servers to your network on your iPhone and iPad and see if this fixes the error.

DNS NamePrimary AddressSecondary Address
Google8.8.8.88.8.4.4
Yandex77.88.8.877.88.8.1
Cloudflare1.1.1.11.0.0.1
FreeDNS37.253.1.17437.253.1.177

Reset Safari

If nothing else works, you will have to reset Safari and start from scratch. All you have to do is head to the Preferences menu and select the Reset Safari option. This will remove all the data stored in your browser and resolve your problem. 

Also read: How to use the new Safari browser on macOS Big Sur?

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