When a timely answer is not received from the server you are requesting while loading a web page or making another request from the browser, “The 504 Gateway Timeout” error is an HTTP status code that occurs.
In other words, 504 errors usually appear when a computer or a website is unresponsive for a specified period of time.
How is a 504 error displayed?
Individual sites are allowed to customize how they display the “gateway timeout” error, but here are the most common ways to display it:
- 504 Gateway Timeout
- HTTP 504
- 504 ERROR
- Gateway Timeout (504)
- HTTP Error 504 – Gateway Timeout
- Gateway Timeout Error
The “504 Gateway Timeout” error appears inside an internet browser window just like normal web pages, be it in the familiar headers and footers of the web page or a pretty English message appearing on the web page. Sometimes it shows up on a blank page with a big 504 number at the top of the page. Either way, it’s a “504 Gateway Timeout” error.
Also, please note that the “504 Gateway Timeout” error can appear in any internet browser, on any operating system, and on any device. This means you may get a “504 Gateway Timeout” error on your Android phone or tablet, iPhone, in Safari on a Mac, in Chrome on Windows 10 (or 8 or 7,…), and more.
What causes a “504 Gateway Timeout” error?
In most cases, a “504 Gateway Timeout” error means that any given server is taking too long to respond. It could be that the server is down or not working properly.
This error is usually a network error between servers on the internet or an issue with a real server; the problem may not be with your computer, device, or internet connection.
That means you can try a few things only in the following cases:
How to fix the “504 Gateway Timeout” error
- Try reloading the web page by clicking the refresh/reload button, pressing F5, or try re-entering the URL from the address bar. While the “504 Gateway Timeout” error is out of your control, it may only be temporary. Reloading the page is the quickest and easiest way to fix it.
- Restart all your network devices. Temporary problems with routers, modems, switches, or other network hardware may be causing the “504 Gateway Timeout” error you are seeing. Simply restarting these devices can help you fix this error.
- Check the proxy server settings in your browser or application and make sure they are working properly. Incorrect proxy settings can cause 504 errors.
Tip: Visit Proxy.org for an updated list of proxy servers. There are also some websites that provide a list of free proxy servers to download.
Note: Most computers don’t have proxy settings, so if you don’t have one, don’t worry, just skip this step.
- Change DNS servers. A “504 Gateway Timeout” error may occur due to a problem with the DNS server you are using.
Tip: Unless you have changed it before, the DNS servers that you have configured now are probably the ones assigned automatically by your ISP. Fortunately, there are several other DNS servers available for you to use.
Note: If not all of your network devices are getting an HTTP 504 error even though they’re all on the same network, changing the DNS server won’t help. If you encounter this situation, move on to the next section.
- If nothing else can be done at this point, contacting the website is probably the next thing to do. This is a good opportunity for site administrators to be able to fix the root cause of the “504 Gateway Timeout” error.
To support the service, most major sites have social media accounts, and you can find phone numbers and email addresses to contact.
Tip: If you find that you’re not the only one getting a 504 error, it’s often helpful to find information about a site outage on Twitter. The best way to do this is to search for #websitedown on Twitter. For example, if Facebook is down, search for #facebookdown.
- Contact your Internet Service Provider after trying everything and you see the “504 Gateway Timeout” error is caused by the ISP network.
- Try again after you have tried all the ways but the error “504 Gateway Timeout” is still not fixed. Check back often on the website as it should be back up soon.
Fix 504 errors on your own website
Again, this is not your fault or the user’s fault. Start by checking that your server can properly resolve all the domains your application requests access to.
A 504 error can be generated by excessive access, while a 503 error may be more accurate.
Specifically, in WordPress, the “504: Gateway Timeout” message is sometimes caused by a corrupt database. Install WP-DBManager and then try the “Repair DB” feature, followed by “Optimize DB” and see if it helps. Also, make sure your HTACCESS file is fine, especially if you just reinstalled WordPress.
Finally, consider contacting the host company. It’s possible that the 504 error your site is getting is due to their problem, and they’ll have to deal with it.
Other ways that the 504 error can show up
Windows Update’s Gateway Timeout error produces the error code 0x80244023 or the message WU E PT HTTP STATUS GATEWAY TIMEOUT.
In Windows-based programs that access the internet on their own, a 504 error may show up in a small dialog box or window with an HTTP_STATUS_GATEWAY_TIMEOUT error and/or with the message “The request was timed out waiting for a gateway”.
A less common 504 error is “Gateway Time-out: The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server”, but troubleshooting is the same as above.
Still can’t fix the 504 error?
If you have read all the advice above but are still getting the “504 Gateway Timeout error” error when accessing a certain website, please contact us via social media or via email, post to support forums technical, etc.
Before that, make sure it’s an HTTP 504 error and state what you’ve done to fix the problem. If there are specific web pages involved or specific steps that encounter an error, you should also specify.
Errors similar to “504 Gateway Timeout”
Some of the error messages are similar to “504 Gateway Timeout” because they all appear on the server side. A few include 500 Internal Server errors, 502 Bad Gateway errors, 503 Service Unavailable errors, and more.
There are also HTTP status codes that are not server-side but rather client-side, like the common 404 Not Found error.
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