What is a 504 Gateway Timeout Error and How to Fix It

The 504 Gateway Timeout is an error that’s related to the website’s servers. We’ve selected some of the most effective ways to deal with the issue and have presented them in this text.

Receiving an error when using a computer is a common occurrence nowadays. There could be a number of reasons why that would happen. Some of them are related specifically to the user’s computer, while others could be caused by an external source. The 504 Gateway Timeout error belongs to the latter group of errors. It’s an HTTP status code which essentially means that the computer which sends the signal to the website isn’t communicating right. The error usually appears when a user is visiting a website. In most cases, the problem revolves around faulty communication between the server and the computer.

How Is the Error Displayed?

People who run the website may choose how they want to display this error to the users. Each website tries to individualize the 504 Gateway Timeout error by giving it a new format. The most common way of displaying this error is either 504 Gateway Timeout or HTTP 504.

The error usually shows up in the user’s browser window and it mimics the look of any other web page. The websites where the error appears often include their own headers and logos somewhere in the corner. For example, Reddit personalizes the 504 Gateway Timeout error by adding a funny message and their logo next to it. On the other hand, some websites don’t even bother with it. They just paste the error code on a white background and that’s it.

Keep in mind that any browser (Chrome, Safari, Opera) and operating system (Win 7, Win 10, etc.) can display the 504 Gateway Timeout error. Moreover, tablets and smartphones and their operating systems (Android and iOS) could also receive this error. Therefore, the error is quite universal, so to speak.

What Causes the 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

As its name suggests, the 504 Gateway Timeout error means that the servers are taking too long to respond. As a result, it causes the connection to time out which leads to the aforementioned error. The error is network-related, and it’s rarely the case that the problem is the user’s computer or internet connection.

However, there are a couple of things that the user can do in case this error appears. We’ll discuss them in the following section.

How to Fix the 504 Gateway Timeout Error

After scouring the internet for valid methods and doing a bit of a research, we’ve come up with 7 possible methods of dealing with the 504 Gateway Timeout error.

Reload the Web Page

The first and the simplest solution that comes to our minds is to reload the web page. The 504 Gateway Timeout error is an issue that’s beyond the user’s control. The issue might be only temporary, so it’s a good idea to hit the refresh button and see what happens. The user can either click the Refresh icon in their browsers or hit the F5 key on their keyboards. Both ways will do the same thing. In addition, the user can try typing in the URL again in a new tab.

Restart the Network Device

Network modems and adapters are known to cause issues like these in certain situations. The user can try to reset all networking devices in their home. When turning the devices back on, make sure that you turn them from the outside-in. That means that users should turn the devices in order, starting with the modem and then gradually moving on to the router, etc. On the other hand, the order in which the users turn these devices off is not important.

Adjust the Proxy Settings

Another useful thing to do is to check whether the proxy settings are set properly. The users should consult Proxy.org in order to access the information about the available servers. Keep in mind that many computers don’t have these settings. If the user’s PC is missing the proxy settings, it means that they’re not needed. In such cases, this step isn’t mandatory.

Change the DNS Server

Changing the DNS Servers that you’re using might fix at least half of the Timeout errors that can happen. We think that this step is important, so we advise checking these settings to see if they are correct. The user’s local ISP usually sets and configures DNS Servers. In most cases, everything works well, and there’s no need to change anything. However, when errors such as the 504 Gateway Timeout error happen, the DNS Server might be the culprit.

There are various lists of public DNS servers online which have been put there in order to help users. Simply choosing one of the servers there should do the job. However, changing the DNS Server shouldn’t be done if only one device (from the network of devices) is experiencing the issue. In that case, something else is causing the problem.

Contact the Website

Contacting the website where the error appears is also a valid option. Since their website is the one displaying the error, they might be the ones to fix it as well. The user could either look up the website’s social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Alternatively, phone numbers and email addresses can be used to contact them and inquire about the problem.

If the user can’t contact the website owners, then searching online might be the best bet. For example, Twitter allows you to use tags to find what you’re looking for. Users often use it to search for information about the status of the websites (for instance, #YouTubedown).

Contact The Internet Service Provider

If nothing worked so far, try contacting your Internet Service Provider. They might be doing some maintenance or updating the service. Alternatively, they might be experiencing some downtime or a power outage. Contacting them is the only way to be sure though, so it’s a good idea to do it.

Wait It Out

The only thing left to do is to simply wait it out. At this point, the users don’t have any other options, so they should check back after a while. The issue will probably be resolved when they check back.

How to Fix 504 Error on the Website That You Own

The first thing to do here is to check whether the server can deal with the domains that apps require. In these situations, heavy traffic is often the main culprit, hence the error.

To deal with these issues, WordPress users can use WP-DBManager to try to repair the corrupt data. In addition, checking whether HTACCESS file has the correct input is also a sound advice.

If all else fails, contacting the website host is most likely to resolve the issue because the problem might be coming from them.

Other Instances of 504 Gateway Timeout Error

Windows Update system is also one of the potential culprits that cause this error. When the error appears during an update, either of the following messages shows up:

  • The proxy server did not receive a timely response from the upstream server.

These situations rarely happen. However, let’s not exclude the possibility of them happening.

Is the 504 Error Persistent?

If the users weren’t able to solve the problem or at least pinpoint its cause, then the only thing left is to contact tech experts online. There are many forums where people gather, exchange experience, and try to help each other. In addition, there’s a high chance that someone with the exact same problem will make a post. The users can definitely take advantage of that info in order to try and fix their issue.

Errors Similar to 504 Gateway Timeout

There are many ‘500 errors’ out there that share similar properties as the 504 Gateway Timeout error. Some of these are HTTP errors, while others refer to servers. To be precise, we’ve encountered the following:

  • 500 Internal Server error
  • 503 Service Unavailable
  • HTTP Status Code Errors
  • 502 Bad Gateway
  • 404 Not Found


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