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How to fix the 524 ‘A Timeout Occurred Error’ in Cloudflare?

By Eunice Samson | February 6, 2020 |

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Many developers keep their websites secure and quick-loading by using Cloudflare’s CDN service. Despite this, users can still encounter the ‘Error 524: A Timeout Occurred’ server issue when they try to access these sites. When this happens to you, you won’t be able to use a piece of software, load a web page, or sign in to a gaming platform. Some users reported that the application or game they were using was functioning offline. However, once they tried to access an online feature, they encountered the error.

What Are the Causes of Error 524 in Cloudflare?

The Error 524 issue has something to do with Cloudflare. When it shows up, it means that when Cloudflare tried to establish a connection to the server, it took too long for the other end to respond. Honestly speaking, there’s little you can do to get around this problem. After all, the issue has to do with the server on the other end. All you can do is let the website or app owner know about the error and wait for them to fix it.

That said, there are still some troubleshooting steps you can perform to ensure that there are no issues from your end. On the other hand, if you are the website owner, you can also use this guide to learn how to fix the ‘A timeout occurred’ error in Cloudflare.

Solutions for Regular Users

Were you trying to access a website or open an online feature in an app or game when the error occurred? If so, then you can try the troubleshooting methods below:

Method 1: Refreshing the Web Page

If you see Error 524 on your web browser, try refreshing the page. You can also close the browser and reload it to see if that does the trick. Sometimes, a simple restart can fix the issue, especially if it is just a minor glitch.

Method 2: Uninstalling the Program

Now, if you are experiencing the problem on an application, you can try uninstalling and reinstalling it. Many users claimed that this fixed the error by re-establishing the connection to the server. However, keep in mind that this will only work if you encounter the problem on a program that is trying to access a server. For instance, you may be playing a game that is trying to connect online.

To uninstall a program, you can follow the steps below:

  1. On your keyboard, press Windows Key+I. Doing so should open the Settings app.
  2. Click Apps, then select Apps & Features from the left-pane menu.
  3. Move to the right pane, then search for the affected program.
  4. Click the app, then click Uninstall.

Once you’ve removed the app from your computer, reinstall it and check if Error 524 still shows up.

Method 3: Removing Restrictions on Your Origin Account

Did the error occur while you were using the Origin gaming platform? If this is the case, then the issue may have to do with certain restrictions on your account. Now, if you’re using a ‘Child’ account, you won’t be able to play online, download games from the Origin store, communicate with contacts, and access other online features. Of course, the workaround for this is to log into the account, then upgrade it to an adult/full account.

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Website Owners: How to Get Rid of Error 524 in Cloudflare

Now, if you’re the website owner and you have the necessary credentials to perform changes from the server’s end, you can try the solutions below.

Solution 1: Checking the Server Load

It’s likely that the high consumption of server resources is causing Error 524. To check if this is the case, you can follow the steps below:

  1. The first thing you need to do is check if your server’s resource usage is above normal or at its peak.
  2. Now, if an increase in traffic is causing the issue, the only solution you can try is to increase the resources by upgrading your server.
  3. On the other hand, if you don’t see anything unusual in the traffic, you can check if other processes are hogging the resources.
  4. You can also manage your server usage by limiting the processes running on the server.

Solution 2: Blocking Brute Attacks

  1. Launch your SSH client, then use root access to log in to your account.
  2. Check if you are getting multiple hits from a particular IP address. You can do that by executing the following command line:

netstat -an | grep 80

  1. Note: Submitting that command line will let you know what IP addresses have multiple hits on your website.
  2. If you notice any suspicious IP address, you can block it and protect your server. To do that, execute the command line below:

iptables -A INPUT -s 000.00.00.0 -j DROP

Note: Remember to replace ‘000.00.00.0’ with the IP address.

  1. Perform these steps on all suspicious IP addresses you will find.
  2. After blocking all suspicious IPs, restart your server, using this command line:

systemctl httpd restart

Once you’ve completed these steps, try accessing your website again to see if Error 524 won’t show up.

Solution 3: Enabling DDoS Protection

One of the reasons why there is an unusual increase in server load is because of a DDoS attack. In this case, we recommend that you get DDoS protection through Cloudflare. On the other hand, if you are getting Error 524 because of an increase in legitimate traffic, your best bet is to upgrade your hosting plan. Having adequate resources will allow you to accommodate the massive number of visitors.

Other Troubleshooting Steps to Try

  1. Are you using a VPS? If so, then make sure that you properly configure the firewall at the origin. Doing so will ensure that the connecting IPs on Cloudflare are not limited in any way.
  2. You should check your origin server and see if it is taking longer than 100 seconds to respond. If this is the case, then you should ask your hosting provider or admin to resolve the issue.
  3. Check if there are long-running queries on your database server. You can do this by reviewing your origin server file.
  4. Try running scripts via a grey-clouded subdomain.

Are there other Error 524 solutions you’d like to add?

Share them in the comments below!

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