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Problems with Google Search and How to Fix Them

written by: J. Edward Casteele•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/9/2010

Google search is most popular search engine in the world, but problems do happen occasionally that prevent you from being able to search. From browser problems to redirect viruses, being unable to search Google can be a major inconvenience. Most Google search problems are easy to fix, however.

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    Google Search Problems

    Google search problems leave you without the search results you need. It's probably happened to everyone at least once. You're searching for something online, but when you hit the "Search" button the screen just goes blank or your browser times out while trying to load your search results. Sometimes search problems manifest themselves with warnings about unsafe sites or notices that your navigation has been blocked. In the worst cases, your search appears to work fine but all of your search results redirect to other sites. Regardless of the specific symptoms, if you're unable to search Google then there's a problem that needs to be fixed. Fortunately, the majority of Google search problems have relatively simple solutions.

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    Browser Problems

    Sometimes when you can't search Google it's due to your web browser encountering a problem while attempting to load your search results. Blank screens instead of results, error messages stating that the page couldn't be found, and pages not loading correctly can all be attributed to a problem with the browser when the search results tried to load. Many browser problems can be overcome by simply refreshing the page, allowing it to load the search results by requesting the data again. If refreshing doesn't work, check your browser's security settings using the "Internet Options" or "Preferences" options in your browser's tools menu. Make sure that your security hasn't been set to block Google or restrict your browsing too severely. If you have parental controls or browsing filters installed, you might also check these to make sure that they aren't blocking your search results.

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    Firewall or Antivirus Problems

    Check your firewall or antivirus settings if can't search Google and have verified that it's not being blocked by your browser. If Google has accidentally been blacklisted on your firewall then it will block your access to the site, and an antivirus that is integrated into your browser may restrict your access to Google or certain search results if it detects potential hazards on the site. By adjusting your firewall or antivirus settings you should be able to gain full access to Google and its search results again. Just be careful when selecting search results that were previously blocked by your antivirus in case they were being blocked for a reason.

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    Google Redirects

    Google redirects are one of the more annoying reasons for being unable to search Google, and can also be one of the most dangerous. Redirects are caused by trojans, viruses or other malware and serve two purposes: to take you to the site or sites the malware creator wants you to visit, and to prevent you from searching Google for advice on getting rid of your computer's infection. If your computer is redirecting your Google search results, run an in-depth scan with an anti-adware or anti-malware program. The scan should find the infection that is redirecting your searches, but if you still cannot search Google effectively then you should try again with a different scanner.

    Image Credit: Screenshot by J. Edward Casteele