"Page Cannot be Displayed" or "Web Page Unavailable Offline" When You Browse to Http://Localhost

Retired KB Content Disclaimer

This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


When you try to browse to http://localhost, Microsoft Internet Explorer may prompt you to "Work Offline" or "Try Again." If you click Work Offline, you may receive an "Web page unavailable offline" message, and if you click Try Again, you may receive a "Page cannot be displayed" message.


Internet Explorer searches for an Internet connection before it attempts to serve local Web pages. This behavior is by design.


Install a valid Network Adapter and Network Connection.

More Information

If a Network Adapter is not available, you can use Microsoft Loopback adapter. For additional information, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

236869 How to Install Microsoft Loopback Adapter in Windows 2000

To create a Network Connection for use with Microsoft Loopback Adapter, do the following:
  1. Right click My Network Places, and then click Properties.
  2. Double-click Make New Connection, click Connect to Private Network through the Internet, and then click Next
  3. For the Host name or IP address, type HTTP://Localhost.
  4. Make the connection for Yourself or Everyone, and then click Next.
  5. Name the connection (for example, "Test VPN").
  6. Click Finish, and then click Cancel.
If your computer is running Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition, you also need to follow these steps:

  1. On the desktop, right-click My Network Places, click Properties, and then double-click Make New Connection.
  2. Select Connect to Private Network through the Internet and click Next.
  3. Select Automatically dial this initial connection and click Next.
  4. For Host name or IP address, type HTTP://Localhost.
  5. For Create this connection, select either For all users or Only for myself and click Next.
  6. Name the connection Test VPN and click Finish.
  7. (In the Connect Test VPN dialog box)Click Cancel.
  8. Right-click Internet Explorer, click Properties, and then click Connections.
  9. Select Test VPN.
  10. Select Dial whenever a network connection is not present.
  11. Click Set default and click OK.
  12. Click OK.
  13. Start Internet Explorer and browse to http:\\localhost.

Article ID: 290766 - Last Review: Jun 19, 2014 - Revision: 1