Why am I getting a 521 Cloudflare error when I try to access my commons?

Dec. '21 - The issue should be resolved on our VCFA sites. However, if you continue to experience CloudFlare errors, please report them to support@vcfa.edu, or contact mary@vcfa.edu directly.

The Cloudflare error (521) is related to an ongoing issue with our domain vs. subdomain SSL installation. We at IT are aware of the issue and hope to resolve it soon, but in the meantime, some workarounds are necessary.

The 521 error occurs when your browser automatically redirects to a URL that begins with 'https://', instead of the common site's true URL, 'http://' (note the addition of the 's' in the redirect URL). This redirect is especially prevalent in Chrome and the most recent versions of FireFox. FireFox and Safari will both allow you to (usually) manually remove the 's' from your URL and hard enter to access your site. Chrome, however, will cache the 's' as part of the URL and continue to try and redirect to the broken link.

If you are receiving the 521 error when trying to access your commons site, the easiest solution is to use a different browser, OR try to manually delete the 's' from the redirect URL. If you prefer to stay on Chrome, use the following steps to delete the 'https://' redirect from your browser's cache:

1. In your Chrome browser, paste the following URL: chrome://net-internals/#hsts . This will bring up the Chrome hsts settings.
2. At the bottom of the settings page that comes up, find 'Delete domain security policies,' and enter the commons url as: [yourprogramcommonshere].vcfa.edu . You do not need to include the 'http://' portion of the url.
3. Hit 'delete'.

That's it! You should be able to restart your Chrome browser and access the site. If you continue to get the 521 error, you may have to clear your entire cache. If you get confused, you can find screenshots and more detailed instructions here:

https://howchoo.com/chrome/stop-chrome-from-automatically-redirecting-https

For further issues with the CloudFlare error, or accessing your commons site, reach out to mary@vcfa.edu directly.

Dec 7, 2021

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