What Is a Time-Out Error?

by Matt Fregoe

A time-out error occurs when a computer program sends a request to a server or another computer and after a set amount of time when no response occurs to the request, the end user receives a time-out error message. Usually time-out errors occur when using Internet-based applications and the responding server is unavailable or slow to respond. A time-out error also occurs when programming scripts run improperly. This form of time-out allows the user to cancel a script that runs longer than desired.

Server Connection Time-Out

A server connection time-out occurs when the user tries to visit a website through an active Internet connection, but receives no server response. The user is able to connect to other websites on the Internet, but when viewing a particular site, he receives an "HTTP" error. Commonly labeled as "408" this error occurs in situations where the server experiences too many requests at once, or a script on the server runs improperly.

User Connection Time-Out

User-based connection time-outs usually result from a user trying to access a website and he is unable to connect to the server from the user end rather than the requested server end. This type of error occurs when the user has an Internet connection issue, or is unable to connect to the Internet for whatever reason. This usually results with the user's web browser displaying a "connection error" message rather than a "408" message.

Programming Script Time-Out

Most programming languages include a time-out error system that will end a process that takes too long to complete. For example, if a script has an infinite looping process or a process that takes more than a few minutes to complete, the user receives an error message stating a "Script Time-Out Error" has occurred.

Resolving Time-Out Errors

Resolve most server based time-out errors by simply refreshing or reloading the current Web page to create a new request pointed to the server. Resolve time-out errors on the user end by fixing Internet connection errors and properly connecting to the Internet. Finally, resolve programming script errors must be at the programming level, editing the input code until you receive the proper result from the script request.

About the Author

Matt Fregoe has been writing since 2008. First published with a local business in Burlington, Vt., he now specializes in technology and publishing articles on eHow. Fregoe is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Web design and development at Champlain College.

Photo Credits

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