HttpWebRequest keeps timing out

It has already happened to me a couple of times and every time I forget what the issue was and how to solve it. That’s why I decided to write a short post about it, so hopefully next time I will remember. đŸ™‚ The problem arises when making a few (independent) HTTP requests using C#’s

. At first it sounds like a very usual thing to do, but the mystical part of it is that the first few requests succeed and then at a certain point the others start timing out. You may be tempted to increase the

first, but you will soon understand that it does not solve the problem.


You most probably forget to call

on the

object you get after calling


The issue

Let’s try to reproduce this issue in a very simple environment. Let’s create a console application, executing the following piece of code.

The first two iterations will be ok, while the third one will hang on. The problem is that .NET has a limited connections pool and cannot create a new connection, because you have occupied all of them. The default connections limit is defined by ServicePointManager.DefaultConnectionLimit. It is 2 for a console application and 10 for a server environment, f.x., ASP.NET. We can actually change this value, so that we could use more connections. NOTE: This is not the solution of this concrete problem!

The following will hang on the fourth iteration and will throw a

for timing out.

Regular time-outs

If the very first requests times out, then the problem is most probably related to your connection with the remote host. In this case you cold use a tool like Wireshark to debug your connectivity.

The solution

As said earlier, you should close the response object in order to free the connection. You could manually call

or use



and it will automatically close the response on dispose.