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What Causes HTTP 403 Forbidden Error and How to Fix It?

What Causes HTTP 403 Forbidden Error and How to Fix It?

HTTP 403 Forbidden ErrorHTTP 403 forbidden Error is a general issue indicating that the web server received and understood your request, but cannot take a further action to response it. It’s common to meet this problem when surfing on the Internet or running a website.

Many people are hard to solve this error, but don’t worry. This tutorial comes with careful definition, causes, and resolutions of HTTP 403 Forbidden error, helping readers easily solve this problem with comprehensive introduction and guidelines.

What is HTTP 403 Forbidden Error?

Just like many other HTTP error codes as HTTP 404 Error, HTTP 500 Error, HTTP 400 Error, 403 Forbidden is a simple HTTP status code appeared when you cannot successfully access a web page. It shows that you don’t have the permission to access on the server. For example, a web page may return this error in the browser window when your IP address is blacklisted, just like the below picture.

HTTP 403 Forbidden Error showcase

Well, as the 403 Forbidden error is customizable, it comes with different presentations, like “Error 403”, “HTTP 403 Error”, “403 Forbidden”, “HTTP 403 – Forbidden”, and so on – all are based on the site design.

The Causes of HTTP 403 Error

There are many possible reasons may result in an HTTP 403 Error. In the below, we just list out some typical ones.

  • Your IP address is listed into the backlist by the server.
  • Your are trying to access the site with an exclusive frequency, especially utilizing collection procedures. So your requests are denied by the firewall.
  • The domain is already resolved to the hosting, but the hosting server doesn’t bind with this domain.
  • The script file of the web page doesn’t have permissions to execute in the current directory.
  • You are trying to create and write file under the directory list which doesn’t allow to read and write operation.
  • The server is busy because the same IP sends too many requests.

All these reasons are possible to cause HTTP 403 error, but not necessarily. To find the specific reason for a set error, we can see the sub-status error codes like the following.

HTTP 403 sub-status code

How to Fix HTTP 403 Error?

Once encountered a 403 Forbidden, you need to be calm and find the corresponding method. Here we sum up some common solutions for solving this error easily.

  1. Check for URL error.
  2. change linkFirst of all, you should make sure the URL in the browser address bar is correct and without any spelling mistakes. So you can manually re-enter the address again and refresh the browser by pressing F5 or clicking on Refresh button.

    As well, ensure you are trying to access into a real web page file and extension, but not just a directory. Many websites are defined to forbidden directory browsing.

  3. Clear cache file on browser.
  4. The corrupt cache file usually results in a 403 error. So you can try to clear the cache files and then access to the webpage again.

  5. Log into the site.
  6. Sometimes, the server returns you a 404 error because you have no permission to access the web page. So you need additional access before viewing the page. By logging into the site, you may get the right and successful access into the page.

  7. Delete cookies.
  8. At first, you should make sure you have cookie enabled in the browser, at least for this site. If you have logged in the site but still met a 403 error, you can delete all cookies and refresh the browser again.

  9. Contact the webmaster directly.
  10. It’s possible the 403 error is a mistake made by the website and every visitor can see it. At this time, nothing is helpful and you can only contact the site owner for resolution.

  11. Contact Your Internet Service Provider.
  12. If you take all the above measures and still get the error, you can check whether you get the error in this one page or all pages. If only you meet this problem, but the site works well for others, you can consider that your IP address or the entire ISP has been blacklisted.


Joyce is a professional writer & SEOer who loves trying new things and sharing the experience through blogging. She loves clean design, playing with different WordPress themes, SEO, etc. Now she is very struggle with purchasing a bubbling apartment in downtown. You can help her by clicking our ADs or making a purchase via our links ;-)


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