What Is a 403 Forbidden Error (and How Can I Fix It)? – How-To Geek

Error 403 message banned on a website

A Forbidden 403 error occurs when a web server prohibits you from accessing the page you are trying to open in your browser. Most of the time, there’s not much you can do. But sometimes, the problem may be on your side. Here are some things you can try.

What is a 403 Forbidden error?

The 403 Forbidden error occurs when the web page (or other resource) you are trying to open in your web browser is a resource that you cannot access. It’s called a 403 error because that’s the HTTP status code that the web server uses to describe that type of error.

You usually get this error for one of two reasons. The first is that the web server owners have correctly configured access permissions and that you are not really allowed access to the resource. The second reason is that the web server owners have incorrectly configured permissions and you are denied access when you really shouldn’t.

As with 404 and 502 errors, website designers can customize the appearance of a 403 error. Therefore, you might see differently-looking 403 pages on different websites. Websites may also use slightly different names for this error. For example, you might see things like

: 403 HTTP forbidden 403 HTTP error forbidden 403 – HTTP error forbidden 403.14 – Error forbidden 403 Forbidden

  • : You don’t have permission to access [directory] on this server
  • Error
  • 403 –
  • Forbidden

The vast majority of the time, there’s not much you can do to fix things on your end. Either you are not really allowed to access the resource, or there is an error on the server side of things. Sometimes, it’s a temporary error; Sometimes it’s not. Still, there are a few things you can try.


the page

It is always worth updating the page. Many times the 403 error is temporary, and a simple update could do the trick. Most browsers use Ctrl+R on Windows or Cmd+R on Mac to update, and they also provide an Update button somewhere in the address bar.

It doesn’t fix the problem very often, but it only takes a second to try



most common reason for a 403 error is a misspelled URL. Make sure that the address you are trying to access is for a web page or file, not a directory. A normal URL would end in .com, .php, .org, .html, or just have an extension, while a directory URL would usually end with a “/”.

Verify that the URL you want to visit is spelled correctly

Most servers are configured to not allow directory browsing for security reasons. When they are configured correctly, you are redirected to another page. When they’re not, you might see a 403 error.

Clear your browser’s cookies and


It is also possible that the page with the error was cached in your browser, but the actual link was changed on the website. To test this possibility, you will need to clear your browser’s cache and cookies.

Clearing the cache won’t affect your browsing experience much, but some websites may take an extra couple of seconds to load as they re-download all previously cached data. Deleting cookies means you’ll have to log in to most websites again.

<img src

=”https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/img_58fa6bfd8c1ad.png” alt=”Clear browser” /> To clear the cache in your browser, you

can follow this extensive guide that will teach you how to clear your cache on all popular desktop and mobile browsers including Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.

Check if you have permission to access the URL

If you’re trying to access a website that requires you to log in before you can view the content, that could be causing the problem. Typically, servers are configured to show you an error informing you that you must be logged in to access content.

Log in to a website that

But some incorrectly configured servers may generate a 403 error instead. Try logging into the website (if possible) and see if the error goes away.


none of the simple solutions we’ve talked about so far work, you can always wait a while and come back later. Since most of the time, 403 errors are caused by problems with the website in question, chances are someone is already working on the problem.


the website

Another option is to contact the website owner directly. Look for their contact information on the website and contact them about the page in question. If there is no contact form, you can try to reach the website on your social networks.



can confirm that the website in question works for others but not for you, then it is possible that the public IP address that your ISP provided to you (or your entire ISP) has been blocked for some reason. You can try contacting them and letting them know about the problem. It’s not a very likely solution, but they could help.

Disconnect from your


Some websites block VPN users and will display a 403 Forbidden message if you try to connect to them through a VPN. If you suspect this is the problem, you can disconnect from your VPN and then try to connect to the website. (If you’re not familiar with VPNs, you’re probably not using one right now.)

Individual websites may not ban every VPN server out there, so you may want to try switching to a different server provided by the VPN service of your choice, or switching to another VPN service altogether.