When a web server bans you from accessing the page you’re trying to open in your browser, you receive a 403 Forbidden error. In most cases, there isn’t much you can do. But occasionally, you can be the cause of the issue. Here are some options for you to explore.
What Is a 403 Forbidden Error?
The 403 Forbidden Error appears when you attempt to open a website (or other resources) in your web browser but are not authorized to do so. It is known as a 403 error because the webserver uses that HTTP status code to identify that type of error.
This error typically occurs for one of two reasons. The first is that you are actually not permitted access to the resource since the web server’s owners have properly configured access rights. The second cause is that the web server’s owners set up permissions incorrectly, and as a result, you are being refused access when you really shouldn’t be.
Website designers can alter the appearance of a 403 error, just like they can with 404 and 502 errors. As a result, many websites may display 403 pages that look different. Additionally, websites may refer to this issue under somewhat different names. For instance, you might observe the following:
403 Forbidden on HTTP
Error 403: Unauthorized Access
403.14 HTTP Error – Forbidden
403 Forbidden error On this server, you lack the authorization to access [directory].
403 Forbidden error
Most of the time, there isn’t much you can do to change the situation on your end. Either the resource is truly off-limits to you, or something went wrong on the server. Sometimes, it’s a passing mistake.
Refresh the Page
Always give the page a refresh a try. The 403 issue is frequently momentary, and a quick refresh could fix things. The majority of browsers have a Refresh button somewhere on the address bar in addition to the Ctrl+R on Windows or Cmd+R on Mac shortcuts for refreshing.
Although it rarely resolves the issue, it just takes a moment to try.
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Double Check the Address
The most frequent cause of a 403 error is an incorrectly entered URL. Ensure that the address you are trying to visit points to a file or web page rather than a directory. A directory URL often ends with a “/,” while a conventional URL would typically end in “.com,” “.php,” “.org,” “.html,” or merely have an extension.
For security purposes, the majority of systems are set up to forbid directory browsing. You are routed to another page when they are properly configured. A 403 error message can appear if they aren’t.
Clear the Cache and Cookies in Your Browser
It’s also possible that the error-containing page was cached in your browser, but the website’s real link had changed. You’ll need to delete the cookies and cache from your browser in order to test this possibility.
Your browsing experience won’t be significantly impacted by clearing the cache, but certain websites could take a few extra seconds to load as they re-download all previously cached data. Most websites require you to log in again after clearing your cookies.
Delete All Cached Items, Cookies, Site Data, and Browsing History from Your Browser
You may use this comprehensive guide to learn how to clear the cache in all of the widely used desktop and mobile browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.
Verify That You Have the Authorization to Access the URL
The problem can be that you’re trying to access a website that requires you to log in before you can view the content. Usually, servers are set up to display an error message informing you that you need to be logged in in order to access the content.
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However, certain servers with incorrect configurations could return a 403 error instead. Whether it’s feasible, try logging into the website to see if the issue disappears.
Try Again Later
If none of the straightforward fixes we’ve discussed so far work, you may always take a break and return later. Since website-related problems are the primary cause of 403 errors, it’s probable that the issue is already being addressed.
Contact the Website
You can also get in touch with the website’s owner directly. Find their contact information on the website and get in touch with them regarding the disputed page. If there isn’t one, try contacting the website via its social media accounts.
Contact Your ISP
It’s possible that the public IP address your ISP gave you (or your entire ISP) has been blocked for some reason if you can demonstrate that the aforementioned website is operational for others but not for you. You could try getting in touch with them and informing them of the issue. They might be able to assist, even though it is not a very likely solution.
Disconnect From Your VPN
If you attempt to access to some websites with a VPN, a 403 Forbidden warning will appear. If you think this is the issue, you can try connecting to the website after disconnecting from your VPN. You probably aren’t utilizing a VPN right now if you don’t know what they are.
You might want to try moving to a different server offered by your preferred VPN service—or switching to a different VPN service entirely—as certain websites might not restrict every VPN server available.
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