The moment when you tried to open a webpage and a message showed up instead: ‘403 Forbidden error. You do not have access to this server’ written in big fonts, slightly made you feel like a terrorist trying to surpass the borders. But it is a bit annoyingly confusing as for why would that happen at all? You were only trying to get some information and you thought that website might have some relevant stuff. Don’t worry as we all have faced it at some point. It is actually quite a common scenario. So keep calm. You are not a terrorist. And to your relief, this problem is fixable. We will tell you how to in a while but let us first find out.
What is 403 Forbidden Error?
If this message showed up to you by a server then it means that you do not have the permission to access or you are forbidden to view the page or resource that you have requested. If we a go a bit deeper in details, a 403 Forbidden Error occurs as a result of HTTP status codes- Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Status Codes. They are one of the applications of HTTP. These status codes are applied by a server in response to a client’s request to access the server. To put it simply, you are the client and the website you are trying to open is the server.
The browser that you are using say Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Yahoo acts as a medium to transfer your request to the server via these status codes. If everything goes fine then it will send a 2xx success code to the server. After which you are able to view the website. But due to several reasons like bad file permissions or un-authorization, the browser might fail to process your request. As a result, it will send 4xx client error codes to the server. This is when you get the ‘403 Forbidden Error’ message by the server as its response.
These are the top 2 possible Reasons for getting a 403 forbidden error message:
- Corrupted .htaccess file
- Incorrect file permissions and ownership errors
How Do You Fix This?
Here are a few ways you can try out to get rid of such error messages.
- Change the .htaccess file settings: Go to Control Panel> File Manager>public_html_directory. Then try to locate the .htaccess file or you can go to settings and tick the ‘show hidden files’. Now download ‘.htcacess’ and make a backup of it. Then you can delete the file again. Now try to access the URL again.
- Deactivate your browser extensions: It might be a case that the web server denied access request by your browser due to the browser extensions and plug-ins such as word press, ad blocks etc. So deactivate all such extensions and try to open the URL again. To deactivate, open your host account via FTP and access the folder containing installation files. Try to locate the plug-in folders inside it and then disable them.
- Browser cache clearance: If the error message shows up even after deactivating the extensions and plug-ins, clear your browser cache and try again.
- Change firewall settings: Firewall is the shield against any cyber-attacks that your computer might face from unknown sources. So there is a possibility that your firewall settings might be creating a block between the web server and you which is causing this error message to show up. So if you think the site can be trusted then go to the control panel and change your firewall settings for the particular web server.
- Change file permissions: As mentioned earlier, not having proper file permissions due to accidental removal of any of them might cause this error. The rules permission is, for normal files it is 644 and for folders, it is 755. These permissions can be set using FTP Client. Select all the web files and open the file permissions. Open ‘apply to directories only’ and change the value to 755. Repeat the process, open apply to files only and change the value to 644. You need to install FileZilla for making these changes.
This was all about 403 Forbidden errors and some ways to fix them. Follow them to remove the errors and enjoy your net surfing.