Understanding the Causes and Solutions for a 403 Forbidden Error

Are You Facing “403 Forbidden Error” On Your Screen And Wonder What This Means? 403 is an HTTP status code which usually indicates something is amiss with the permission settings for your website.

In this article, we’ll identify the sources of error and offer practical solutions to fix them. So let’s discover what these mysterious numbers mean so you can regain control over your site!

Key Takeaways

  • A 403 Forbidden Error occurs when you are denied access to a webpage or resource on a website.
  • Common causes of this error include incorrect IP addresses, mistyped URLs, faulty security plugins, corrupt .htaccess files, incorrect file permissions, and server blocks or restrictions.
  • To fix this error, you can refresh the page and check the address, clear your browser cache, modify file permissions, delete and restore the .htaccess file, or deactivate and reactivate plugins. Additional troubleshooting steps may include deactivating CDNs temporarily, checking for misconfigured hotlink protection and disconnecting from VPNs. If these solutions do not work reach out to your hosting provider for assistance.


What is a 403 Forbidden Error?

A 403 Forbidden Error is a web server error that occurs when the user is denied access to a particular webpage or resource.

Meaning and implications

A 403 Forbidden Error is like a stop sign on the web. It means the server gets what you’re asking but won’t let you in. You can see this error for many reasons. Maybe the site owner put up a wall or your computer picked an old address from its memory.

Sometimes, it can be something wrong on your end, such as a bad link or a shaky internet connection. Other times, it may be due to file issues on the website itself. But no matter what, this error stops you from seeing the page you want.

Common causes of the error

There are several common causes for a 403 Forbidden error:

  1. Incorrect or outdated IP address hosting the site
  2. Mistyped URL
  3. Faulty security plugin
  4. Corrupt .htaccess file
  5. Incorrect file permissions on the server
  6. The site is blocked or restricted by the server


How to Fix a 403 Forbidden Error

To fix a 403 Forbidden Error, you can refresh the page and double-check the address, clear your browser cache, modify file permissions, delete and restore the .htaccess file, or deactivate and reactivate plugins.

Refresh the page and double-check the address

If you see a 403 Forbidden error, try refreshing the page and checking if the web address is correct. Sometimes, this error occurs because of a simple mistake like typing the wrong URL or clicking on an outdated link.

By refreshing the page and double-checking the address, you can easily fix this issue and gain access to the website or resource you’re trying to reach. Remember that even small mistakes can lead to these errors, so it’s always good to take a moment and make sure everything is entered correctly before moving forward.

Clear browser cache

To fix a 403 Forbidden error, you can try clearing your browser cache. The browser cache is where your web browser stores temporary files from websites you visit, which can sometimes cause issues like the 403 error.

By clearing the cache, you can remove any corrupted or outdated data that might be causing the problem. To do this, go to your browser settings and look for options like “Clear browsing data” or “Clear cache.” Select the appropriate settings and then click on the button to clear the cache.

This should refresh your browser and may resolve the 403 error.

Modify file permissions

To fix a 403 Forbidden error, you can try modifying file permissions on the server. File permissions determine who can access and modify files on a website. Sometimes, incorrect permissions settings can lead to a 403 error.

By changing the file permissions, you may be able to resolve this issue.

If you’re experiencing a 403 error, you’ll need to access your website’s files through an FTP client or hosting control panel. Look for the file or folder that is causing the problem and right-click on it to bring up the options menu.

From there, select “File Permissions” or “Change Permissions.”.

In the file permissions window, you should see checkboxes for Read, Write, and Execute permissions. To modify them correctly:.

– For folders/directories: Set permission to 755 (readable by everyone and writable only by the owner)

– For files: Set permission to 644 (readable by everyone and writable only by the owner)

Delete and restore the .htaccess file

If you’re experiencing a 403 Forbidden error, one possible solution is to delete and then restore the .htaccess file. The .htaccess file is a configuration file that controls access to your website’s directories and files.

Sometimes, this file can become corrupted or misconfigured, causing the error. To fix it, you can delete the existing .htaccess file from your server and then restore it by creating a new one or restoring a backup copy.

This process will ensure that the .htaccess file is set up correctly with the necessary permissions, resolving any issues related to access restrictions.

Deactivate and reactivate plugins

Troubleshooting Additional Solutions

To further troubleshoot a 403 Forbidden Error, you can try deactivating any Content Delivery Network (CDN) temporarily, checking for misconfigured hotlink protection, disconnecting from a VPN, or contacting your hosting provider for assistance.

Deactivate CDN temporarily

If you’re experiencing a 403 Forbidden error, one solution you can try is to temporarily deactivate your CDN (Content Delivery Network). A CDN helps deliver website content faster by storing it on servers located closer to users.

However, sometimes the configuration of the CDN can cause access issues.

By deactivating the CDN temporarily, you can determine if it’s causing the error. Keep in mind that disabling the CDN may slow down your website temporarily, but it will help identify if it’s contributing to the 403 error.

You can do this through your website’s admin panel or by contacting your hosting provider for guidance.

Check for misconfigured hotlink protection

Misconfigured hotlink protection can also be a cause of the 403 Forbidden error. Hotlinking is when someone uses your website’s images or other media on their own website without permission.

Some hosting providers offer hotlink protection to prevent this. However, if it is misconfigured, it can mistakenly block access to legitimate users and trigger the 403 error. To check for this issue, you need to review your hosting provider’s settings and ensure that hotlink protection is set up correctly.

Disconnect from VPN

If you’re experiencing a 403 Forbidden error, one troubleshooting solution is to disconnect from your VPN. This error can sometimes occur when using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection because the server may detect it as suspicious activity or an attempt to access restricted content.

By disconnecting from the VPN, you can eliminate this potential cause and see if the error resolves.

Contact the hosting provider for assistance

If none of the previous solutions work, it’s time to reach out to your hosting provider for assistance. They have the expertise and resources to troubleshoot and resolve more complex issues related to the 403 Forbidden error.

Contacting them will ensure that you receive personalized support tailored to your specific situation. The hosting provider can investigate server-side errors, check server configurations, and provide guidance on resolving any underlying access or permission problems causing the error.

Remember, reaching out to your hosting provider is an important step when other troubleshooting methods have been exhausted.


In conclusion, understanding the causes and solutions for a 403 Forbidden Error can help you troubleshoot and fix this issue effectively. By double-checking the URLrefreshing the pageclearing browser cachemodifying file permissions, and deactivating/reactivating plugins, you can address common causes of the error.

If these steps don’t work, further troubleshooting options like deactivating CDN temporarily or checking for misconfigured hotlink protection might be necessary. Remember to reach out to your hosting provider if you need additional assistance in resolving a 403 Forbidden Error.


1. What can cause a 403 Forbidden Error?

A 403 Forbidden Error may be due to clientside issues, folder or file settings problems, permission denied situations or web server issues.

2. How does access misconfiguration lead to the error?

If a website’s access is set up wrong, it can block users from visiting. This blocked access causes the 403 Forbidden Error.

3. Is this error connected with permissions for files and folders?

Yes, if there’s an issue with read-write permission in any folder or file settings on your website, you might see a 403 Forbidden Error.

4. Can errors like this occur on Android devices too?

The Android community often faces similar errors when something goes wrong with account checking or connections between their device and the websites they want to visit.

5. How can I fix the error when it shows up?

You could try correcting any URL restrictions in place, troubleshooting server-side errors and fixing authentication problems as possible solutions for fixing a 403 forbidden error.

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