Wednesday, June 24, 2020

HTTP Error 403:Forbidden Response - What it means and How to fix it?

Receiving error while surfing the Internet is hugely frustrating, and it thwarts our primary purpose. We are acclimated to those impressive 404 Not Found Error pages, Even to the extent that it becomes common to see those amazingly designed pages to entertain us whenever we get lost. 

Other then the Error 404, there's one more popular error and the most confusing one too, i.e., Error 403:Forbidden Response.

What does this mean?

In Simple Words: The Web server forbids you from accessing the page you are trying to open in your browser.

Why would the server do that to me? Can you explain it clearly

The 403:Forbidden error happens when the web page (or other resources) that you're trying to open in your web browser is a resource that you're not allowed to access. It's called a 403 error because that's the HTTP status code that the webserver uses to describe that kind of error. You usually get this error for one of two reasons. The first is that the owners of the webserver have correctly set up access permissions and that you're really not allowed access to the resource. The second reason is that the owners of the webserver have improperly set up permissions, and you're getting denied access when you really shouldn't be.

Similar to Some widespread errors like Error 404 and Error 502, the developers can decide how these error pages look. The popular error messages which you must have seen before includes

  • 403 Forbidden
  • HTTP 403
  • Forbidden
  • HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden
  • HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden
  • Error 403
  • Forbidden: You don’t have permission to access [directory] on this server
  • Error 403 – Forbidden

What's the solution to this?

As a user, you can't do much about it. Either there's some error from the server-side or you are not allowed access to the database.

But still, there's something you can try at your end. Let's have a look at them

Authenticate your self with a more appropriate account

Sometimes users of the websites are granted multiple authentications. If access to a particular webpage is restricted from some account consider trying login with other accounts as well.

This process sometimes requires you to clear the cookies or disable the extensions that might be interfering with the website which is eventually leading to restriction to access.

If other ids are not working as well chances are you are logging in at the wrong place.

Refreshing the page

Refreshing the webpage is sometimes worth a shot and can sometimes remove the error easily. It doesn’t fix the problem very often, but it takes just a second to try.

Clear your browser cookies and cache

It is possible that page with the error is cached in your browser and the page URL has been changed. When you clear the cache it enables the webpage to reload the webpage from the scratch. In some cases, it may take a few seconds due to the redownloading of the previously cached data. Clearing cookies means you’ll have to sign in again to most websites.

Contact the website

This step needs to be taken when you feel that there's some fault at the backend only. You can contact the Website owner directly by finding their contact details on their contact page or directly connect with them on social media.

Try again later

If none of the above solutions worked for you. You are left with no option other than waiting. You can visit the website at a later point in time. Since most of the time, 403 Errors are caused by issues with the website in question, it’s likely someone is already working on the problem.

Give up

Nothing worked? Maybe you just aren't supposed to be able to access that resource. It happens. It's a big internet and it's reasonable to expect that there are some areas off-limits to you personally.


Time to look at what we learned. Error 403:Forbidden Response occurs when the Web server forbids you from accessing the page you are trying to open in your browser. There's nothing much you can do, but there's something you can try at your end i.e Authenticate your self with a more appropriate account, Refreshing the page, Clear your browser cookies and cache, Contact the website, and Try again later. If nothing worked for you Maybe you just aren't supposed to be able to access that resource.

If you have any further questions, the comment section has been enabled;)
Thanks for reading
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post written by:

Hi, Navjyot Singh is a coder, content maker and a freelance developer who's pursuing an undergraduate Engineering degree in Computer Science. He started out as a web developer but later picked up the mobile as his favourite platform to develop applications. A Writer by day and coder by night is loathed to discuss himself as the third person but can be persuaded to do so from time to time.