Error 403 Forbidden

HTTP Error 403 Forbidden is an error message that is displayed to Internet users in the web browser. The 403 Forbidden error is one of many Hypertext Transfer Protocol response codes you may receive when accessing a website.

If your browser displays "403 Forbidden" instead of the expected website, it means you are not authorized to access the specified URL.

But why is access denied? And is it possible to open the desired site? This varies from case to case - there are many possible reasons for the 403 Forbidden HTTP status code. We'll show you how to track down the error and fix it.

HTTP Error 403 Forbidden: Why does it happen?

The HTTP 403 Forbidden error message may appear while browsing the Internet, or more precisely, during communication between the HTTP client (web browser) and the HTTP server (web server). To understand why the 403 Forbidden error occurs, it's helpful to look at the process of accessing a website.

If you want to open a website in your browser and access its URL, your browser sends a corresponding request to the responsible web server using the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). The server then checks the existing request.

If everything is correct, it sends the browser an HTTP status code from the "2xx - Success" class (for example, "200 OK" or "201 Created"), after which the site loads. Users usually don't even notice this code.

However, the situation is different with response codes of the “4xx - Client Error” class, which includes “403 Forbidden”: here, each error code is usually marked with an automatically generated HTML error page. The most famous of this class is the 404 error message.

All HTTP 4xx status codes are server responses that tell the client that the request cannot be processed successfully. The reason for this is assumed - as the name of the status code class already suggests - to be client related, but this does not necessarily have to be the case.

The HTTP status code 403 Forbidden specifically means that the requested URL exists, but the client request was not fulfilled. The client is not given access to the site because he does not have the necessary authorization. The rights involved vary from case to case: There are a variety of reasons why an HTTP 403 Forbidden error may occur.

Some websites actively prevent browsing of certain directories through a 403 status. For example, when websites contain images that cannot be accessed individually and cannot be easily copied.

Since in this case it is a conscious decision of the site operator, you as a user are unlikely to be able to do anything about the fact that you do not have access to the site. This is different from the sources of 403 Forbidden errors below, which are related to specific settings on your computer.

Possible sources of 403 Forbidden errors and how to resolve them

“403 Forbidden” can be translated as “Error 403: Access is denied” or “Access is denied.” With this error message, you might think that you are missing a password or something similar to access the page.

In general, the HTTP 403 Forbidden error has nothing to do with this lack of authorization - in this case, you will see a 401 error rather than a 403 error. Rather, the error is often related to client settings. Typical errors are as follows:

Solution: Disable browser extensions.

Your browser may have been rejected by the web server due to various active plugins and/or add-ons (for example, due to the use of an ad blocking plugin or proxy server). This way you can check if you can access the URL after deactivating the extensions.

Solution: Clear your browser cache.

If your browser with extensions disabled still receives a 403 Forbidden HTTP status code in response to a request, clearing the cache may resolve the issue.

Solution: Firewall settings.

If this does not produce the desired result, there is still a possibility that the web server is having problems with your firewall and is therefore giving you an HTTP 403 Forbidden error in the browser. If you trust the site operator, you can disable the firewall and then try opening the site again. If this solves the problem, you can add a site exception in your firewall settings.


In general, a 403 Forbidden error means that when accessing a URL, the browser being used does not have permission to view the requested website. With any luck, you can fix the HTTP 403 Forbidden error using the methods mentioned above. If you receive an error message when accessing a website, you should carefully review your browser and/or firewall settings.

However, there are also website operators who protect certain online offering directories from "directory crawling". But it may also happen that the site administrator has configured permissions incorrectly. Here you have no choice but to contact the site operators and ask the reason for the 403 Forbidden error. But in some cases, you just need to accept that you are not allowed to access the URL.

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