Monday, February 6, 2023

What Is a 403 Forbidden Error? (And How Can I Fix It)?

Sometimes you visit a website, and a common 403 forbidden error message shows on your page or on a website. It is a common error, and if you happen to see this error don’t panic. Here are some methods and solutions to solve this problem.

What does 403 Forbidden Mean?

The forbidden error is an HTTP status code. It signifies that the file that you were trying to access is forbidden for some reason. It happens because of an empty website directory, index page, or permission error. This write-up explains how to remove and troubleshoot the, 403 error or 403 forbidden Nginx.

Often websites use different names for 403 forbidden. For example,

  • 403 Forbidden
  • HTTP 403
  • Forbidden
  • HTTP Error 403
  • Error 403
  • Forbidden Error 403
  • Error 403 – Forbidden

Above are some examples of forbidden errors displayed on websites. 

What Is a 403 Forbidden Error? (And How Can I Fix It)?

How to fix 403 Forbidden Error problems:

Try refreshing the web page

Refreshing the website or page can be a tricky affair; many times, the error is temporary, that is why sometimes, just by refreshing the website or a page, the error is resolved.

What Is a 403 Forbidden Error? (And How Can I Fix It)?

Empty Website Directory

Make sure your website has been uploaded to the correct directory on your server.

Double-check the URLs

Regular URL end with .com, .php, net, or extension, a directory URL end with a “/”. Most servers do not permit directory browsing for security reasons. That’s why you might see the 403 error

Clear Browser Caches and Cookies

Clearing browser cookies and caches may mean that you shall have to sign in to most websites and this can prevent 403 errors to a significant extent.

What Is a 403 Forbidden Error? (And How Can I Fix It)?

Permission and Ownership Error 

Check if you have permission to access the URL or a website.

If you are trying to access a website that requires you to log in before you can see the content, this is the reason might you face some issues.

What Is a 403 Forbidden Error? (And How Can I Fix It)?


Rule of thumb for correct information

  • Folders: 755
  • Static content: 644
  • Dynamic content: 700 

Most FTP programs allow you to change permission on file or folder; see your FTP program documentation for details.


Wrong ownership is also the reason for the forbidden error. In Linux file structure, every file and folder is assigned to an owner and a group. The correct owner and group for your server are as follows:

Owner: group

  • specific domain in question:
  • /var/www/vhosts/ – root:root
  • /var/www/vhosts/ – domainuser:psaserv
  • /var/www/vhosts/ – domainuser:psacln
  • C Panel server – note that example is the name of the cPanel account user
    • /home – root:root
    • /home/example – example:example
    • /home/example/public_html – example:example

If you still have the same error, then try out the below methods too

Contact your ISP

If your public IP address has been blocked for some reason then disconnect from your VPN.      

If you aren’t familiar with the VPN, you probably aren’t using one.

Try again later.


If none of the above tricks and solutions we have talked about so far work for you then, you can always wait a while and come back later and try again. Sometimes 403 error comes only just because someone is working on the problem.

Sophia Martinez
Sophia Martinez
Hi.. I am a marketer and writer. When at home I like to try out new recipes and play squash. I can be reached at

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