What is the 403 Forbidden Error?

Common Errors

Back to support

What is the 403 Forbidden Error?

Every Blogger, Programmer, and coder came across 403 Forbidden Error. Millions of people do not utilize the 403 Forbidden Error methods properly, and it can drive more traffic and avoid an unpleasant experience. I blame the experts in the field for not explaining the error 403 in simpler terms, which leads to ultimate confusion.

Misinformation can lead to improper implementation of the techniques, and it can cause a loss if traffic. Nowadays, the Physics of search engines is not easy to comprehend and losing traffic; on the other hand, is a complete NO-NO.

What is the 403 Forbidden Error?

Jumping into the solution is a good idea right off the bat, but we have to understand the concept of 403 Forbidden Error. No one can fix the problem until or unless, we understand it properly. Solving the problem without knowing much about it can leave a bad experience to the individual.

The 403 Forbidden error is a standard HTTP status. Let us assume that a visitor is trying to access a page or post on the site. The Content + Media + Resources are forbidden for some unknown reasons. The administrator might have added restrictions manually or its a result of incorrect configuration.

Keep in mind that the HTTP status code or 403 Error message appears differently in many cases, but they indicate at the same issue. I have listed some of the HTTP error 403 to assist the administrators of the site in understanding the status code.

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

  • And that is all.

Causes of 403 Forbidden Error

There is only one simple explanation, and 403 Error message occurs when the visitor is trying to access a forbidden page or a post. You cannot access 403 Error message pages or post, until or unless you correct the configuration. The configuration is a default restriction by the end of CMS developer, or someone has worked around it to restrict it.

Fixing the Error 403 Forbidden message

The HTTP status code is not a regular error, so do not delay solving the problem because it might ruin user-experience. You cannot let a visitor or a loyal buyer leave a site unpleasant. The loyal visitor might convert into a paying customer in no time, and no one should take chances on it.

Method One: Checking .htaccess File

All right, here comes the advanced solution to resolve an advanced hiccup.

Login to the control panel of the website source file. In our case, we are using a cPanel based web hosting. Type file manager” in the search bar and click on the first result.


In the file manager, you have to select the main folder containing all website files. In our cases, the main folder is public_html and select a .htaccess file.

Download & Delete .htaccess file - 2.png

Click to select the file and right-click the mouse to download the .htaccess as a back-up file. There is a popular "always be prepared for everything and backing up is the first step", and that’s what we are doing right now.

Click to select the file and right-click the mouse to delete the file.

Visit the same page or post on the site to double-check, whether the webpage is opening or not. If the page successfully shows up without errors, then we have a bad case of .htaccess file corruption.

The administrators can re-upload the file in the file manager by clicking on “UPLOAD” located at the main menu.

At first glance, the .htaccess method might seem lengthy and advanced, but it is a Download, Delete and Upload solution.

Method Two: Resetting File and Directory Permissions

We are going to use cPanel in this method, but you can utilize FTP connection to connect to the web hosting root files.

Login to the cPanel or FTP remote based web hosting files.

Select the page, file or folder that requires public access.

Right-click mouse to view more options and click on Change Permissions and then it will open a small window on the screen.

Now, you have to find the right configuration here, and we are going to suggest two easy implement ideas.

1. Change the numeric values to 644 or 640 and the second values are 744 or 755.

2. First, try “Apply to all files and directory” and then “Apply to the directory only.”

Click on Change Permissions.

It might consume a few minutes to hours to figure it out, but it’s worth it. cPanel method might not work in some accounts, but you can access the root folder via FTP remote connection.

Method Three: Disabling WordPress Plugins

WordPress is a popular Content Management System, but nothing is perfect in this universe. The popular world CMS prone to the incorrect configuration because there are third-party elements included in the package or after installing it. Disabling all plugins at once can solve the 403 Forbidden Error. Thousands of plugins are available in the store, and it can cause counter configuration.

Step1: Disable all plugins installed in site.

Step2: Check, if the webpage or post showing up without 403 forbidden errors or not.

Step3: I assume that the problem is resolved. Now, enable one-plugin, and then re-check.

Step4: Remember, one of the add-ons might causing the issue, and you can find it by disabling & enabling it one-by-one.

Yes, it is a manual process, and it might take a while for a site running more than ten plugins in one site.

I have tried this method on several occasions, and it has worked for me smoothly. It does consume a lot of time and finding a perfect replacement for the culprit might seem like a dead end. However, the administrator has to live to resolve the problem in CMS and static websites.


A programmer can create a .htaccess file to replace the corrupted file, but a newbie requires advanced support from the community. WordPress administrators can find someone from the forums to replace the .htaccess file. Let us know what method worked to resolve HTTP error 403.

googiehost support

Still have questions?