What is the 403 Forbidden Error & How to Fix it


All the users of the website receive this error named 403 Forbidden Error at least once in a while during their usage. This error means the users are not permitted to reach that particular server. At this point of time, I understand that you do not have much knowledge about this error, but I promise that you will get to know enough about it after having a look at this article. Here is one quick approach to resolve this issue of 403 Forbidden Error –

Step 1: Mark or modify the .htaccess file.

Step 2: Modify all the folder and file access permissions.

Step 3: Make the Word Press plugins inactive.


First, we will let you know all the possible reasons behind this 403 Forbidden Error and then the recommended methods to resolve this issue. Here we are taking the Word press as the website. But the similar procedure is applicable for rest of the static or CMS sites. The 403 Forbidden Error acts differently based on the situation and condition, respectively. Sometimes, when the host organization provides any modification, this error scenario could occur because of the execution of a few updates. So, here we begin with the matter to enlighten your mind.

What is the 403 Forbidden Error?

To begin with the topic, first, let us know what is the actual meaning of this error is. This falls in the category of the HTTP status code. You come across this error only in that scenario when you are making access to a site which is not permitted to do so. Here is the list of some of the errors which are visible in this situation –

  • Forbidden: You don’t have permission to access [directory] on this server
  • HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden
  • 403 forbidden request forbidden by administrative rules
  • 403 Forbidden
  • Access Denied You don’t have permission to access

Now, let us see the causes behind this 403 Forbidden Error.

Causes of 403 Forbidden Error

It is quite irritating when you are busy doing your work and you suddenly encounter this error. Let us get to the reason so that you can understand the procedure for its solution in a better way. In lame man’s words just know that it occurs when the users are trying to access a site or URL address which are not supposed to be. Those sites could be out of their league. So, the 403 Forbidden Error just acts like a warning to make you know that you are short of the permissions which are required to access this particular site. The error’ s reasons are the wrong folder or file permissions as well as the wrong settings inside your .htaccess file.

Now let us see the resolving procedures.

Fixing the Error 403 Forbidden Message

So, after having the knowledge of all the possible causes, here are few of the solutions to guide you in the situation. Before starting, let me tell you the I have taken Word Press as the base site but you can try them for rest of the sites too. Let’ s get started:

Method 1: By Checking .htaccess File

I guess many of you are not well aware of the .htaccess file. The reason for this is that the .htaccess file is always hidden inside the directory provided for the project. But if at all the user is utilizing the Hostinger File Manager for this purpose then it is visible at the .hPanel as by default. If the user is utilizing the cPanel then proceed by acquiring the hosting Control Panel under the assistance of File Manager. Follow the steps that are mentioned below that will guide you.

Step 1: Search the File Manager in the hosting Control Panel.

Step 2: Under the public_html directory, you are supposed to find .htaccess file.

Step 3: In case you are not able to find the .htaccess file, just hit on the Settings. Now, activate the Show Hidden Files (dotfiles) from the choices provided.

The question arises- What is .htaccess file? Well! This file is a kind of server configuration file. It usually functions through the alteration provided to the configuration present under the Apache Web Server Settings. The .htaccess file in built-in every Word Press sites. But if there is a case where this Word press site or any other site does not consist of this file or might have got it deleted, accidentally then the user is supposed to form a .htaccess file by themselves. Yes, it can be created manually. When the .htaccess file is visible to you, proceed with these steps as mentioned below –

Step 1: You are strongly recommended to download the .htaccess file for the system. This would act as the back- up.

Step 2: When you are done with the process, proceed to eliminate the file,

Step 3: Give an attempt to access the website.

Step 4: If you find that the site functions well then it means, the .htaccess file was deceitful.

Step 5: To start a new journey with the .htaccess file, you are supposed to log into the Word Press dashboard. Then hit on Settings followed by the Permalinks.

Step 6: With no further modifications, proceed to hit on the button named Save Changes which is present at the end of the page.

Step 7: The steps you followed will lead you to the new journey with the .htaccess file required by the site.

In case if this method does not help you out with the error, proceed to the upcoming solution.

Method 2: By Resetting File and Directory Permissions

Next in the row of the causes, falls the not so enough permissions which are required to access the folders of the site. Thus, end up getting the 403 Forbidden Error. Usually, if the files are formed, the process is executed along with some inbuilt permissions. The permissions are assigned to manage the way for the read, execute as well as write operation on the files.

In case the user is utilizing the Hostinger, then it is easy to resolve this permission issue that arises. You just have to type Fix File Ownership and hit Enter in the text field assigned for searching. You can also move to the end of the control panel and reach Others. Here you can spot it. Hence the tool provided by Hostinger, helps you to minimize time duration for resolving the permission faults and preserve it as it was by- default.

Normally, File Zilla FTP client gives what is required to modify the permissions for the particular folders or files. So, here are the steps –

Step 1: Utilizing the FTP client, acquire the site’ s files.

Step 2: Go through the parent directory that is assigned for the hosting account.

Step 3: Choose the public_html, the folder responsible to have each and every file for the website. Then hit a right-click on it. Now, choose the File Attributes.

Step 4: Choose the Apply to Directories only. Then input the permission 775. This input should be done in the text field responsible to take numeric values. Then hit on OK.

Step 5: When File Zilla has finished with modifying the permissions, you have to perform Step 3 again. But now, choose the Apply to files only from the choices provided. Then input permission 644 in place of 775 in the text field provided.

Step 6: When you have completed the whole procedure, attempt to access the site again. Look for whether the issue is resolved or not.

In case you are still facing the same issue again, it is the time to proceed with the next solution in the town is the.

Method 3: CVBy Disabling WordPress Plugins

When you have reached this solution then it makes it clear that this 403 Forbidden Error has been encountered because of the not so genuine plugins. Here in this solution, we will proceed with making the plugins inactive. For the best approach, try to inactive every plugin altogether and not doing it one by one. This will point out the issue and you can resolve it easily. Follow these steps carefully –

Step 1: Acquire the hosting account along with the FTP. Search the public_html folder, the folder that has the duty to keep all the Word Press installation files.

Step 2: Spot the wp-content folder from the page.

Step 3: Then, you are supposed to spot the folder named Plugins. Now, modify the name of the folder. You can go with the name “disabled- plugins_” or anything that could be easier enough to get spotted and preserved.

After when you are all done with disabling every plugin, give an attempt to acquire the site for one more time. In case you are again spotting this issue, try to disable the plugins, individually. After doing that, once again try to reach the site. I hope it functions as it is supposed to. Here you learnt the method of how to get rid of the not so genuine plugins. You may proceed to provide an update to your plugins if required. You can also download the latest one.

In case, none of them came in your use, I recommend you to reach the hosting provider.


I know this 403 Forbidden Error drives you crazy as it does not allow you to acquire the site midst of your work. Don’t worry the above procedures would help you to resolve the problem in only few minutes. In case, you have shifted to some other host and not modified the Name- servers, you can spot this error in your approach to reach the site. This is because the domain is still coming up with the old one. So, once check for this side too and make your website to point on the genuine spot. Then you can resume your work, seamlessly.