HTTP error message 404 and 403


Most of us have encountered these error messages while trying to access a website or page. Different web browsers may give slightly different text along with the error codes. These are HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) standard response code messages found on computer communications networks. They are sometimes known as browser error codes or Internet error codes. The 400 series of error codes deals with client side errors. These codes are different from system error codes which also share the numbers, but they deal with completely different problems. They are not related, and they should be treated differently.

HTTP 404

The message that you see on your screen may be HTTP 404, 404 Not Found, The Page Cannot Be Found, 404 Error Message. It indicates that the client server was able to communicate with a given server but could not find the information that was required, or the requested page is no longer in existence. That’s why this message is known as the File Not Found message. It provides no indication whether the problem is temporary or permanent. We usually get this message when the server does not want to reveal why your request was not fulfilled. It could give this message as a general response in the absence of any other applicable response. What to do if you receive the 404 Error Message:

  • Use Google to search for a similar page
  • Check that you entered the URL correctly
  • Use a different file extension with the URL (.html, .php, .htm)
  • Look for a search function on the main page
  • Check for anything viewable in the directory by removing the filename from the URL

HTTP 403

The HTTP 403 message is another standard HTTP response code which indicates that the access to the requested URL is forbidden for some reason. Although the request was understood the server will not fulfil it due to certain client related issues. This code could appear when you’re trying to browse a directory in which browsing permission is denied or turned off. You may be able to access the file internally from the server but not through your browser. For more information on HTTP error messages 404 and 403, contact

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