How to fix 403 forbidden Error in WordPress

Being a WordPress website owner or user, 403 error is one of the most common kinds of error you will face. In this post, we are going to see all the aspect of this 403 error with WordPress and how to resolve it. We will also see the different variations of the error and root cause behind this.

What is 403 forbidden error?

403 is basically an HTTPS status code which comes when the page or resource you are trying to access is forbidden or you don’t have proper rights to access that. There can be many reasons behind this and we will discuss all one by one. One of those can be the below-

what is 403 forbidden error

As this is a front-end related issue and so the webmaster can customize this forbidden error page and will show you some meaningful messages. Also, there are different variants of the 403-forbidden error and we will see that in the next section.

403 forbidden error variants

Here are the different error codes and messages web pages shows for this 403-forbidden error. It depends on the operating systems and the browsers you are using. Here are the different error code and messages for the same-

  • 403 Forbidden
  • HTTP 403
  • Forbidden: You don’t have permission to access a particular file or directory on this server
  • Forbidden
  • Error 403
  • HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden
  • Error 403 – Forbidden
  • HTTP Error 403 – Forbidden

Again, as said, it completely depends on the nature of the OS and browsers. For the same issue, chrome will show some other messages while internet explorer will show something else. For the details of these error codes and solution, you may check 000webhost.com where you can also get free web hosting for your website.

What causes the 403-forbidden error?

There can be various reason behind this error and we are going to work on all those one by one here in this post. The main reason for this error 403 is an access issue. Being said that, it says the content or page or files you are trying to access is not permissible to you due to many reasons.

Apart from this, if you are using any security plugin to your website then also there is a chance that you will get 403 forbidden error. It may collide with the configuration file of your original website. Or generally these security plugins have some predefined configuration and if any of your files are matching to that, then also you may get the error.

No matter what the reasons behind this error are, we are going to talk about the solution from all perspective.

Fix 403 forbidden error

Here are the probable steps you should follow to correct this error 403. Follow these step by step and get this issue resolved quickly.

  1. Check your security plugin

As I said earlier, WordPress security plugin is one of the major reason behind the 403 error. Usually what has been seen that there are some file format or content which these security plugins don’t allow and so if your website content or file matches with the blocked category of the website then you may face this issue.

And so, when you are starting to troubleshoot the issue, first disable the security plugin that you are using and check if the issue has been resolved or not. If yes, then the security plugin was the culprit else moves to the next step. If the security plugin is the problem, then connect to the developers or check their configuration file. Or you can move to the premium and some quality WP security plugin also.

  1. Browser Cache and cookies

Yes, the error 403 can be the temporary issue also and so when you are getting the error, try to clear the browser cache and see if that has resolved the issue. Clearing the browser cache is not a tough job and simply by visiting the setting option of any browser, you can do so. But this will solve the issue only if the error is coming just for you and not at all.

clear browser cache

Clearing the browser cookies can also be one of the solutions where you can clear the cookies and it should work especially if you have logged in to the same websites multiple times. So, try these 2 options before moving ahead.

  1. Check .htaccess file

The .htaccess file is one of the important assets of any WordPress website and will be usually found in the root directory. And if there is an issue with this file or the file itself is corrupted then you will experience the issue and so we need to take care of it.

To access the .htaccess file you can log in the file directory and find it in the root directory. This will be done through the cPanel. Else you can also connect through the FTP and get access to the file for better working.

htaccess del

So, first take the backup of this file and then delete it. Or you can rename it by making a copy at the same place. Then check if the error is no longer available. If you are not getting an error now that means the .htaccess file was corrupted. Once done, generate a new .htaccess file by visiting the permalink section of your WordPress admin setting.

  1. Manage the file permission issue

If the above three methods haven’t worked for you then it’s time to check for the file permission issue. It can be the file permission issue due to which you are unable to access any web page properly.

file permission issue

Again, to resolve the issue, you need to check each folder and see what kind of access those have. For this, you can right-click on files or folders and find the permission involved.

Here are the default settings involved with these WordPress files and folders-

  • All folders on your WordPress site should have a file permission of 744 or 755
  • All files on your WordPress site should have a file permission of 644 or 640
  • You can set the file permission to the root folder to 744 or 755

Once done, recheck the website or page where you were getting the issue and it should have been resolved.


These were all about the error 403, it’s detection, root cause, and resolution steps.  After all of these also, if your issue is not resolved, you may contact your hosting provider. All the leading hosting solutions for blogs provide excellent tech support as well. Don’t get panic if your websites have started getting this error and make sure to do the steps I have explained above.

Anas Virk
Anas Virkhttp://www.healthicu.com
Anas is a young business entrepreneur and blogger. He loves to explore creative ideas and transform them into a valuable read by his amazing writings skills.


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