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How to Fix the 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

Are you dealing with the 403 Forbidden error on your WordPress site? It is one of the most dreadful errors that a WordPress beginner can come across. In this article, we will show you how to easily fix the 403 forbidden error in WordPress.

Fixing 403 Forbidden error in WordPress

What is a 403 Forbidden – Access Denied Error in WordPress?

WordPress shows codes and messages when an error occurs on your website. See our list of most common WordPress errors and how to fix them.

403 Forbidden status code shown on a WordPress site

403 Forbidden error code is shown when your server permissions don’t allow access to a specific page.

This is why the error is usually accompanied by the text:

403 Forbidden – You don’t have permission to access ‘/’ on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

There are different scenarios when you can see this error. For example:

  • 403 Forbidden – Access denied on wp-admin or WordPress login page.
  • 403 Forbidden – during WordPress install.
  • 403 Forbidden error when visiting any page on your WordPress site.
  • It is also possible that you only get to see ‘Access Denied’ instead of full 403 Forbidden status.
  • You may also see ‘Access to yourdomain.com was denied. You don’t have authorization to view this page.’

Now that you know about the different types of 403 errors, let’s talk about what causes this error.

What Causes 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress?

The most common cause for the 403 Forbidden error in WordPress is due to poorly configured security plugins. Many WordPress security plugins can block an IP address (or a whole range of IP addresses) if they believe them to be malicious.

This is why we use Sucuri to improve security of all our WordPress sites.

Another possible cause could be a corrupt .htaccess file or incorrect file permissions on your server.

Your WordPress hosting company can sometimes make accidental changes to their server settings. This may result in 403 Forbidden error on your site.

Having said that, let’s take a look at how to solve 403 forbidden error in WordPress.

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Fixing 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

Before you do anything, we recommend that you create a complete WordPress backup of your website. Here is our guide on how to manually create a WordPress backup.

If you were already using an automatic WordPress backup plugin, then make sure that you have access to a latest backup before moving forward.

1. Fixing 403 Forbidden Error Caused by a WordPress Plugin

First thing you need to do is to temporarily deactivate all WordPress plugins. This includes any security plugins that you may have installed on your site.

If this resolves your problem, then this means one of the plugins on your website was causing this error.

You can figure out which plugin was causing the error by activating all your plugins one at a time until you are able to reproduce the 403 forbidden error.

2. Fix 403 Forbidden Error Caused by Corrupt .htaccess File

Often the 403 error is caused by a corrupt .htaccess file in your WordPress site. Repairing this file is quite easy.

First you need to connect to your website using a FTP client or file manager in cPanel.

Next, locate the .htaccess file in the root folder of your WordPress site. See this guide if you can’t find .htaccess file in Your WordPress folder.

You need to download the .htaccess file to your computer so that you have a fresh backup of it. After that, you need to delete the file from your server.

Delete .htaccess file from your WordPress site

Try accessing your website. If 403 forbidden error is resolved, then this means that your .htaccess file was corrupt.

You can generate a fresh .htaccess file by logging into your WordPress admin area and going to Settings » Permalinks page.

Regenerating .htaccess file in WordPress

Simply click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page and WordPress will generate a fresh .htaccess file.

3. Fix 403 Forbidden Error Caused by File Permissions in WordPress

All files stored on your website have file permissions. These file permissions control who can access files and folders on your website.

Incorrect file permissions can cause 403 forbidden error. It makes your web server thinks that you do not have permission to access those files.

If the above two solutions do not solve the 403 forbidden error on your site, then incorrect file permissions can be the most likely cause.

You can ask your WordPress hosting provider to check your website for correct file permissions. Some hosts are very supportive, they wouldn’t mind and will probably fix that for you.

Changing file permissions yourself can have serious consequences. If you do not feel confident doing it yourself, then ask a friend for help or hire a professional.

However, if you want to do it yourself, then here is how you would check your file permissions.

Simply connect to your WordPress site using an FTP client. Navigate to the root folder containing all your WordPress files.

Checking file permissions

Click to select a folder, right click and then select File Permissions from the menu.

Your FTP client will show you a file permissions dialog box like this:

Changing file permissions using FTP

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. Check the box next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and then check the option that says ‘apply to directories only’.

Click on the OK button. Your FTP client will now start setting permissions to all subdirectories in that folder.

Once it is done, you need to repeat the process for all the files. This time you will use file permission of 644 or 640 and don’t forget to select ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and ‘apply to files only’. options.

Click on the OK button and your FTP client will start setting file permissions for all the selected files.

Try accessing your website now, and 403 forbidden error should be gone now.

We hope this article helped you fix the 403 forbidden error in WordPress. You may also want to see our expert tips and hacks to protect your WordPress admin area.

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154 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. None of these fix my problem as it is one page and the only way i could fix it was to rename the permalink, The page in trouble is https://example.com/blog/ and the only way i could fix it was to change it to /blog2/, any ideas?

  2. Please somebody help me. I have two websites on the same host. I just added a third addon domain recently and installed wordpress to it through the softaculous installer.

    The problem is not from wordpress, and other websites on the same host is accessible.

    Please help.

  3. I hade one page Forbiden 403 and tryied all the steps. And now i dont have permission to login wp-admin on my site? :-(

  4. Thank you so much for this article. My problem was a corrupted htaccess file. My website is now working fine.

  5. I still having this problem. I tried all the steps. The problem began when I installed the WooCommerce plugin in my WordPress Site. Now in my wordpress y receive a 403 Forbidden and in my other site, without wordpress i recieived a 502 Bad Gateway error.

    Please someone can help me?

  6. I discovered – after all else failed and many hours spent, that at one time (but no longer) I used Bullet Proof security. It left a stray .htaccess file in my wp-admin folder – THAT, was causing the 403 error for me. ARGH!

  7. There has to be a fourth step. None of these steps applied. The plugins weren’t the cause. The .htaccess file wasn’t the cause. All the permissions in all files and folders are set to the correct numerical values. :(

  8. Hi Friends, One Easy step will make You free from the existing problem.

    1. Go to CPanel of Your Domain

    2. Click to Expand public_html folder present at the extreme left of the screen.

    3. Double click on wp folder present on the write side of the screen

    4. Copy All files & Folders inside the wp folder

    5. Move all the files & folders inside the wp folder to UP ONE LEVEL

    6. Now All files & Folders are out of WP folder, hence WP folder is empty, come one level up & delete the empty WP folder

    7. Now go to browser & type your domain_name.com, PERFEFETLY it will be WORKING

    All the Best…if you have doubts regarding this mail me to

    Also if time permits visit my site
    Thank You All

  9. Hi, there! Thanks for this article!
    I got this error, so I access with my ftp and deleted .htaccess file. I’m now able to access my dashboard. But when I go to settings and save again as you say, the error 403 comes back. What can I do?
    Thank you, guys!

  10. What if I had a dedicated server, and its happening to all 43 of my sites…I just did some kind of WHM update on Bluehost, then it happened….Ive been waiting for an hour to talk to bluehost.

    • Josh –

      I had a similar thing happening to me here. “All of a sudden” none of my sites worked anymore.

      I am hosting the sites on my own MacMini, running OS-X Server. After a night of trouble-shooting, I eventually found out that the root cause was me enabling the FTP server in OS-X Server. In there, I set folder permissions for the website root folder for “Everyone Else” to “None” (seemed a bit tricky to give everyone Read access to my sites!). Apparently one is also blocking the _www user access to the websites then…

      After I changed this back to “Read Only”, my sites started working again… Pffff.

      I’m now looking for a permanent solution, which is not: “Close my firewall for FTP traffic.

      Hope this helps,
      Ronald

  11. This post saved my life! I can’t thank you enough for this helpful information but.. thanks a million :)

  12. You don’t have permission to access /loading.php on this server.
    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request

  13. I am getting the 403 error for my page and cannot even login into WordPress because of it… I don’t know how to fix it and don’t see anyone with the same issue.

  14. Hi. My WordPress is handled by the hosting company itself. So I dont have root access. How can I solve this problem?

  15. Same problem here, and ftp same result… checked in Cpanel and noticed my maindir permissions was 0000 , changed to 0755 and was fixed

  16. In my case, I had my website for 4 years and all of a sudden today I got this error although I did not touch the files or change any permissions. I logged into the control panel and noticed that for some reason the index.php file was missing from the WordPress root folder. I downloaded a new copy of WordPress and copied the index.php file on to the root folder of my WordPress website and the website came back!
    So perhaps if anyone is getting the same error, please double check that you have an index.php or index.html file. I hope that helps.

    • Ditto…no idea why/how but the index.php disappeared while I was working on a project…I was saved a load of hassle by an automatic backup where the index still existed.

    • Thanks Mimi! This worked for me while the solutions in the article didn’t. In my case, the index.php file wasn’t actually missing but when I replaced the one that was there with a fresh one the site started working again so I guess it was corrupted or had some kind of other problem.

      My specific error message did also mention the index.php file so that also makes sense:

      Forbidden
      You don’t have permission to access /index.php on this server.

      Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    • Nothing worked for me until I added “Options +FollowSymLinks” (without the quotes) above “RewriteEngine On”.

  17. I did all three possible causing 403 error fixing that you informed but it still produced the error. By the way i wanted to edit footer template but when i saved / updated file it produced “403 Forbidden Access to this resource on the server is denied!”

    • This is a reply to your comment on wpbegginer.com (comment quoted below)
      I am not sure if you were able to resolve your problem but I would like to let you know that I got the same error today and I found that the problem was a missing index.php file from the root folder of my website.

      ———————————————————————–
      “I did all three possible causing 403 error fixing that you informed but it still produced the error. By the way i wanted to edit footer template but when i saved / updated file it produced “403 Forbidden Access to this resource on the server is denied!””

  18. Hello,

    I need help, while trying install wordpress with mamp, after i did everything what i supposed to do, it showed me this error :
    ‘Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /mysite on this server.
    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.’

    Please help me!

  19. Hello guys.

    Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access /shop/ on this server.

    I’ve tried everything and doesn’t work.
    if someone can help would be great thank you.

  20. Thanks. Great article. To fix my problem I had to do a slight variant on what was written. When I looked I found that I had two htaccess files, one in the root directory and another in the wp-admin directory. I regained access to my site by renaming the htaccess file in the wp-admin directory.

  21. Hello;

    Mine happens when i want to save changes of an article by a deleted admin user

  22. I have a user who is getting the following 403 when he tries to leave a comment:

    403 Forbidden Error Page

    If you arrived here due to a search or clicking on a link click your Browser’s back button to return to the previous page. Thank you.

    IP Address: xxx.xx.xx.xx” (his actual IP address shows up here)

    What could be wrong?

  23. Hi,
    I get a ‘Forbidden’ on the wp-admin page of my website. It doesn’t say error 403 – forbidden; it just says forbidden”.

    I have re-installed wordpress, checked file permissions, checked htpaccess, deactivated all plugins etc. yet it doesn’t work.

    Pls what can i do!

    Thanks a lot.

  24. Hi! When I share my website link to facebook, the title is 403 Forbidden. Directly on my website I didn’t saw any kind of 403 forbidden message. I tried a lot of advises I found, as removing .htaccess file, desactivating all the plugins and also checked permissions. I tried to debug at facebook debugger, but the informations doesn’t change. Anyone can help me to fix this problem?

  25. I have many errors 403 with my images, I will take your advice thanks for the information

    An apology for my bad english

  26. Hi. my problem is that i can logout from the backend dashboard but i cant logout from the front end (using the bar at the top).

    It seems that the nonce in the logout url is different when on the backend. Do you know why this could be? i have cleared everything out of my functions.php but it still happens.

  27. Hi,

    I am newbie in WordPress and Currently I am facing some problem while login WordPress Dashboard.
    It’s showing 403 forbidden errors while login but on the other side my friend open similar site on their internet then its working correctly. Kindly let me know

    Thanks,

  28. I have similar issue, as a company on our dev server we are running much wordpress sites where to only 1 WP site i started to get 403 and only on wp-admin. 2 Days before i have lived elsewhere when it worked.

    foo.bar/somewebsite/* -> 200 OK
    foo.bar/somewebsite/wp-admin -> rediret to wp-login.php -> 403 err

    foo.bar/somewebsite2/* -> 200 OK
    foo.bar/somewebsite2/wp-admin -> rediret -> 200 OK

    Ftp to foo.bar is ok, ssh to foo.bar is ok.

    On “somewebsite” the WP admin is blocked only for me (all browsers, all existing incognito modes, all cache cleared incl. cookies….). For all people i have asked to try it worked without any problems.

    There is nothing wrong with htaccess, wordfence was disabled from ftp (also checked the DB if there is any ban to my IP). checked the main apache2 access log over ssh where i see the 403 record.

    Any idea what can be wrong?

  29. Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    and none of above method work on this error my cpanel not showing. I read the whole article
    plz, help me solve this.
    thanks

  30. Uhh! WordPress wp-admin 403 error is really time killing.

    I try your all tricks but still getting a error. Going to change wp-admin folder with fresh files of wp-admin files.

    Maybe it will help me or other option is apache configuration or poorly mod_security configuration.

  31. We work with WordPress everyday and recently encountered the 403 error. It was the file permissions and htaccess file that was reconfigured due to one of the security plugins. Your post on the matter was very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post it.

  32. dear sir my site name is my site give me error like

    Forbidden

    You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

    Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

    and non of above method work on this error my cpane not showing any files in file explorer and also not connecting via FTP client.. i read whole article
    plz help me solve this..
    thanks

  33. Hi, we have also been experiencing a 403 error. It first started happening when I tried to update the wp-core to 4.5. Ever since we get a 403 about once a day. I have done everything that I can think of to rectify the issue; reverted to a back-up of the site previous to the update; deactivated all plugins; checked file permissions; contacted hosts to see if our IP addresses were blacklisted; deleted .htaccess; changed theme to default 2016 the only thing that works when getting a 403 is to turn off the router wait for the IP to change and then we can access again. So it would seem to be an IP issue but I cannot find where this is IP blockage is.

    Does anybody know of any other place where an IP blacklist maybe?

    Thanks.

  34. We just had this error. A outside web designer was creating a WordPress site for us and kept getting the 403 error.
    Turns out our hosting company, as part of its security measures, has its servers block any attempt to sign in with the user name ‘Admin’. I know, you would think he would know better. A change to the user name was all that was needed.

  35. your typo
    [due to a poorly configured security plugins]
    due to a poorly configured security plugin

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