Getting help with website error messages (HTTP errors)


HTTP errors are sent to your web browser from a website if a problem is encountered when trying to view a webpage. If the webpage can't be displayed, Internet Explorer will display either the actual error page sent by the website or a friendly error message built into Internet Explorer. Here are some of the most common errors and ideas for how to solve the problem that's causing them.

The following table lists the most common HTTP errors that Internet Explorer displays. For information about HTTP protocols, error codes, and causes, go to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) website.

HTTP error message
What it means

The webpage cannot be found (HTTP 400)

Internet Explorer is able to connect to the web server, but the webpage can't be found because of a problem with the web address (URL). This error message often happens because the website address is typed incorrectly. Make sure the address is correct and try again.

The website declined to show this webpage (HTTP 403)

Internet Explorer is able to connect to the website, but Internet Explorer doesn't have permission to display the webpage. This can happen for a variety of reasons; here are some of the most common:

  • The website's administrator has to give you permission to view the page or the web server doesn't accept public webpage requests. If this is a website that you should have access to, contact the website administrator.

  • The webpage you're trying to view is generated by a program, such as a shopping cart or search engine, and the folder on the server the program is contained in isn't correctly configured by the website administrator.

  • You've typed a basic web address (for example, www.example.com), but the website doesn't have a default webpage (such as index.htm or default.html). Additionally, the website doesn't allow directory listing, which allows you to view files in a web folder.

The webpage cannot be found (HTTP 404)

Internet Explorer is able to connect to the website, but the webpage isn't found. This error is sometimes caused because the webpage is temporarily unavailable (in which case, you can try again later) or because the webpage has been deleted.

The website cannot display the page (HTTP 405)

Internet Explorer is able to connect to the website, but the webpage content can't be downloaded to your computer. This is usually caused by a problem in the way the webpage was programmed.

Internet Explorer cannot read this webpage format (HTTP 406)

Internet Explorer is able to receive information from the website but the information isn't in a format that Internet Explorer can display.

The website is too busy to show the webpage (HTTP 408 or 409)

The server took too long to display the webpage or there were too many people requesting the same page. Try again later.

That webpage no longer exists (HTTP 410)

Internet Explorer is able to connect to the website, but the webpage can't be found. Unlike HTTP error 404, this error is permanent and was turned on by the website administrator. It's sometimes used for limited-time offers or promotional information.

The website cannot display the page (HTTP 500)

The website you're visiting had a server problem that prevented the webpage from displaying. It often occurs as a result of website maintenance or because of a programming error on interactive websites that use scripting.

The website is unable to display the webpage (HTTP 501 or 505)

Error 501 (HTTP 501 - Not Implemented) means that the website you're visiting isn't set up to display the content your browser is requesting. For example, the browser is asking for a file with a video extension (.AVI), but is telling the website it's looking for an HTML page.

Error 505 (HTTP 505 - Version Not Supported) means the website doesn't support the version of the HTTP protocol your browser uses to request the webpage (HTTP/1.1 being the most common).

Websites display HTTP errors in one of two ways: by showing a custom webpage or by sending a simple error number to Internet Explorer. If a website offers a custom webpage for the error, Internet Explorer will always display it. If a website sends a simple error number instead of a custom webpage, Internet Explorer will read the error number and display an error message that provides a bit more information than the number alone (these errors are also known as friendly error messages). Follow these steps to tell Internet Explorer to turn off these friendly error messages and simply display the error number sent by the website:

To turn off friendly HTTP error messages

  1. Open Internet Explorer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button. In the search box, type Internet Explorer, and then, in the list of results, click Internet Explorer.

  2. Click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.

  3. Click the Advanced tab, and then scroll down to the Browsing section.

  4. Clear the Show friendly HTTP error messages check box, and then click OK.




Need more help?