How To Fix Apache 403 Forbidden Error

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Resolving ‘403 Forbidden’ Error in Apache: A Comprehensive Guide

Encounter the ‘403 Forbidden’ error on Apache? Unlock the solutions with our comprehensive guide. From permissions to Apache configurations, learn the steps to resolve this issue and regain control of your web server.


The ‘403 Forbidden’ error in Apache can be frustrating for website administrators, but do not worry – we have got your back. In this guide, we will walk you through a step-by-step process for diagnosing and resolving this common problem, ensuring your web server runs smoothly. Let’s dive in. I wrote this post for Linux newbies who are just starting out and want to learn more about Linux and its applications. Also If you want to know how to install apache server on Ubuntu server Click this link.

Here are some common solutions to the Apache error 403: Forbidden Error.

1. Examine Error Log

Review the Apache error log for detailed information on the ‘403 Forbidden’ error:

tail -f /var/log/apache2/error.log

2. Verify Apache Configuration

Ensure your Apache configuration files are error-free:

apachectl configtest

Fix any syntax errors or misconfigurations that may arise.

3. Check .htaccess File

Examine your .htaccess file for any rules causing the ‘403 Forbidden’ error. Look out for typos or misconfigurations.

4. Verify Document Root

Confirm that the DocumentRoot in your Apache configuration file points to the correct directory:

DocumentRoot /path/to/your/web/root

5. Check Index File

Make sure an index file (e.g., index.html, index.php) is present in the DocumentRoot directory. If not, add an appropriate index file.

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6. Verify User and Group Settings

Check the Apache user and group settings in your configuration file:

User www-data
Group www-data

Ensure they have the necessary permissions.

7. Check SELinux or AppArmor

If using SELinux or AppArmor, check logs for denials and adjust policies accordingly.

8. Check File and Directory Permissions

Permissions are crucial to Apache is ability to serve files. Set the appropriate permissions with the chmod command:

chmod 755 <directory_name>
chmod 644 <file_name>

9. Update Directory Configuration

Add or update the directory configuration in your Apache file:

<Directory /path/to/your/web/root>
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
AllowOverride All
Require all granted

10. Restart Apache

After making changes, restart Apache to apply configurations:

service apache2 restart  # For Debian/Ubuntu
systemctl restart apache2  # For systems using systemd


Resolving the ‘403 Forbidden’ error in Apache is a systematic process that involves checking permissions, configurations, and directory settings. By following these steps, you can diagnose and fix the issue, ensuring your web server operates smoothly. Don’t let a simple error stand in the way of your website’s performance – empower yourself with the knowledge to overcome it.

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