What is a 404 error and how to fix it?

If you’re an internet user – and as you’re reading this, it’s safe to say that you are – you’ve probably encountered the 404 error message before.

But what does that actually mean and how do you solve the problem?

Internet users need to know how to fix a 404 error warning


Internet users need to know how to fix a 404 error warning

What is a 404 error?

A 404 error indicates that the webpage you are trying to access cannot be found.

This usually occurs when the page has been moved or deleted, or when a URL has been entered incorrectly.

These messages have been used since the internet was in its infancy.

However, finding broken pages is far less common now, as many websites have custom 404 pages that redirect users and have user interfaces that disguise the fact that an error occurred in the first place.

Most websites now also automatically redirect visitors away from these error messages when pages are shut down.

How to fix a 404 error

If you are unfortunate enough to encounter this message, there are a number of things you can try to work around it.

If you’re looking for a starting point, try the following fixes:

It may sound obvious, but try refreshing the page. 404 errors can be caused by temporary glitches rather than problems with the site.

Make sure you entered the URL correctly. We are all human and a misspelling in the URL could give you 404-ed.

Contact the site owner or webmaster and let them know the link isn’t working.

Try accessing the page on a different device. If you have another way of accessing the internet, try your phone or tablet and see if the page is visible.

If you can, there might be a problem with the cache on your computer. This can be fixed by simply deleting it and trying again.

Use a search engine to locate the page as the URL may have changed.

What other error status codes are there?

Websites are a complicated patchwork of interconnected pages, and it’s not uncommon for errors to occur.

Needless to say, 404s aren’t the only blockages you may encounter.

Other common HTTP error codes are:

  • 400 Invalid request. That sounds a bit pejorative, but it actually means that the HTTP request sent to the server is corrupt or incorrect.
  • 401 Unauthorized. You will receive this if you have not been authenticated or this has not been done correctly. You may need to enter credentials to access it.
  • 403 Forbidden. This indicates that the server understood the request but refuses to authorize it.
  • An internal server error 500 means there is a problem on the site’s server, but the server cannot tell what the problem is.
  • 502 Bad Gateway indicates a problem with the server communicating with the website
  • 503 Service unavailable means that the server cannot process the request due to maintenance work or overload.
  • The 504 gateway can be caused by a “timeout” issue between servers. What is a 404 error and how to fix it?

Fry Electronics Team

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