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Resolve 403 forbidden error using cPanel

by | Sep 21, 2021

Wondering how to resolve 403 forbidden error using cPanel? We can help you.

As part of our Server Management Services, we assist our customers with several WHM queries.

Today, let us see how our support techs resolve this error.

How to resolve 403 forbidden error using cPanel?

403 Forbidden Request error is one of many HTTP codes that indicate server or website problems.

There are two main reasons for this:

1.Your web host has set up access permissions.

Certain actions can trigger these permission settings.

For instance, if you’ve logged in from multiple tabs on your browser, or if you’ve logged in too many times within a short span of time, your web host may have set up an automated system to flag this kind of activity as suspicious, since it could be a hacker or a bad bot.

This will block your IP address and you will see a 403 error code.

2.There may be a misconfiguration in your WordPress files.

There are three ways you can fix the 403 error :

1. Disable your .htaccess file

2. Disable your plugins

3. Check your WordPress file permissions

Disable .htaccess file

Download a copy of the .htaccess file before you make any changes.

Step 1: To access the .htaccess file, log into your web hosting account. Go to cPanel > File Manager, and open a folder called public_html.

Step 2: Inside the public_html folder, you should see three other folders called wp-admin, wp-content, and wp-includes along with files like index.php and wp-config.php.

You can also find the .htaccess file. In case you don’t see it, go to Settings and select Show Hidden Files.

This will reveal the .htaccess file.

Step 3: Select and download the .htaccess file as a backup copy.

Step 4: Next, select and delete the .htaccess file.

Now, access your website and see if the forbidden error message has been resolved.

If it has, then it’s an issue with your .htaccess file.

To generate a new .htaccess file, login to your wp-admin dashboard.

Go to Settings > Permalinks and simply click on Save Changes.

This will automatically generate a new .htaccess file for you.

You may be interested in learning more about the .htaccess file.

Check file permissions

Every file and folder on your WordPress site has a set of permissions.

This determines who can access these files and who can make changes.

There are three permission settings:

Read – The user can only view the data and contents of a file or folder

Write – The user can make modifications, add or delete files

Execute – The user can run and execute files and perform functions and commands.

If these permissions are incorrectly configured, it could cause a number of errors including the 403 Forbidden Request.

To fix your WordPress file permissions, follow these steps:

Step 1: Go to cPanel > File Manager, and open a folder called public_html.

Step 2: Then, manually checking the file permissions for each file and folder would be exhausting.

Instead, you can view your file permissions collectively first.

Inside the public_html folder, you’ll see the last column displays the file permissions which is a 3-digit number:

WordPress recommends the following file permissions:

Files – 644 or 640

Directories – 755 or 750

If you see that these permissions are incorrect, you can fix it by selecting the file or folder and then choosing Permissions.

A box will open up with the permission settings which is a three-digit code:

Next, you need to apply permissions to your WordPress files.

Make sure you stick to the recommended file permissions, which are 644 or 640 for WordPress files and 755 or 750 for directories or folders.

Disable plugins

Plugins offer cool functions and can enhance the performance and appearance of your site.

But many times, a plugin can become incompatible with the WordPress core.

This can happen especially if you haven’t updated your plugins for a while.

Step 1: Log into your hosting account and go to cPanel > File Manager.

Step 2: Open public_html.

Then, open the wp-contents folder.

Step 3: Find the folder called Plugins and rename it to Plugins_Disable.

Step 4: Now check if your website to see if the 403 error has been resolved.

If it’s a plugin issue, then we recommend that you log into wp-admin.

Step 5: Next, activate your plugins one at a time.

Each time you activate a plugin, reload your site to check if the error comes back.

This will help you determine which plugin is causing the error.

You might need to update the plugin to fix the issue or contact the plugin developer to get the problem resolved.

In case it’s a nulled plugin, we advise you to delete it from your site immediately and opt for a trusted alternative from the WordPress repository.

One of these steps should resolve the 403 Forbidden Request Error on your website.

In case, you’re still facing the error, we’ve detailed a few options that you can use to get further help in a later section.

[Need further assistance? Contact us now]


In short, we saw an effective method our Support Techs employ to resolve 403 forbidden error using cPanel.


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