You may have often encountered a 404 error while browsing a webpage. This error may occur due to an incorrect page address or an absent page on the server. 404 errors simply are HTTP standardised response codes displayed on your web browser when the requested page is not found on the server.
However, that doesn’t mean that the entire website/server is down. In most cases, only the requested webpage is unreachable while the server is up and running. The 404 error messages that you see are customisable. So, different websites may have dissimilar 404 error messages.
In this article, we will explain why a 404 error occurs and how to get get rid of it. So, you don’t have to be confused the next time you see a not found error on the web.
How Does a 404 Error Appear?
Depending on web browsers, operating systems and applications, 404 messages are displayed in the following form.
- HTTP 404
- HTTP 404 Not Found
- Error 404
- Error 404 Not Found
- 404 Error
- 404 Not Found
- 404 Page Not Found
- The requested URL (URL) was not found on this server
- 404 File or Directory Not Found
- Error 404. The page you’re looking for can’t be found
These error messages are displayed just like other web pages. Additionally, the windows update shows the error by displaying error code 0x80244019. On the other hand, the Microsoft application shows “The internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found (HTTP/1. 0 404)” in the application itself.
Reasons for 404 Error
There are primarily two reasons for a 404 error, one is from the client end and the other from the developer/server end.
Client End: you may have typed an incorrect URL that doesn’t exist. So, when your browser requests the server to display the page, it returns a 404 error webpage in place of the actual page.
For example, if you want to visit www.facebook.com but have typed the wrong address that doesn’t exist, it will cause an HTTP 404 error.
Sever End: If the page has been moved to a new address and the developers have not updated the page URL or have not directed the address to the new one.
How to Get Rid of the 404 Error?
1. Reloading the webpage might solve the issue. You can press F5 (on Windows) or click on the reload button or right-click and choose Refresh, or just press enter by clicking the address.
404 Error might occur for different reasons, but sometimes it may come up for nothing. So, simple reloading might solve the issue.
2. In most cases, users tend to type in the wrong page address/URL in the address bar. So, check the URL again to get rid of the error.
3. Sometimes, going through the server directory can resolve the issue. Suppose www.example.com/1/a/c.html is the URL you encounter the HTTP 404 Error.
Try going one level up the directory by deleting the /c.html from the URL. If that doesn’t resolve the issue, go further by deleting /a and see if it works.
Repeat the process until you land on a working page. If you don’t land on a working page, the website may be down or moved to a new address.
4. Popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., help you get the correct address of your desired website. Even if you type the wrong address, they will suggest the correct URL in a search result or via the “Did you mean?” suggestion.
If you repeatedly forget the URL, you can bookmark the page in your browser. That way, you can easily access the required website.
5. Often, clearing the browser cache or cookies can work! If the URL is working fine, i.e., no 404 Error Not Found message is displayed on either your phone or tablet, cleaning the cache and cookie will resolve the issue.
6. If an entire website is not opening even after cache/cookie clearance, changing the DNS utilised by your system is another option, given the page is operational on different networks and on different levels of devices.
However, a 404 Error in a whole website is uncommon and may be due to some restrictions imposed by the ISP or Internet Service Provider. So, alter your DNS settings to eliminate the HTTP 404 error.
7. You can also reach out to the website owner. They may have removed or relocated the page you are trying to access. So, contacting them would give you the correct reason for the ever-occurring 404 not found.
Moreover, they may be unaware of the problem and contacting them would help other users also who are trying to access the same page as you.
8. Lastly, in the event that none of the abovementioned techniques fixes the 404, taking a break and waiting for some time might be the ONLY way. However, you have to be sure about the website address and adamant that it shouldn’t be displaying a 404 error.
What are similar errors like 404 Error Not Found?
There are other errors, just as 404 Error Not Found. Some of the most common client-end errors are 403 Forbidden, 408 Request Timeout, 401 Unauthorized, and 400 Bad Request.
Moreover, server-end errors like the 500 Internal Server Error, which we all are familiar with.
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FAQs – 404 Not Found Error
1. How to fix a 404 not found on WordPress?
404 Error on WordPress is mainly due to permalink or redirect conflicts. So, fixing the links for every page and post will resolve the issue. You can do it by going to the WordPress settings and verifying the permalink structure.
2. How to fix 404 not found on websites?
It may be due to the broken links on your website, and you need to redirect them to the correct address. Also, if the page doesn’t exist anymore, try redirecting it to a new relevant page or simply the homepage.
By now, we are sure that you are aware of the 404 not found in all of its forms. Also, the steps we have suggested to get rid of the error are easy and don’t require expert help, and you can easily do it by yourself.