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Facing 403 Forbidden WordPress Error? Let’s Fix It!

March 4, 2019

4 Min Read
wordpress 403 forbidden
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Have you recently faced a 403 forbidden error in WordPress? People usually panic out when they locate a 403 forbidden error in their WordPress websites. It can become a source of confusion, hence, I am going to educate individuals on how they can quickly resolve 403 forbidden WordPress error on their WordPress websites.

But before we move ahead, let’s see what a 403 forbidden error is. It is a status code which is generated as a result of the web server being improperly configured. This improper configuration can result in denying access to the requested resource by the client.

The error can be a bit tricky to resolve because your browser isn’t able to load the scripts up as your server isn’t allowing it. However, if you are using a WordPress website, this is how you can resolve WordPress forbidden error.

Why 403 Forbidden Error Occurs?

One can find a number of different scenarios when you can observe this error. Listed below are some of the scenarios where you can significantly encounter the WordPress 403 error occurs:

  • when you can create a new article or edit an old one.
  • after installing WordPress.
  • when you migrate your WordPress website from live server to the local server.
  • when you can’t access any pages/login to your WordPress website.

Fix 403 Forbidden WordPress Error

To fix WordPress 403 forbidden error, follow the steps carefully.

1. Create a Backup

Most of the time, you are not responsible for the errors that occur on your WordPress website hosting server. As you can end up making mistakes like a human, the server can end up making mistakes as they are managed by humans only. Some of these errors are severe and may end up compromising your whole website, therefore backing up website data on your server is an essential element.

If your hosting provider fails to provide you with the right options for backup, you can try the following WordPress backup plugins.

2. Check .htaccess File

One of the reasons why 403 forbidden WordPress error occurs is corrupted .htaccess file. You can fix a corrupt .htaccess file in a few seconds with any FTP manager.

File Zilla

First, login to your server using FTP, download .htaccess file which is located in the same location where folders like /wp-content/ wp-admin /wp-includes/ are located.


After that, you need to download .htaccess file on your computer for safe side. Then delete the .htaccess file from your server.

Delete htaccess

Now refresh your website and check out if WordPress 403 error is resolved or not, if not then this confirms that your .htaccess file is corrupt. If WordPress 403 forbidden error still persists, then you need to move to the next step.

Log in to your WordPress admin dashboard for generating a fresh .htaccess file. Go to Setting → Permalinks page. After that just click on the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page. It will generate a fresh .htaccess file.

Product Permalinks

4. Check File Permissions

Many files in WordPress requires access permissions. However, when there are incorrect permissions, the server will demonstrate 403 forbidden error. It shows that you do not have the particular file which you have requested.

  • You need to connect your WordPress website using an FTP.
  • Navigate to the root folder.
  • Now click on the right click option and find out the file permissions option.

File Permissions
You can see the file permission dialog box. It will look like this.

Apply Permissions
Make sure the numeric value in the Permission box of your WordPress website is set to 744 or 755.

You can quickly set permission by yourself. Check the box next to ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and then check the option that says ‘apply to directories only.’

Done with this process, you need to repeat the same process for all the files. Now, you will be setting the file permission to 644 or 640 and don’t forget to select ‘Recurse into subdirectories’ and ‘apply to directories only’ options.

Now check your website again if 403 forbidden WordPress error still persists. If it still persists then you need to perform this next step.

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5. Deactivate All Plugins

Login to your WordPress admin dashboard and navigate to Plugins → Installed Plugins. Deactivate the plugins one by one and then refresh your website after deactivation. If the website starts working fine, then obviously the error is in the plugin. Now you need to activate each plugin one by one and check out your website after each activation. The problematic plugin will soon be identified.

Deactivate Plugins

That’s all there is to it. During your free time, you can also check out How To Fix 404 Error Page On WordPress.


We hope you found this guide helpful and that you were able to solve your “WordPress 403 error” problem. Have you figured out any other way to get rid of this problem? Please share your solutions with us in the provided comment section below. I am sure, it will be beneficial for others who are facing similar issues.

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Saud Razzak

Saud is the WordPress Community Manager at Cloudways - A Managed WooCommerce Hosting Platform. Saud is responsible for creating buzz, spread knowledge, and educate the people about WordPress in the Community around the globe. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and learn new things on the Internet. You can email him at

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