HTTP 401 Error: A Guide to Troubleshoot, Prevent, and Solve


http 401 error guide

A 401 error page could appear when trying to access any website. The 401 error, one of the most unpleasant HTTP response codes, and is among the most frequent 401 status codes when attempting to access a certain URL.

It can be really irritating to have to stop an online project or research to address these 401 error problems.

The 401 Error, often known as the 401 Unauthorized Error, or 401 status code indicates that the website or web application was unable to authenticate a user’s access request.

What is a 401 Error?

http 401 error

The 401 Error could come up due to the absence of proper authentication credentials for the target resource.

As a result of which the request does not get confirmed, as shown by the unauthorized 401 Error.

The browser sends a request when users view a URL; in this instance, the request was unconfirmed.

When a request fails, HTTP 400 status codes are sent. Once the browser refuses visitors access to the page they’re attempting to view, a 401 error, in particular, occurs.

As a result, the browser will load a 401 status code message rather than the web page. Any browser may experience 401 errors; thus, the message shown may vary.

3 Reasons for a 401 Error Page

One may tell they are dealing with a client-side (or browser-side) problem if they get a 401 status code in the 400s.

Although the issue can occur within the browser, on limited resources, such as password-protected sections of the WordPress website, 401 status code issue could appear even otherwise.

1# Outdated cookies and cache in the browser

The browser’s cache and cookies are out of date, which prevents the authorization from working properly, which is one of the most frequent causes of a 401 error.

The server will deny the request if the browser isn’t utilizing any (or any valid) login credentials.

2# Incompatibility with the plugin

Other times, a plugin’s compatibility issue or problem is to blame for this 401 error. To safeguard the website, a firewall or security plugin, for instance, can interpret the login attempt as malicious activity and deliver a 401 error.

3# Invalid URL or Expired Link

Another possibility is that a small 401 status code served as the problem’s catalyst. An obsolete link or a poorly written URL are frequent offenders in this category.


4 Different Ways to troubleshoot and solve the 401 Error

Refresh the page before attempting one of the troubleshooting steps below. The “one final reload” can frequently fix the 401 status code issue and help users save some time.

1# Clear the Cache and Cookies in the Browser

One may already be aware that cached and browser cookies enhance the user experience on several websites.

The main goal is to inform the various websites that a returning frequent user or visitor.

Consequently, cookies and cache data increase the customization of web pages and loading times.

However, 401 errors may be caused by cached and browser cookies. In the device’s internal storage, both occupy digital space.

The “static assets” of a website are kept in the cache. Even after several visits to the same website, the data remains the same.

Briefly stated, caching enables the browser to preload a number of the live site’s parts and components.

Additionally, cookies keep information particular to the device and browser on the device, which somewhat lowers the time it takes for a page to load.

2# Check the inserted URL twice

Users frequently forget to enter the right URL. If the erroneous site URL is entered in the browser, the 401 error may appear.

This will result in a 401 status code since the access request will be sent to the incorrect URL, which might not host the erroneously requested information.

To prevent the 401 error, make sure the URL entered in the browser’s address bar is the correct one by checking.

Checking each letter of the URL, including any special symbols, characters, or numerals, might get tiresome.

However, it is the only way to be certain that the URL being used to access web resources is correct and that one can prevent a 401 status code.

3# Clear the DNS Cache

Additionally, DNS records can be found in the device’s internal storage. DNS records are subject to aging, which may result in a 401 status code if the site URL is changed.

They contain data that more quickly connects your IP address (i.e., that of the client) with the URL of the accessible server.

DNS records are mostly used to reduce the amount of time needed for a server to load a particular URL, which may result in the 401 error status if the URL is changed.

However, DNS cache and records are comparable to browser cookies and cache.

Locally stored DNS caching functions at the system level.

A 401 error may appear when the DNS cache is out-of-date and provides inaccurate or damaged URLs. One can clear the DNS cache to resolve the 401 error.

The right URLs may be requested and authenticated to force the device to create a new DNS error cache.

Related: How to Flush DNS Cache From Your Computer?

4# Several Modules, Themes, and Plug-Ins Can Be Disabled

One can try removing a number of modules, plugins, and themes if the website administrator is displaying the 401 error message.

It will be easy to identify the cause of the 401 status code if they are taken from the website or disabled.

Plugins and extensions will increase the website’s 401 status code, no matter the CMS. Consequently, the 401 error message may appear.

When the browser and the server are unable to interact or authenticate requests, a 401 error will normally appear. Despite how unpleasant this 401 error message is, it is simple to resolve.

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If you are a business who wants your visitors to avoid facing 401 error situations, talk to us at Exabytes to solve all website-related problems. To know more about our web hosting services, contact us.

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