How to Fix the 403 Forbidden Error in WordPress

Are you dealing with the 403 forbidden error on your WordPress website? Well keep watching, in this video I’ll walk you through a few methods you can use to fix the 403 or the access denied error on WordPress. Now note some of these solutions will also be involved using an FTP client, there are several to choose from but the one that I’ll be using in this video is FileZilla so make sure you get your FTP credentials ready and an FTP client installed on your computer. The first error we can look at is to check all of our WordPress plugins and make sure that there’s not something wrong specifically a security plugin might be causing this issue.


To do that we’ll need to deactivate all of our plugins and then activate each one individually to see which one is causing the issue. So on the right let’s make sure that we go up to the plugins area. Once we can see wp-admin and wp-content let’s double click on wp-content and you see the plugins folder here and we want to, we want to deactivate all plugins at the same time and the fastest way to do that is to simply rename the plugins folder so I’m going to right click rename you can rename this to anything I’ll just say deactivate and then you should be able to go to your website and see if it works.

If your site now works with all of your plugins deactivated that means that one of your plugins is causing the issue. You’ll need to activate each plugin individually until you can find the plugin that is corrupted. So you’ll want to go back to the FTP area and we’ll rename this back to plugins so I’m going to right click, rename, I’ll remove that to just plugins the cool thing about WordPress is once that deactivated everything all the plugins are in deactivated mode so you/we can just head back over to our WordPress dashboard, go down to plugins, installed plugins, and all of the plugins are here they’re just deactivated.


So activate each one individually and when you come across the plugin that causes the problem with your site again then you know that that’s the one that’s wrong. If deactivating all your plugins didn’t work then the next thing you can check is your htaccess file.

To do that let’s open up our FTP client on the right you want to make sure that you’re inside the public HTML of your website so that you can see things like your htaccess file let’s right-click and rename this. You can rename it anything we simply don’t want it to be the htaccess file name. Once you rename that you should be able to go to your website and see if you can access it. If you can access it then that’s great then we’ll just need to do one quick thing to get you back up and running quickly and you’ll want to make sure you go into the dashboard of your website, head down to settings, permalinks, you don’t have to do anything different to it simply scroll down and click Save Changes.


That just makes sure that your permalink structure is the same and that all of your urls can be accessed correctly and you should be good to go. The final fix that you want to look at is there might be an error that’s caused by the file permissions on your WordPress folders and files so let’s take a look let’s go back to our ftp client and we’ll make sure that all of the files and folder permissions are correct and if they’re not let’s go ahead and set them properly.

Now this file permissions issue it may have been caused by your hosting provider so you could also check with them to make sure that all your folders and files are working. They may check this for you and fix it for you or if you feel comfortable doing it you can look at this yourself. Now understand that any changes that you make can affect your site so do be careful. By default all folders on your WordPress website should have a file permission of either 7 4 4 or 7 5 5 that means that these folders and the folders underneath them all should have 7 4 4 or 7 5 5 and I’ll show you what I’m talking about. If we right click on the wp-admin we’ll go to file permissions you see the numeric value of that and that comes from if your deselecting anything up here you see how these change.

So the 755 just means that owner permissions has read write and execute group permissions have read and execute and then public permissions is just read and execute as well so that’s the 7 5 5 you want to make sure that all of the folders on your admin area have that so we can do a quick thing and run through each folder and say 755 I want to make it recursive meaning we want it to go into each sub folder and click apply to the directories only we only want it to apply to the folders underneath the admin area once we click OK it’ll go through and make sure that all of the folders in the wp-admin and below have that folder permissions on it.

So we’ll want to do that to that one and we’ll also want to do it to wp-content and wp- includes so go to file permissions, make sure it’s set for 755, do recursive, apply to directories only. Once you go through each folder you’ll also want to go in and make sure that each file is set for 6 4 4 or 6 4 0 so for instance I’m going to right click on my wp-admin I’m going to go to file permissions and I’m going to say 644 we want to recurse this into the subdirectories and we want to apply it to files only.


That means the folders will keep whatever structure they have but the files will change to 6 4 4 and click OK you’ll want to do the same thing for the wp-content and for the wp-includes files to make sure that all of the sub files are set to the right permissions. I’ll let this finish and we’ll come back and then finish this up and now your site should be accessible for you and you should no longer get the access denied or the 403 forbidden error.

If it’s still happening then feel free to contact your hosting provider as there might be something on the server that they need to fix for you. Did you learn something from today’s video? If so subscribe to our YouTube channel and we’ll send more helpful tips to help you manage your WordPress website and thanks for watching. .

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