The 404 error is an HTTP status code that means the page you’re trying to access could not be found on a website on its server. The error indicates that although the server is reachable, the particular page showing the error is not.
The 404 Not Found error message is often customized by websites. So keep in mind that the error can show up in any number of ways, depending on the site it appears on.
Some forms of 404 error expressions
Here are some common ways you might see an HTTP 404 error displayed:
- 404 Error
- 404 Not Found
- Error 404
- The requested URL [URL] was not found on this server
- HTTP 404
- Error 404 Not Found
- 404 File or Directory Not Found
- HTTP 404 Not Found
- 404 Page Not Found
- Error 404. The page you’re looking for can’t be found.
These error messages can appear in any browser or operating system. Most are displayed inside a browser window like web pages.
In Internet Explorer, the webpage cannot be found message usually indicates an HTTP 404 error, but a 400 Bad Request error is another possibility. You can check which error IE is referring to by checking the 404 or 400 that appear in the title bar.
The Error 404 appears when opening links through Microsoft Office applications that produce the message “The Internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found (HTTP/1.0 404)” inside the MS Office program.
When Windows Update makes an update, it will appear as error code 0x80244019 or as the message WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_NOT_FOUND.
What causes an HTTP 404 error?
Technically, a 404 error is a client-side error, implying that it was your fault, either because you entered the wrong URL or because the page was moved or removed from the site.
Another possibility is if a website has moved a page or resource but did not redirect the old URL to the new URL. When that happens, you’ll get a 404 error instead of being automatically redirected to the new page.
The Microsoft IIS web server sometimes provides more specific information about the cause of the 404 Not Found error by adding a number after the 404, as in HTTP Error 404.3 – Not Found, which means a MIME type restriction.
How to Resolve 404 Not Found Error
1. Retry the web page by pressing F5, clicking the refresh/reload button, or retry the URL from the address bar.
The 404 Not Found error can appear for a number of reasons even though no real problem exists, so sometimes a simple refresh will usually load the page you’re looking for.
2. Check for errors in the URL. Because the URL is entered incorrectly or because the selected link points to the wrong URL, this error occurs.
3. Scroll to the directory level in the URL until you find something.
For example, if www.web.com/a/b/c.htm results in a 404 Not Found error, go to www.web.com/a/b/. If you get nothing here (or errors), go to www.web.com/a/. This will lead you to where you are looking for or at least confirm that it is no longer available.
Tip: If you’ve moved to the website’s home page, try searching for the information you’re looking for. If the site doesn’t have a search function, try navigating to the page you want using the category links to dig deeper into the site.
4. Search the page from a popular search engine. It could simply be that you have the URL completely wrong, in which case a quick Google or Bing search will get you where you want to go.
If you find the page you’re after, update your bookmarks or favorites to avoid future HTTP 404 errors.
5. Clear your browser cache if there’s any indication that a 404 message might be coming from you. For example, if you can access the URL from your phone but not from your tablet, it can be helpful to clear the cache on your tablet’s browser.
If clearing the cache does not help, you should consider clearing your browser’s cookies, or at least the cookie(s) associated with the website in question.
6. Change the DNS server used by your computer, but usually only if the entire website gives you a 404 error, especially if the site is available to people on other networks (for example, your mobile phone network). friends or friends in another city).
Site-wide 404s aren’t particularly common unless your ISP or government filters/censors websites. Regardless of the reason, if it happens, trying a different set of DNS servers is a good step to take. See Thewindowsfan‘s list of free Public DNS Servers for some alternatives and instructions on how to do this.
7. Contact the site directly. If they removed the page you’re after, the 404 error is perfectly legitimate and they can tell you that. If they moved the page and generated an error for not redirecting the visitor to the new page, they will be happy to get your feedback and fix the error.
Tip: If you suspect that people are getting 404 errors on this site but you’re not sure, a quick Twitter check can help resolve the issue. All you have to do is search for the #websitedown syntax on Twitter, such as #facebookdown or #youtubedown. Twitter users are often the first to start talking about the site’s outage.
8. Finally, if all else fails, wait. This isn’t fun, but it might be the only thing you can do right now.
Tip: You can find 404 errors on your own website through tools like DeadLinkChecker.com and ATOMSEO.