404 Page Not Found Error: What It Is and How to Fix It (2024)

A 404 error is an HTTP status code that means the page you were trying to reach on a website couldn't be found on their server.

To be clear, the error indicates that while the server itself is reachable, the specific page showing the error is not.

404 Not Found individual websites frequently customize error messages. So, keep in mind that the error might show up in just about any way imaginable, depending on what website it's shown from.

How You Might See the 404 Error

Here are some common ways in which you might see the 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 any operating system. Most display inside the browser window just as web pages do.

404 Page Not Found Error: What It Is and How to Fix It (1)

404 errors received when opening links via Microsoft Office applications generate a The Internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found (HTTP/1.0 404) message inside the MS Office program.

When Windows Update produces one, it appears as a code 0x80244019 or as WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_NOT_FOUND.

Cause of HTTP 404 Errors

Technically, an Error 404 is a client-side error, implying that it's your mistake, either because you mistyped the URL or the page has been moved or removed from the website, and you should have known.

Another possibility is if a website has moved a page or resource without redirecting the old URL to the new one. When that happens, you'll receive a 404 error instead of being automatically routed to the new page.

Microsoft IIS web servers sometimes give more specific information about the cause of 404 Not Found errors by suffixing a number after the 404, as in HTTP Error 404.3 - Not Found, which means MIME type restriction.

How to Fix the 404 Not Found Error


  1. Retry the web page by pressing F5, clicking/tapping the refresh/reload button, or repeatedly trying the URL from the address bar.

    The 404 Not Found error might appear for several reasons even though no real issue exists, so sometimes a simple refresh will often load the page you were looking for.

  2. Check for errors in the URL. Often times this error appears because the URL was typed wrong or the link selected points to the wrong URL.

  3. Move up one directory level at a time in the URL until you find something.

    For example, if www.web.com/a/b/c.htm gave you the 404 Not Found error, move up to www.web.com/a/b/. If you get nothing here (or an error), move up to www.web.com/a/. This should lead you toward what you're looking for or confirm that it's no longer available.

    If you have moved up to the website's home page, try to run a search for the information you're looking for. If the site doesn't have a search function, try navigating to the page you want using category links to dig deeper into the site.

  4. Search for the page from a popular search engine. It's possible that you simply have the entirely wrong URL in which case a quick Google or Bing search should get you where you want to go.

    If you do find the page you were after, update your bookmark or favorite to avoid the HTTP 404 error in the future.

  5. Clear your browser's cache if you have any indication that the 404 message might just be yours. For example, if you can reach the URL from your phone but not from your tablet, clearing the cache on your tablet's browser might help.

    You might also consider clearing your browser's cookies or at least the one(s) involved with the website in question if clearing the cache didn't work.

  6. Change the DNS servers used by your computer, but usually only if an entire website gives you a 404 error, especially if the website is available to those on other networks (e.g., your mobile phone network or a friend in another city).

    Sitewide 404s errors on a website aren't common unless your ISP or government filters/censors websites. No matter the reason, if it does happen, giving another set of DNS servers a try is a good step to take. See our Free and Public DNS Servers List for some alternatives and instructions on doing this.

  7. Contact the website directly. If they've removed the page you're after, then the 404 error is completely legitimate, and they should be able to tell you that. If they've moved the page and are generating errors instead of redirecting visitors to the new page, they'll be happy to hear from you so they can fix it.

    If you suspect everyone is getting a 404 error for this site, but you're not sure, a quick check on X (formerly Twitter) might help clear it up. All you have to do is search X for #websitedown, as in #facebookdown or #youtubedown. Users on X are usually the first to start talking about a website outage. Learn how to tell if a website is down for everyone or just you for some more help.

  8. Finally, if all else fails, wait. No, it's not fun, but it might be your only course of action, especially if you're confident the 404 error shouldn't be happening (i.e., the page really should be at the URL you have and others are having the same problem and find it equally strange).

You can find 404 errors on your own website through tools like DeadLinkChecker.com and ATOMSEO.

Errors Similar to Error 404

Some other client-side error messages related to the 404 Not Found error include 400 Bad Request, 401 Unauthorized, 403 Forbidden, and408 Request Timeout.

Several server-side HTTP status codes also exist, like the popular 500 Internal Server Error. You can see all of them in our HTTP Status Code Errorslist.


  • How do I fix error 404 messages on my website?

    If you’re aware of pages on your website with broken links, redirect or correct them. If a 404 error appears due to a deleted page, consider restoring or redirecting it to new and related content.

  • How do I fix error 404 on WordPress?

    If you use WordPress, 404 errors often appear because of redirect conflicts or permalink issues. Fix broken links for individual pages or posts. Visit the WordPress dashboard and update permalink settings if it's a site-wide problem.

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404 Page Not Found Error: What It Is and How to Fix It (2024)


404 Page Not Found Error: What It Is and How to Fix It? ›

404 errors can also happen when URLs are changed. If you change the URL on a page, the old URL will return a not-found 404 error. Not-found errors caused by changed URLs are usually easy to fix by adding a redirect from the old URL to the new URL.

How do I fix error 404 not found? ›

What to do if you get a 404 error
  1. Double-check the URL for typos. Only one mistyped character can result in a 404 error. ...
  2. Refresh the webpage. 404 errors might be a momentary glitch.
  3. Search the web. ...
  4. Use another device. ...
  5. Go to the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. ...
  6. Contact the website.

How do I find and fix my 404 page? ›

Google Search Console provides a list of every 404 error Googlebot finds on your site. This includes both hard 404s and soft 404s. Login to the Search Console, click Coverage, and select the Excluded tab. You'll see a list of hard 404 errors marked Not found (404) and soft 404 errors marked Soft 404.

What are some of the root causes for your issue or problem 404 error? ›

HTTP 404 errors can have a variety of causes, both on the client side and on the server side. For instance, you may have mistyped the URL or page name, used an incorrect or outdated link, or the page may have been moved, renamed, deleted, or never existed.

How do I turn off 404 error? ›

How to fix 404 errors
  1. Confirm that the URL is free of typos.
  2. Clear your browser cache: Your browser may have cached an earlier version of the page.
  3. Restart your web browser, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.
  4. Visit the link in a private/incognito window. ...
  5. Try the link on a different device.
Jan 15, 2024

What do I put on a 404 error page? ›

So, when designing a 404 page, there are a few simple tips you should keep in mind:
  1. Keep it simple. ...
  2. Use humor or creative design. ...
  3. Use branding elements. ...
  4. Include a search bar. ...
  5. Provide helpful links. ...
  6. Redirect to the homepage. ...
  7. Redirect to the most relevant page. ...
  8. Set up 301 redirects.

Do 404 errors go away? ›

Once there is content on the page, the 404 error will go away. Because the website server can now locate resources at that URL for serving to users. You might be able to populate content on the page by restoring backup content. Or you can always create new content by adding to the page.

What does 404 page not found mean? ›

The HTTP 404 Not Found response status code indicates that the server cannot find the requested resource. Links that lead to a 404 page are often called broken or dead links and can be subject to link rot.

How do I remove 404 pages? ›

There are several ways to do it:
  1. Replace incorrect links with the working ones.
  2. Delete all links pointing to 404 pages. You should also remove broken pages from the search index. Use the URL removal tool to deindex broken pages. Note that the tool only allows hiding pages from a search for 90 days.
Aug 31, 2020

Does 404 error mean I was blocked? ›

Understand the Error

A 404 error means that the server cannot find the requested URL. A 410 error means that the resource requested is no longer available. Essentially, the page has been deleted. A 429 error means the user has sent too many requests in a specific timeframe.

How to fix 404 not found in search console? ›

Head to your Google Search Console dashboard, find your Page Indexing Report, click into the Not Found (404) section and download these URLs so you can come back to them later on.

Can I fix 404 error? ›

Recheck the URL to ensure you entered the correct website address in the search bar. Use another device. Access the website using another web browser or machine. If it works, try clearing the previous device's cache and cookies one more time.

Why do I keep getting 404 not found? ›

The typical trigger for an error 404 message is when website content has been removed or moved to another URL. There are also other reasons why an error message could appear. These include: The URL or its content (such as files or images) was either deleted or moved (without adjusting any internal links accordingly)

How to fix 404 error in Chrome? ›

Five Ways To Fix 'Error 404: The Requested URL Was Not Found On This Server'
  1. #1. Reload The Page.
  2. #2. Clear Browser Cache.
  3. #3. Update Your Site's Permalinks.
  4. #4. Set Up 301 Redirects For Moved or Renamed Content.
  5. #5. Disable The '.htaccess' File.
Dec 1, 2023

What does it mean when your computer says 404 not found? ›

An HTTP error 404 occurs when the web server cannot find a resource (like a webpage) at a certain URL. This can happen if: The user has used the wrong page URL, e.g., by making a typo in it. The website owner has deleted the resource and it's no longer available on the server.

Is error 404 My fault? ›

Technically, an Error 404 is a client-side error, implying that it's your mistake, either because you mistyped the URL or the page has been moved or removed from the website, and you should have known.

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