How to Fix 401 Unauthorized Error

How to fix 401 unauthorized error

When trying to access a website, you may get a 401 unauthorized error message. This error message not only makes things difficult for website visitors but can also make things difficult for website owners. If you are a website visitor, this error message means you cannot log in to or even view a website. You will not be able to enjoy the features on the website. In addition, for website owners, you will not be able to enter the admin dashboard of your own website.

Even though Error 401 is troublesome, you don’t need to worry. We will explain the cause and how to solve it. This article summarizes the 401 Unauthorized HTTP error code and provides instructions on troubleshooting procedures to address it in case you encounter this problem.

What is 401 Unauthorized Error?

Error 401 Unauthorized is a problem generally occurring on the client side, usually when you access a URL, and your browser sends a request, but the request is not verified. To verify the request, you must log in with valid credentials. The 401 Unauthorized Error message may appear differently on various websites, as they may use slightly different names. For instance, you could encounter variations such as:

  • HTTP Error 401
  • Error 401 – Unauthorized
  • 401 Unauthorized
  • Authorization Required
  • 401 Authorization Required
  • Unauthorized access
  • HTTP Error 401 – Unauthorized
  • 401 – Unauthorized: Access is denied due to invalid credentials
  • You do not have permission to view this directory or page using the credentials that you supplied
  • This server could not verify that you are authorized to access the document requested

Below are five main classes or categories of HTTP status codes you need to understand because they often appear in communication between the server and client.

Informational responses 1xx

Status codes in this category provide information to the client that the server has received the request and is in the process of processing it. While they do not indicate success or error, these codes are useful for providing some indication that the server has received the request and that more information may be forthcoming.

Successful responses 2xx

This status code indicates that the request made by the client has been successfully processed by the server. This code indicates that the requested operation was successfully completed without significant errors.

Redirection messages 3xx

Status codes in this category tell clients that they need to make a redirect or change in their request to get a response from the server. This code often occurs when a page or resource has moved or changed its location.

Client error responses 4xx

Status codes in this category indicate an error in the request sent by the client. This error can occur if the request is invalid or the client does not have permission to access the requested resource.

Server error responses 5xx

Status codes in this category indicate that there is an error on the server side when processing a request from the client. This error can be caused by various factors, such as excessive server workload, software problems, or other internal problems.

What causes the 401 Unauthorized Error?

In general, the 401 Unauthorized error can occur because the website owner does not provide you with proof of legal authority to access their website. This proof of authority can be in the form of a username or password. So, this error message could appear because you entered the wrong username and password or haven’t registered on the website.

Lack of access due to lack of proof of authority is not the only thing that could cause this error message to appear. Apart from that, several things cause the 401 Unauthorized error message to appear. There are several causes for this error to appear, namely:

No access
As a visitor, you can only access the pages intended for visitors only. You cannot access the pages intended for website owners or admins.

Website protection
Your hosting provider or server administrator will usually display a 401 error message as a protective measure if they detect many login attempts at once.

Problematic plugins
For example, plugins in WordPress could be the cause of the 401 Unauthorized error problem. Some WordPress security plugins can lock the admin dashboard if there is a brute-force attack.

The server refuses
Even if all the information you provide is correct, the 401 Unauthorized error may still occur because the server refuses. It is possible that you are banned or that there is some problem on the server side.

How to Fix 401 Unauthorized Error

For website visitors and owners

Website owners can also implement the solutions to resolve 401 errors for website visitors, as shown below. Here are three ways to overcome HTTP 401 Unauthorized if you are a website visitor who experiences a 401 Unauthorized error.

Incorrect URL
Cross-check the URL you are trying to access and ensure it’s correct.

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Purge browser cache
Navigate to your browser’s configuration page and clear or purge the cache

Flush DNS cache
On your computer, try to flush your DNS cache.

How to Fix the 401 Unauthorized Errors for Website Owners

Deactivate all plugins
Try to deactivate all plugins at once and enable them one by one

Purge the website’s cache
If your website uses a caching plugin, try to purge it or disable it temporarily.

Delete the directory’s password
Check the URL or directory you are trying to access, and delete the password or disable the protection temporarily.

Check Firewall
Your server’s firewall may block your IP address due to invalid login attempts.

That’s it! You have learned about the 401 Unauthorized Error message and how to fix it. Of course, you don’t have to follow and fix the 401 unauthorized issues yourself. If you have a managed Linux server with RoseHosting, you can simply ask our expert Linux hosting admins to check and get this fixed immediately. They are available 24×7 and will respond to your request immediately.

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