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How to Fix Magento Access Denied HTTP Error 403?

Last Updated on 01st May, 2024 | Magento

Fix Magento Access Denied HTTP Error 403

What Does Magento Access Denied HTTP Error 403 Mean?

Getting an HTTP 403 error in Magento can be frustrating and prevent you and your customers from accessing your store. This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to troubleshoot and fix the most common causes of the Magento access denied 403 error.

The HTTP 403 Forbidden error in Magento indicates that access is denied to the page or resource you are trying to reach. There are a few key reasons why this error occurs:

  • Permissions issues on files/folders
  • Outdated .htaccess file
  • Conflicts with extensions or custom code
  • Problems with caching/sessions

Troubleshooting and resolving a 403 error in Magento involves checking permissions, updating core files, disabling extensions, and clearing caches/sessions. With some targeted troubleshooting steps, the 403 error can typically be pinpointed and fixed.

This guide will take you through all the key troubleshooting steps to fix your Magento HTTP 403 access denied error. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • Permissions issues, outdated core files, extension conflicts, or caching problems often cause 403 errors in Magento.
  • Check folder/file permissions and update core .htaccess files as a first step.
  • Disable extensions and clear caches/sessions to isolate potential conflicts.
  • Adjust folder permissions if errors point to restricted access.
  • Update to the latest version of Magento for compatibility and security fixes.

6 Easy Steps to Fix Magento Access Denied HTTP Error 403

  • Check File and Folder Permissions
  • Update Core .htaccess Files
  • Disable Extensions and Custom Code
  • Clear Cache and Sessions
  • Update to Latest Magento Version
  • Modify Web Server Configuration

Step 1: Check File and Folder Permissions

In many cases, 403 errors in Magento are caused by incorrect file or folder permissions. Here are some key locations to check permissions:

Magento Installation Directory

The main Magento installation directory should generally have permissions of 755 or 777. The exception here is the app/etc folder, which should have 444 permissions.

Use a utility like SSH or FTP to check and modify the permissions if needed:

chmod -R 755 /path/to/magento
chmod 444 /path/to/magento/app/etc

Media and Var Folders

The /media and /var folders should have permissions of 777. These folders hold images, cache files, and other generated content that needs to be publicly accessible.

Update permissions if required:

chmod -R 777 /path/to/magento/media
chmod -R 777 /path/to/magento/var

.htaccess Files

The .htaccess files in the Magento root and /app folder control important rewrites and should be 644:

chmod 644 /path/to/magento/.htaccess
chmod 644 /path/to/magento/app/.htaccess
Check all key locations: installation folder, media, var, and .htaccess files: to ensure permissions are correctly set.

Step 2: Update Core .htaccess Files

Another source of 403 errors is having outdated rules in the Magento .htaccess files. The core .htaccess files can get outdated as Magento releases new versions.

To fix this:

  • Back up your current .htaccess files from the Magento root and /app/ folder.
  • Download and replace with the latest versions of .htaccess from Magento.
  • Compare with your existing .htaccess files and transfer over any custom rules you need to keep.
  • Test that the updated .htaccess files resolve the 403 error.
This will ensure you have the most up-to-date HTTP access rules from Magento applied.

Step 3: Disable Extensions and Custom Code

If the 403 error persists after checking permissions and .htaccess files, an extension or custom code could be the source.

To isolate potential conflicts:

  • Disable All Extensions: Temporarily disable third-party extensions via the Magento admin or by renaming extension folders on the server. This eliminates extension code as an issue.
  • Switch to Default Theme: If you are using a custom theme, switch to the Magento default theme to determine if the theme is the cause.
  • Disable Custom Modules/Code: If you are using custom modules or code edits, disable or revert those changes until the barebones default Magento install is tested.
  • Clear Caches: Be sure to clear all caches after making the changes above so they take effect.
Test the site after each change to see if the 403 error clears up. This should help narrow down whether an extension, theme file, or custom code is responsible.

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Step 4: Clear Cache and Sessions

Access-denied errors can also stem from corrupted cache or session files. Some things to try:

Clear Cache Types

Clear Magento’s various cache types:

  • Page Cache
  • Block Cache
  • Full Page Cache (if using Varnish)
Use either the admincmds CLI tool or admin panel to clean the caches:
php bin/magento cache:clean

Delete Cache and Session Folders

More aggressively, you can delete the contents of the /var/cache and /var/session folders, which will remove all cached data and end any active sessions:

rm -rf /path/to/magento/var/cache/*
rm -rf /path/to/magento/var/session/*
Restarting the web server may be required for complete cleanup here.

Check Caching Settings

Make sure caching is enabled properly in Magento’s config – System > Cache Management. The Page Cache setting should be enabled with all cache types listed.

Correct caching settings prevent cache corruption in the future.

Step 5: Update to Latest Magento Version

Staying current with the latest Magento release is always recommended for security, compatibility, and performance.

New Magento versions often contain resolutions to 403 errors caused by bugs in older code. Updating to the newest Open Source or Commerce version can directly fix the root issue.

Before updating:

  • Backup your current site and database
  • Review release notes for steps specific to your upgrade path
  • Check for extension compatibility
  • Stick to version increments (e.g., 2.1 to 2.2) to avoid complications

Step 6: Modify Web Server Configuration

If 403 errors persist after the above troubleshooting, the underlying web server configuration may need to be modified.

  • AllowOverride All for the Magento directory
  • Updated timeout values
  • Necessary modules enabled, like mod_rewrite


For nginx, go through your nginx.conf file and ensure:

  • listen directive is correct
  • server_name matches your site URL
  • root points to the proper Magento path
  • Optimal Magento config settings are applied


In conclusion, resolving the Magento Access Denied HTTP Error 403 requires a systematic approach and careful consideration of various factors. Start by checking the file and folder permissions, ensuring they are set correctly.

Additionally, review the .htaccess file for any misconfigurations or rules that might be causing the error. Clearing the cache and session files can also help in some cases. If the issue persists, examine the server logs for any relevant error messages that could shed light on the root cause. It’s crucial to keep Magento and its extensions up to date to avoid compatibility issues.

Finally, consulting with a Magento developer or seeking support from the Magento community can provide valuable insights and guidance for troubleshooting and resolving the Access Denied HTTP Error 403 effectively.