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404 Page Not Found Error: What It Is and How to Fix It
The 404 Not Found error, also called Error 404 or an HTTP 404 error, means that the web page you were trying to load wasn't found. Here's what to do.

A 404 error is an HTTP status code that signifies the inability to locate the requested webpage on a server.

In essence, this error denotes that while the server itself is reachable, the specific page referred to by the error cannot be found.

When encountered on individual websites, 404 Not Found errors often come with personalized error messages. It’s worth noting that these errors can manifest in diverse ways, contingent on the particular website from which they arise.

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.

In cases where 404 errors emerge upon attempting to access links through Microsoft Office applications, the result is a message within the MS Office program stating, “The Internet site reports that the item you requested could not be found (HTTP/1.0 404).”

In instances of 404 errors arising from Windows Update, they may present as either a code 0x80244019 or as WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_NOT_FOUND.

Root Causes of HTTP 404 Errors

Technically categorized as a client-side error, an Error 404 implies that the error stems from your end—either due to a miskeyed URL or because the page has been relocated or removed from the website, and this is information you should have been aware of.

Alternatively, such an error may occur if a webpage or resource has been relocated without setting up a redirect from the former URL to the new one. Consequently, instead of being seamlessly rerouted to the new page, a 404 error is encountered.

Note: In some instances, Microsoft IIS web servers provide more precise information regarding the cause of 404 Not Found errors by appending a number after the 404, as seen in HTTP Error 404.3 – Not Found, indicating MIME type restriction.

Resolving the 404 Not Found Error Attempt reloading the webpage by pressing F5, clicking the refresh/reload button, or persistently retrying the URL from the address bar.

The 404 Not Found error may arise for various reasons even when no substantive issue exists. Thus, a simple refresh might successfully load the intended page.

Thoroughly inspect the URL for errors. Often, this error surfaces due to an incorrectly typed URL or a linked location that directs to the wrong URL.

Progressively move up the URL’s directory levels to locate an appropriate page.

For instance, if leads to a 404 Not Found error, navigate up to If this proves futile (or results in an error), proceed up to This iterative approach should guide you to your destination or confirm its unavailability.

Tip: If you reach the website’s homepage, consider conducting a search for the desired information. In cases where the site lacks a search function, employ category links to delve deeper into the content.

Employ a reputable search engine to hunt for the desired page. If the URL you possess is entirely incorrect, a swift Google or Bing search can often lead you to your intended destination.

Upon locating the page, update your bookmarks or favorites to circumvent the HTTP 404 error in future interactions.

Should you suspect that the 404 message is specific to your browser, clearing your browser’s cache might rectify the situation. For instance, if the URL is accessible on your phone but not on your tablet, clearing your tablet’s browser cache might prove beneficial.

Consider clearing your browser’s cookies, especially those linked to the concerned website, if cache clearance fails to yield results.

In the event of widespread 404 errors across an entire website, it’s uncommon and might be due to ISP or government website filtering. Should this occur, attempting different DNS servers is a reasonable course of action. Consult our list of Free and Public DNS Servers for alternatives and instructions.

Directly contact the website in question. If the page has indeed been removed, the 404 error is legitimate, and the site administrators should be able to confirm this. If the page was relocated without proper redirection, reporting the issue to the administrators will enable them to rectify the situation.

Tip: If you’re uncertain whether the 404 error is experienced by everyone, a quick search on social media platforms like X (formerly Twitter) using hashtags like #websitedown can provide clarity. Users on X often discuss website outages first, providing insights into whether the issue is widespread or individual. For further assistance, learn how to discern whether a website is down for everyone or solely for you.

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).

Tip: You can find 404 errors on your own website through tools like 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, and 408 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 Errors list.