1. Technology
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

401 Unauthorized

How To Fix a 401 Unauthorized Error


How You Might See the 401 Error

401 Unauthorized error messages are often customized by each website, especially very large ones, so keep in mind that this error may present itself in more ways than the common ones listed below:

  • "401 Unauthorized"
  • "Authorization Required"
  • "HTTP Error 401 - Unauthorized"
The 401 Unauthorized error displays inside the Internet browser window, just as web pages do.

Cause of 401 Unauthorized Errors

The 401 Unauthorized error is an HTTP status code that means the page you were trying to access can not be loaded until you first log on with a valid user ID and password. If you have just logged on and received the 401 Unauthorized error, it means that the credentials you entered were invalid for some reason.

How To Fix the 401 Unauthorized Error

  1. Check for errors in the URL. It's possible that the 401 Unauthorized error appeared because the URL was typed wrong or the link that was clicked on points to the wrong URL - one that is for authorized users only.
  2. If you're sure the URL is valid, visit the website's main page and look for a link that says Login or Secure Access. Enter your credentials here and then try the page again. If you don't have credentials, follow the instructions provided on the website for setting up an account.
  3. If you're sure the page you're trying to reach shouldn't need authorization, the 401 Unauthorized error message may be a mistake. At this point it's probably in your best interest to contact the webmaster or other website contact and inform them of the problem. The webmaster of most Internet sites can be reached via email at webmaster@website.com, replacing website.com with the actual website name.
  4. The 401 Unauthorized error can also appear immediately after login which is an indication that the web site received your user name and password but found something about them to be invalid (e.g. your password is incorrect). Follow whatever process is in place at the website to regain access to their system.

Still Getting 401 Errors?

If you've followed all the troubleshooting advice above but are still receiving a 401 Unauthorized error when accessing a certain webpage or site, see Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.

Be sure to let me know that the error is an HTTP 401 error and what steps, if any, you've already taken to fix the problem.

Errors Like 401 Unauthorized

The following messages are also client-side errors and so are related to the 401 Unauthorized error:

400 Bad Request | 403 Forbidden | 404 Not Found | 408 Request Timeout

A number of server-side HTTP status codes also exist, like the often seen 500 Internal Server Error, among many others: List of HTTP Status Code Errors.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.