How Do I Fix Error 404

Sep 13, 2023 | Website Development

If you’ve ever come across a dreaded Error 404 while browsing the web, you’re not alone. It can be frustrating, especially when you’re trying to access a specific webpage. But fear not – in this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to fix this error and get you back on track in no time. So strap in, because we’re about to demystify the world of Error 404 and help you solve it like a pro!

How Do I Fix Error 404

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Understanding Error 404

What is Error 404

Error 404, commonly known as the “Page Not Found” error, is a standard HTTP response code that indicates the server could not find the requested webpage. When you encounter an Error 404, it means that the website you are trying to access does not have the specific page you are looking for. This can happen due to various reasons, including typos in the URL, outdated or broken links, or the webpage being removed or moved to a different location.

Common Causes of Error 404

There are several common causes for encountering an Error 404 while browsing the internet. Some of the typical reasons include:

  1. Typos and Misspelled URLs: One of the most common causes of Error 404 is simply mistyping the URL in the address bar. Even a small mistake, such as a missing letter or an extra space, can result in a 404 error.

  2. Outdated or Broken Links: Websites frequently update their content, which can lead to outdated links on other websites. If you click on a link that points to a page that no longer exists or has been moved, you will encounter an Error 404.

  3. Deleted or Renamed Webpages: If a website removes a page or changes its URL structure without properly redirecting the old page to a new one, you may encounter a 404 error when trying to access the old URL.

  4. Server or Network Issues: Sometimes, the issue may not be on your end but with the website’s server or network. In such cases, the server may not be able to retrieve the requested webpage, resulting in the Error 404.

Impact of Error 404

Encountering an Error 404 can be frustrating for users, but it also has some impact on website owners. For users, it implies that the page they are looking for cannot be accessed at that particular URL. This can lead to a poor user experience and may cause them to leave the website in search of more accessible information elsewhere.

From a website owner’s perspective, regularly encountering 404 errors can have negative implications. Search engines like Google consider broken links as a sign of poor website maintenance, which can affect the website’s search engine rankings. Additionally, broken links can hinder the user’s trust in the website and its credibility.

Refresh the Page

Why refreshing might work

refreshing the page is one of the simplest and quickest solutions to try when encountering an Error 404. Sometimes, the server experiences temporary glitches or delays in loading the page properly. By refreshing the page, you essentially ask the server to reattempt sending you the requested information, which can resolve the issue if it was merely a temporary problem.

Steps to refresh the page

Refreshing a page is a straightforward process. Here are the steps to refresh the page in different web browsers:

  1. Google Chrome: Press the refresh button located near the address bar or press the F5 key on your keyboard.

  2. Mozilla Firefox: Click on the refresh button near the address bar, or use the keyboard shortcut F5.

  3. Safari: Press the reload button next to the address bar, or utilize the keyboard shortcut Command + R.

  4. Microsoft Edge: Click on the refresh button near the address bar, or press the F5 key on your keyboard.

What if refreshing doesn’t work

If refreshing the page does not resolve the Error 404, it is essential to explore other troubleshooting steps. The issue may lie beyond a mere temporary glitch. In such cases, it is recommended to continue with the following solutions to resolve the Error 404.

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Check the URL

Correcting misspelled URLs

One common reason for encountering an Error 404 is typing or copy-pasting an incorrect or misspelled URL. To correct a misspelled URL, carefully review the characters, letter by letter, and compare it against the intended URL. Ensure that there are no additional spaces or special characters that shouldn’t be included. fixing the typo should resolve the 404 error if the page exists.

Ensure the format is correct

URLs have a specific format that should be adhered to for accessing webpages accurately. Ensure that the URL includes the correct protocol (e.g., “http://” or “https://”), followed by the domain name and appropriate path if required. It is crucial to correctly capitalize letters and include any necessary symbols to ensure a proper URL format.

Use of trusted sources for URLs

Sometimes, you may encounter Error 404 when clicking on links from untrusted or suspicious sources. To avoid potential 404 errors caused by unreliable sources, it is recommended to use trusted websites, search engines, or direct links from reputable sources. Be cautious while clicking on unfamiliar links to minimize the chances of encountering an Error 404.

Use a Search Engine

Benefits of using a search engine

When encountering a 404 error, a useful approach is to utilize a search engine to find the desired webpage. Search engines have vast databases and indexes of webpages, making them a valuable resource for locating the content you are searching for. By utilizing a search engine, you increase your chances of finding an alternative source or an updated URL for the page you are seeking.

How to use a search engine to find a page

To use a search engine effectively to locate a missing webpage, follow these steps:

  1. Open a preferred search engine (e.g., Google, Bing).
  2. Type relevant keywords or the topic of the missing page in the search bar.
  3. Review the search results to identify websites or pages that may contain the information you need.
  4. Click on the search result(s) that appear to be the most relevant or credible to access the desired content.

Avoiding fake or harmful websites

While using a search engine can help find the missing webpage, it is crucial to be cautious of potential fake or harmful websites. Hackers and malicious actors can take advantage of popular search terms to create deceptive websites that may contain malware or aim to steal personal information. To avoid such risks, prioritize clicking on reputable and well-known websites that appear in the search results.

How Do I Fix Error 404

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Clear Your Browser’s Cache & Cookies

How cache & cookies impact browsing

Cache and cookies are integral components of web browsing that can impact the way websites load and function. The cache stores temporary data and files, such as images and scripts, to enhance the browsing experience by reducing page load times. Cookies, on the other hand, are small text files that websites store on your computer to remember specific information, such as login credentials or preferences.

However, cache and cookies can sometimes become outdated or corrupted, leading to issues like Error 404. Clearing the cache and cookies can resolve these problems by allowing your browser to retrieve fresh and updated data from the website.

Steps to clear cache & cookies

To clear your browser’s cache and cookies, follow these general steps:

  1. Google Chrome: Click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, go to “More tools,” and select “Clear browsing data.” Make sure to select the options for “Browsing history,” “Cookies and other site data,” and “Cached images and files,” and click on “Clear data.”

  2. Mozilla Firefox: Click on the three-line menu in the top-right corner, go to “Options,” and select “Privacy & Security.” Scroll down to the “Cookies and Site Data” section, click on “Clear Data,” and ensure that both “Cookies and Site Data” and “Cached Web Content” options are selected. Click on “Clear.”

  3. Safari: On a Mac, click on “Safari” in the menu bar, select “Preferences,” go to the “Privacy” tab, and click on “Manage Website Data.” Click on “Remove All” to clear all cookies and cache. On an iOS device, go to “Settings,” scroll down and select “Safari,” tap on “Clear History and Website Data,” and confirm your choice.

  4. Microsoft Edge: Click on the three-dot menu in the top-right corner, go to “Settings,” select “Privacy, search, and services” from the left sidebar, click on “Choose what to clear,” ensure that “Browsing history,” “Cookies and other site data,” and “Cached images and files” are selected, and click on “Clear.”

When to clear cache & cookies

Clearing your browser’s cache and cookies is recommended when you encounter persistent issues like Error 404, slow loading websites, or if a website prompts you to clear your browsing data. It is also beneficial to periodically clear cache and cookies to keep your browsing experience smooth and ensure you receive the latest updates from websites.

Scan for Malware

Role of malware in causing errors

Malware, short for malicious software, can pose serious threats to your computer and online activities. In some cases, malware can interfere with your browsing experience and cause errors like Error 404. Malware can be unintentionally downloaded or installed on your device through malicious websites, infected email attachments, or compromised downloads.

Effective tools for malware scanning

To scan your device for malware and potentially resolve any underlying issues causing Error 404, consider using reputable anti-malware software or scanning tools. Some well-known and effective options include:

  1. Malwarebytes: Malwarebytes offers a free version of their software that can scan and remove malware from your device. You can download it from their official website.

  2. Avast: Avast provides a range of antivirus and anti-malware solutions, including a free version. Their software can help detect and remove malware that may be causing browsing issues.

  3. Windows Defender: If you are using a Windows operating system, you can utilize the built-in Windows Defender antivirus software. It has capabilities to scan for and remove malware from your device.

Preventing malware infections

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to dealing with malware. To avoid installing malware and subsequently encountering errors like Error 404, consider following these best practices:

  1. Keep your software updated: Regularly update your operating system, web browsers, and security software to ensure you have the latest protection against malware.

  2. Exercise caution while downloading: Only download files and software from trusted sources. Avoid downloading from unfamiliar websites or clicking on suspicious links.

  3. Be cautious of email attachments: Refrain from opening email attachments from unknown senders or those that seem suspicious. Always scan attachments with reliable antivirus software before opening them.

  4. Use a reliable firewall: Enable and regularly update a reputable firewall to prevent unauthorized access to your device and protect against malware.

How Do I Fix Error 404

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Change DNS Servers

What are DNS servers

DNS servers, also known as Domain Name System servers, are responsible for translating domain names (e.g., into machine-readable IP addresses. When you enter a URL in your web browser, the DNS server plays a critical role in resolving that URL and connecting you to the correct website.

Instructions to change DNS servers

If changing the DNS server seems like a potential solution for resolving Error 404, follow these instructions:

  1. Windows:

    • Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.
    • Select “Network and Internet” and then click on “Network and Sharing Center.”
    • Choose your network connection (Ethernet or Wi-Fi) and click on “Properties.”
    • Select “Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)” and click on “Properties.”
    • Check the option for “Use the following DNS server addresses.”
    • Enter the desired DNS server addresses (consult your internet service provider or select a public DNS server like Google DNS or OpenDNS).
    • Click on “OK” to save the changes.
  2. Mac:

    • Go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.”
    • Click on “Network.”
    • Select your network connection (Wi-Fi or Ethernet) and click on “Advanced.”
    • Go to the “DNS” tab.
    • Click on the “+” button to add a DNS server or on the “-” button to remove an existing one.
    • Enter the desired DNS server addresses.
    • Click on “OK” to save the changes.

Choosing the right DNS server

When changing DNS servers, it is important to consider their reliability, speed, and security. Some popular DNS servers known for their performance and security include:

  1. Google DNS: Primary DNS:, Secondary DNS:
  2. OpenDNS: Primary DNS:, Secondary DNS:
  3. Cloudflare DNS: Primary DNS:, Secondary DNS:

Research and select a DNS server that best suits your needs and consult your internet service provider or network administrator for any specific recommendations.

Contact the Website

When to contact the website

In some cases, the Error 404 may be a result of an issue or mistake on the website’s end. If you consistently encounter a 404 error when accessing a specific webpage, it may be worth contacting the website directly to inform them about the problem. It is advisable to contact the website if:

  • The error persists even after trying other troubleshooting steps.
  • The missing webpage is important or contains vital information.
  • You suspect that the website has recently undergone changes that may have caused the error.

How to contact the website

To contact a website regarding the Error 404, look for a “Contact Us” or “Support” page on their website. This page typically provides contact information, such as email addresses or a support form, through which you can reach out to them. Alternatively, if no contact information is readily available, consider reaching out through their social media channels or any other communication methods they offer.

Information to provide when contacting a website

When reaching out to a website’s support or contact page, provide the following information to help them understand and resolve the Error 404:

  1. URL of the missing webpage: Clearly mention the URL of the page that is showing the Error 404.

  2. Steps to reproduce the error: Explain the steps you took before encountering the error, such as the webpages you visited or the actions you performed.

  3. Details about your device and browser: Include information about your device (e.g., computer, smartphone, tablet) and the web browser you were using when the error occurred.

  4. Screenshot or error message: If possible, provide a screenshot of the Error 404 page or any error messages that appeared along with it. This can assist the website’s support team in identifying the issue more efficiently.

How Do I Fix Error 404

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Use the Wayback Machine

What is the Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine, operated by the Internet Archive, is a digital archive of webpages from the past. It allows users to access snapshots of websites at different points in time, even if the current version of the website is unavailable. The Wayback Machine can be a valuable tool to retrieve information from webpages that no longer exist or have been updated.

Steps to use the Wayback Machine

To use the Wayback Machine to find a missing webpage, follow these steps:

  1. Open a web browser and visit the Wayback Machine website (
  2. Enter the URL of the missing webpage that you want to access in the search bar.
  3. The Wayback Machine will display a timeline of available snapshots for that URL.
  4. Select a snapshot from a date when the webpage was accessible, and click on it to view the archived version.
  5. Explore the archived version of the webpage to find the desired information or content.

Limitations of the Wayback Machine

While the Wayback Machine is an excellent resource for retrieving past versions of webpages, it does have some limitations. Some webpages may not be available in the archive if they were not indexed or captured previously. Additionally, dynamic or interactive webpages that rely on extensive scripts or user inputs may not function properly in the archived version.

Seek Professional Help

When to seek professional help

If you have exhausted all the troubleshooting steps mentioned above and still cannot resolve the Error 404, it may be time to seek professional help. Professional assistance can be valuable in identifying and addressing more complex or underlying issues that may be causing the error. Consider seeking professional help when:

  • The Error 404 persists despite attempting all the recommended solutions.
  • You are not familiar with advanced technical troubleshooting methods.
  • The missing webpage is critical for your work or business, and time is of the essence.

Finding a reliable professional

Finding a reliable professional who can assist you in resolving Error 404 can be essential for an optimal outcome. Some ways to find a dependable professional include:

  1. Ask for recommendations: Seek recommendations from friends, colleagues, or online communities who have had similar technical issues and successfully resolved them.

  2. Research online: Look for professionals or agencies specializing in website development, troubleshooting, or IT support. Read reviews and check their expertise before making a decision.

  3. Contact the website’s support team: If the missing webpage belongs to a specific website or company, their support team may be able to provide assistance or direct you to trusted professionals.

Preparing for a professional consultation

Before reaching out to a professional, it can be helpful to gather relevant information and prepare for the consultation. Consider taking the following steps:

  1. Document the issue: Write down detailed information about the Error 404, including when it first started occurring, any error messages received, and the specific URL(s) showing the error.

  2. Provide system details: Be prepared to share information about your device, operating system, web browser, and any relevant software or extensions you have installed.

  3. Outline the troubleshooting steps: Document the troubleshooting steps you have already taken to resolve the Error 404. This will help the professional understand what has already been tried and prevent repetition.

  4. Establish communication expectations: Decide how you will communicate with the professional, whether it’s through email, phone calls, video calls, or in-person meetings. Set clear expectations regarding response time and availability.

By being well-prepared and seeking professional help when necessary, you increase the chances of resolving the Error 404 and accessing the desired webpages successfully.

In conclusion, encountering an Error 404 can be frustrating, but there are various troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the issue. From refreshing the page and checking the URL to using search engines, clearing cache and cookies, scanning for malware, changing DNS servers, or seeking professional help, each solution plays a role in improving your browsing experience and accessing the content you desire. By following these suggestions and being patient, you can tackle Error 404 and browse the web with ease.

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