How to Fix a 401 Unauthorized Error

ACESS DENIED message on an abstract code background
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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 these common ones:

  • "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 cannot be loaded until you first log in with a valid user ID and password.

If you have just logged in 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 incorrectly 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 that point, it's probably best 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, replacing with the actual website name.
  1. The 401 Unauthorized error can also appear immediately after login which is an indication that the website received your username 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 web page 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.