How to Fix a 500 Internal Server Error

It's likely not on your side but reloading the page then clearing your browser cache and deleting cookies can sometimes help

The 500 Internal Server Error is a very general HTTP status code that means something has gone wrong on the website's server, but the server could not be more specific on what the exact problem is.

Are You the Web Manager? See Fixing 500 Internal Server Error Problems on Your Own Site towards the bottom of the page for some better advice if you're seeing the error on one or more of your pages.

What Causes an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error

Most of the time, this error appears when there's an issue with the page or site's programming, but there's certainly a chance that the problem is on your end. Those problems could be caused by cache or cookie errors in a browser,

More specific information about the cause of a particular HTTP 500 error is often provided when it occurs on a server using Microsoft IIS software. For example, look for numbers after 500, as in HTTP Error 500.19 - Internal Server Error, which means Configuration data is invalid.

How to Fix a 500 Error

Because the 500 Internal Server Error is a server-side error, the problem probably isn't with your computer or internet connection but instead with the website's server.

While not probable, there may be something wrong on your end, in which case here are some things you can try:

  1. Reload the web page. You can do that by selecting the refresh/reload button, pressing F5 or Ctrl+R, or trying the URL again from the address bar.

    Even if the 500 Internal Server Error is a problem on the webserver, the issue might be temporary. Trying the page again will often be successful.

    If the message appears during the checkout process at an online merchant, be aware that duplicate attempts to checkout may end up creating multiple orders— and multiple charges! Most merchants have automatic protections from these kinds of actions, but it's still something to keep in mind.

  2. Clear your browser's cache. If there's a problem with the cached version of the page you're viewing, it could be causing HTTP 500 issues.

    Caching issues do not often cause internal Server Errors, but we have, on occasion, seen the error go away after clearing the cache. It's such an easy and harmless thing to try, so don't skip it.

  3. Delete your browser's cookies. You can correct some 500 Internal Server Error issues by deleting the cookies associated with the site on which you're getting the error.

    After removing the cookie(s), restart the browser and try again.

  4. Troubleshoot as a 504 Gateway Timeout error instead. It's not very common, but some servers produce a 500 Internal Server Error when in reality, 504 Gateway Timeout is a more appropriate message based on the cause of the problem.

  5. Contacting the website is another option. There's a good chance that the site's administrators already know about the 500 error, but if you suspect they don't, letting them know helps both you and them (and everyone else).

    Most sites have support-based social network accounts, and a few even have email and telephone numbers.

    If it looks like the site is down entirely and you can't find a way to report the 500 Internal Server Error message to the website, it might help your sanity to keep up with the outage on Twitter. You can usually search for #websitedown on Twitter, as in #gmaildown or #facebookdown.

  6. Come back later. Unfortunately, at this point, the 500 Internal Server Error is no doubt a problem outside of your control that will eventually get fixed by someone else.

If the 500 Internal Server Error message appears at checkout during an online purchase, it might help to realize that sales are probably being disrupted—usually a great incentive to the online store to fix the issue very quickly.

Even if you're getting the 500 error on a site that doesn't sell anything, like YouTube or Twitter, as long as you've let them know about the problem, or at least tried, there's little more you can do than wait it out.

Fixing 500 Internal Server Error Problems on Your Own Site

A 500 Internal Server Error on your website requires an entirely different course of action. Because most 500 errors are server-side errors, it's likely your problem to fix if it's your website.

There are lots of reasons why your site might be serving a 500 Error to your users, but these are the most common:

  • A Permissions Error. In most cases, a 500 Internal Server Error is due to an incorrect permission on one or more files or folders. In most of those cases, an incorrect permission on a PHP and CGI script is to blame. These should usually be set at 0755 (-rwxr-xr-x).
  • A PHP Timeout. If your script connects to external resources and those resources timeout, an HTTP 500 error can occur. Timeout rules, or better error handling in your script, should help if this is the cause of the 500 error.
  • A Coding Error in .htaccess. While not as common, be sure to check that your site's .htaccess file is properly structured.

If you're running WordPress, Joomla, or another content management or CMS system, be sure to search their support centers for more specific help troubleshooting a 500 Internal Server Error.

If you're not using an off-the-shelf content management tool, your web hosting provider, like InMotion, Dreamhost, IONOS (1&1), etc., probably has some 500 Error help that might be more specific to your situation.

Ways You Might See an Internal Server Error

When Google services, like Gmail, are experiencing the error, they often report a Temporary Error (500), or simply 500. This error message might be seen in many ways because each website is allowed to customize the message.

Here are several common ways that you might see the HTTP 500 error wording:

  • 500 Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 - Internal Server Error
  • Temporary Error (500)
  • Internal Server Error
  • HTTP 500 Internal Error
  • 500 Error
  • HTTP Error 500
  • 500. That's an error

Since a 500 Internal Server Error is generated by the website you're visiting, you could see one in any browser in any operating system, even on your smartphone. Most of the time, it displays inside the browser window, just as web pages do.

When Windows Update is involved, it appears as a WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_SERVER_ERROR message or 0x8024401F error.

If the website that reports the 500 error is running Microsoft IIS, you might get a more specific error message:

500 Internal Server Error List
Code Explanation
500.0 Module or ISAPI error occurred.
500.11 Application is shutting down on the web server.
500.12 Application is busy restarting on the web server.
500.13 Web server is too busy.
500.15 Direct requests for Global.asax are not allowed.
500.19 Configuration data is invalid.
500.21 Module not recognized.
500.22 An ASP.NET httpModules configuration does not apply in Managed Pipeline mode.
500.23 An ASP.NET httpHandlers configuration does not apply in Managed Pipeline mode.
500.24 An ASP.NET impersonation configuration does not apply in Managed Pipeline mode.
500.50 A rewrite error occurred during RQ_BEGIN_REQUEST notification handling. A configuration or inbound rule execution error occurred.
500.51 A rewrite error occurred during GL_PRE_BEGIN_REQUEST notification handling. A global configuration or global rule execution error occurred.
500.52 A rewrite error occurred during RQ_SEND_RESPONSE notification handling. An outbound rule execution occurred.
500.53 A rewrite error occurred during RQ_RELEASE_REQUEST_STATE notification handling. An outbound rule execution error occurred. The rule is configured to be executed before the output user cache gets updated.
500.100 Internal ASP error.

Other Errors Like the HTTP 500

Many browser error messages are similar to the 500 Internal Server Error message because they're all server-side errors, like 502 Bad Gateway, 503 Service Unavailable, and 504 Gateway Timeout.

Many client-side HTTP status codes also exist, like the popular 404 Not Found error, among others. You can see all of them in our HTTP Status Code Errors list.

  • What is a 5xx Server Error on Instagram?

    5xx server errors on Instagram (from 500 to 511) indicate a problem with Instagram's servers. The best course of action is to wait for the problem to be fixed, but you can also try a few things yourself. Double-check your connection, try logging out and back in again, or reinstall the app or check for app updates.

  • What is a Hulu 500 error?

    If you see Hulu 500 error, it's most likely a problem with the website and maybe a problem with the stream. Refresh the web page and try again. If you're still getting the error, try a different web browser or change to a different streaming device. Also, test your internet speed to make sure it's fast and stable.

  • What does error 500 on Discovery+ mean?

    If Discovery+ is giving you an error 500 message, the server isn't working correctly; the only thing you can do is check back every so often until the error stops appearing.

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