13 Fixes HTTP 500 Internal Server Error On Websites

As a passionate Windows aficionado, I often find myself tinkering with various aspects of the operating system, and I’ve encountered my fair share of errors along the way. One error that I’ve come across quite often is the HTTP 500 Internal Server Error. This pesky issue can crop up when you’re trying to access a website, and it can be quite frustrating. But fear not, fellow Windows enthusiasts! I’ve personally tested these 10 fixes, and I’m here to share them with you in a clear and engaging manner.

1. Refresh the webpage

Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best one. The first thing I recommend doing when you encounter the HTTP 500 error is to refresh the webpage. You’d be surprised how many times this actually works! To do this, press F5 or click the refresh button in your browser.

Refresh the webpage

2. Clear your browser cache and cookies

Your browser stores temporary files (cache) and cookies to help speed up your browsing experience. However, these files can sometimes cause issues, like the HTTP 500 error. To eliminate this possibility, try clearing your browser’s cache and cookies. Here are some helpful links for popular browsers:

Clear your browser cache and cookies

3. Check for incorrect URL

An incorrect URL can lead to an HTTP 500 error. Double-check the URL to ensure it’s accurate. Pay close attention to details like spelling, hyphens, and slashes. If you’re unsure about the correct URL, try searching for the website using a search engine to locate the correct address.

Check for incorrect URL

4. Restart your computer and router

Restarting your devices can resolve various issues, including the HTTP 500 error. Here’s how:

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Unplug your router from the power source.
  3. Wait for about a minute to allow any residual power to dissipate.
  4. Plug your router back in and wait for it to fully power on.
  5. Turn on your computer and try accessing the website again.

5. Disable browser extensions

Browser extensions can sometimes interfere with website functionality. Disabling them can help you determine if they’re causing the HTTP 500 error. Here’s how:

  1. Open your browser’s extensions or add-ons manager. This process varies depending on the browser you’re using. For example, in Chrome, click the three-dot menu > More tools > Extensions. (screenshot)
  2. Disable all extensions by toggling them off or clicking the “Remove” button.
  3. Restart your browser and try accessing the website again. If the error no longer appears, re-enable your extensions one by one to identify the problematic one.
Disable browser extensions

6. Use a different browser

Using a different browser can help you determine if the issue is specific to your current browser. Here’s how:

  1. Download and install a different browser if you don’t already have one. Popular options include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
  2. Open the new browser and navigate to the problematic website.
  3. If the site loads correctly, you can either continue using the new browser or troubleshoot the issue with your original browser.

7. Contact the website owner

If you’ve tried all the other fixes and still can’t access the website, it might be worth contacting the site owner or administrator. They might be unaware of the issue, and your message could help them resolve the problem faster. Look for a “Contact Us” or “About Us” page on the website, which usually contains the necessary contact information.

Contact the website owner

8. Check your antivirus and firewall settings

Antivirus software and firewalls can sometimes block access to certain websites, resulting in an HTTP 500 error. To determine if this is the cause, follow these steps:

  1. Temporarily disable your antivirus software. The process may vary depending on the program you use, so refer to your software’s documentation or help section for instructions.
  2. Temporarily disable your firewall. In Windows, you can do this by navigating to Control Panel > System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall. Click “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off” and select “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended)” for both private and public networks.
  3. Try accessing the website again. If it loads without any issues, adjust your antivirus and firewall settings to allow access to the site. Don’t forget to re-enable your antivirus and firewall afterward.

9. Scan your computer for malware

Malware on your computer can cause a variety of issues, including the HTTP 500 error. To rule this out, perform a thorough malware scan using a reputable antivirus program. If any threats are detected, remove them and try accessing the website again.

Scan your computer for malware

10. Wait and try again later

When you encounter an HTTP 500 error, it’s possible that the issue is temporary and out of your control. Server maintenance, high traffic, or other technical problems can cause temporary disruptions to a website. In such cases, patience is key. Give it some time, perhaps an hour or two, and then try accessing the website again.

11. Debugging with Developer Tools

Developer tools in browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Safari offer a range of features that can help debug HTTP 500 errors. To access these tools, right-click on the webpage and select ‘Inspect’ or ‘Inspect Element’ from the context menu. This will open a panel where you can see detailed information about the webpage. One of the most useful tabs in this panel is the ‘Network’ tab. Here, you can see all network requests made by the webpage, including status codes. If a request fails, you’ll often see a status code like 500, and you can click on the failed request to see more details. These details can give you a clue as to what’s going wrong, especially if the error response contains a message from the server.

12. Update Your Browser

Updating your browser is a good way to resolve many web-related issues. Browsers are frequently updated to address bugs, improve performance, and add new features. If you’re running an old version, it may not support the latest web technologies, causing issues like the HTTP 500 error. To update your browser, you can usually go to its ‘About’ or ‘Help’ menu where you’ll find information about the current version and the option to update if a new version is available. After updating, restart your browser to ensure the new version is in effect.

13. Check .htaccess Configuration for WordPress Sites

If you’re running a WordPress site, the .htaccess file is an important configuration file that controls many aspects of how your site interacts with the server. A misconfiguration in this file can lead to HTTP 500 errors. To check your .htaccess file, you’ll need to access it via FTP or through your hosting control panel’s file manager. It’s typically found in the root directory of your site. One way to troubleshoot .htaccess issues is to rename the file (to something like .htaccess_old), then try to load your site again. If the site works, you know the problem was in the .htaccess file. You can then revert to a basic .htaccess file or carefully modify it to remove the problematic rules. Always take a backup before editing your .htaccess file.


The HTTP 500 Internal Server Error can be a real nuisance, but armed with these 10 fixes, you should be well-prepared to tackle it head-on. Remember, it’s always a good idea to start with the simplest solutions first before moving on to more complex ones. In my personal experience, one of these fixes has always done the trick, and I’m confident that they’ll work for you as well.

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Benjamin Johnson

Hey there, I'm Ben, the tech-savvy Founder and CEO of WinFixo.com. I've dedicated my life to helping fellow Windows users optimize their PCs for peak performance. Join me on this journey as we unlock the full potential of your Windows devices together!

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