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What do I do if I get a 404 error on the Internet?

404 error404 is an HTTP status code error "Not Found 404" or "Page Not Found," which indicates the server was unable to find the requested address. Below are some suggestions on what you can do if a page you're trying to access is getting this error code.

Read 404 suggestions

Many 404 error pages have additional suggestions and tips on what you can do to help locate the missing page. For example, the Computer Hope 404 page gives our recommendations on where to find specific information, and provides a direct link to the search engine. Additionally, this page may give details as to why you're getting the error. For example, it may indicate if the page was recently changed or moved.

Verify URL entered is correct

A 404 message can also occur if the URL is improperly entered. Make sure the URL is correctly formatted and that it's ending in the proper file extension. For example, a web page may be an .htm file and not a .html file or the file is being entered in all caps instead of lowercase.

Get back to homepage

If the 404 error page is not helpful and the URL is correct, you can also try getting back to the homepage by removing everything after the website domain name in the URL. For example, if the 404 error URL is "http://www.computerhope.com/thispageisgone.htm" you would remove "/thispageisgone.htm" from the URL to get back to the homepage of the website.

If the homepage is also not working, then the complete website has been deleted or removed, and your only hope is that it has been backed up elsewhere. Skip to the next section for steps on how to view a web page on the Internet Archive.

If the homepage does work and has a search option, use it to try finding the missing page or contact them about the broken link so it can be fixed.

Locating a lost or moved page elsewhere

If the page continues to generate a 404 it is likely it has been moved or deleted. Below are some tips on how you can locate lost or moved pages.

Check for a Google Cache

Google has a cache of almost every page it indexes on the Internet. If you are unable to access the information you are looking for because of a 404 error, see if you can pull up a cached version from Google (assuming it's a valid URL). To do this open a Google search and type a command similar to the below command example.

cache:http://www.computerhope.com

In the above example, you would replace the Computer Hope URL with the URL you're trying to look up. Or if you have the Google Toolbar or a variant of the Google Toolbar, right-click on the page and click the option to view the cached version.

Internet Archive

If you're trying to find an older web page that has disappeared from the Internet, or you want to view the history of a web page, visit the Internet Archive. This archive has complete snapshots of over 85 billion pages since the early 90's and may have a backup of the web page you are trying to find.

Additional information

  • See the 404 definition for further information and related links.