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

Updated: 08/31/2020 by Computer Hope
404 error

404 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 was entered in all caps instead of lowercase.

Get back to homepage

If the 404 error page is not helpful and the URL is correct, visit the homepage by removing everything after the website domain name in the URL. For example, if the 404 error URL is "https://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 is deleted or removed, and your only hope is that it's backed up elsewhere. Skip to the next section for steps on how to view a web page on the Internet Archive.

If the homepage works and has a search, use it to try finding the missing page or contact them about the broken link.

Locating a lost or moved page elsewhere

If the page continues to generate a 404, it is likely it is 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 cannot 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 following command example.


In the above example, you would replace the Computer Hope URL with the URL you're trying to look up.

Internet Archive

If you're trying to find an older web page that 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