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How to Solve 500 Internal Server Error

HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 500 Internal Server Error server error response code indicates that the server encountered an unexpected condition that prevented it from fulfilling a request. That error response is the generic “catch-all” response.

Sometimes, server administrators log error responses like a 500 status code with more details about the request to prevent an error from happening again.

500 Internal Server Error

The 500 Internal Server Error is a general HTTP status code that means something has gone wrong on the website’s server, but the server could not be more specific on the exact problem. The Internal Server Error message might be seen in many ways because each website can customize a message.

HTTP Status 500 Internal Server

Since the 500 Internal Server Error is generated by a website you’re visiting, you could see one in any browser in any operating system, even on your smartphone. The 500 Internal Server Error is usually displayed inside an internet browser window, just as web pages do.

Cause of HTTP 500 Errors

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

The 500 status code, or Internal Server Error, means that the server cannot process the request for an unknown reason. Sometimes the code will appear when more specific 5xx errors are more appropriate.

How to solve 500 HTTP Internal Server Error

To solve 500 HTTP Internal Server Error, reload a web page. You can do that by clicking the refresh/reload button, pressing F5 or Ctrl + R, or trying the URL from the address bar again.

The issue might be temporary even if the 500 Internal Server Error is the web server’s problem. Trying the page again will often be successful.

Check .htaccess file

As the website owner, have you changed the .htaccess configuration recently? .htaccess files containing incorrect syntax are a common cause of HTTP Error 500. If you believe this may cause, then rename the file and try loading the page again. If this resolves the issue, this confirms an issue with the .htaccess file. This should be checked, corrected, and then put back into place.

Coding/scripting errors

If you maintain the website and use the script or coding language (such as PHP) to dynamically output content, then errors in the language’s syntax can cause the 500 error. So, check if the page in question has been modified recently and verify that the syntax is correct.

Delete your browser’s cookies

Some 500 Internal Server Error issues can be corrected by deleting the cookies associated with the website you’re getting the error. After removing the cookie(s), restart the web browser and try again.

Investigate Logs

If you’re the website owner, you should first check the web server’s logs when you encounter an error 500. For example, in the Apache2 web server, the specific error log location would be in /var/log/apache2. So typically, the file will be called error.log, but it might be different if the webserver has been configured with another log file format. For example, for Internet Information Services (IIS), the default location for the log files is in %SystemDrive%\inetpub\logs\Log Files Contact.

Troubleshoot as the 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 the more appropriate message based on the cause of the problem.

Contact ISP or Hosting Provider

If you are an owner but do not have access to the web server’s logs and filesystem, then you should contact your ISP/hosting provider for details of the logs to investigate. Some ISPs/Hosting Providers, such as IONOS, provide access to tools via their “Control Panels” that allows the logs to be interrogated.

It may be that your ISP/Hosting Provider might be the cause of the issue (e.g., upgrading server software, etc.) and may be aware of the problem causing the error 500 issues with your website and therefore resolve it for you or can help you with it. It is also worth checking out any help pages and articles written by the ISP/Hosting provider themselves as they may contain specific advice on the problem.

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.

Contact CMS provider

If you are experiencing a 500 error on your WordPress or other content management system, you can contact them for assistance. They should also have some help pages on their website, which might help – e.g., WordPress has support forums where you might find an answer to a similar problem.

Fixing 500 Server Error Problems on Your Site

A 500 Internal Server Error on your website requires an entirely different course of action. As we mentioned above, most 500 errors are server-side errors, meaning 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, the 500 Internal Server Error is due to an incorrect permission on one or more files or folders. In most cases, the false permission on the 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 the 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.

More Ways You Might See an Internal Server Error

If the website reports the 500 error runs Microsoft IIS, you might get a specific error message.

500 Internal Server Error List
Code Explanation
500.0 Module or ISAPI error occurred.
500.11 The application is shutting down on the webserver.
500.12 The application is busy restarting on the webserver.
500.13 The 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. Additionally, a configuration or inbound rule execution error occurred.
500.51 A rewrite error occurred during GL_PRE_BEGIN_REQUEST notification handling. Additionally, a global configuration or global rule execution error occurred.
500.52 A rewrite error occurred during RQ_SEND_RESPONSE notification handling. As a result, an outbound rule execution occurred.
500.53 A rewrite error occurred during RQ_RELEASE_REQUEST_STATE notification handling. In addition, 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.

That’s it for this tutorial.

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