Error 404 Not Found: Causes and best solutions of this error

A typical failure that we have surely seen on more than one occasion is that a website does not load with “error 404 not found” message for some reason. Fortunately, we have ways to find out what’s going on and take action. The easiest way to find out why a failure is happening is to look at the error code that our Internet browser returns. One of those that happens regularly, and that you have almost certainly suffered from time to time, is the 404 error. This failure occurs when a website is not available. In this tutorial we will explain what the 404 Not Found error is, we will explain its causes and how to solve this failure.

The first thing we are going to do is find out what it means when this error appears in our browser. Then we will see what the most common causes are, and then we will provide a series of solutions to solve the 404 error.

Why am I getting the 404 Not Found error?

On some occasion, after clicking on a link or typing a URL in the address bar of the browser, you have probably come across a web page with a message that indicates that the content is not available. This message can be customized by the website administrators, and when the failure occurs, a message similar to this one will appear:

The error it returns is 404 and that the content is not available on the server and offers the error code 404 Not Found or 404 page not found. This failure is a status code that the web server sends us to our Internet browser, the link that takes us to that website is known as a dead link or defective link. Other ways to refer to this bug are Error 404404 Code, and HTTP 404.

Causes of the 404 Not Found error

Error 404 not found
404 error

When we find a 404 Not Found error code in our Internet browser, it is a response from the web server that tells us that the address or URL that we accessed by entering or clicking on a link is not available. This failure usually happens when the content we want to visit has been changed to another URL or has simply been deleted.

Among the most common causes that can produce the 404 Not Found error we have:

  • The user incorrectly enters the URL address in his browser.
  • The source of the problem may be because the website administrator has removed that content or moved that URL.
  • The web server is not online at the moment because it is down.
  • We have problems with our Internet connection.
  • After redesigning a website, some of the links were not entered correctly after changing a URL. For example, a typical failure is to keep the old one.
  • The domain name no longer exists, or due to problems with the DNS servers, the correct IP is not being offered.

This failure, as long as the contents have not been eliminated, are easy to solve by the web administrator. The solution is to redirect the link to the new landing page.

In the main search engines we find quite a few results that have been moved and deleted, giving rise to the 404 Not Found error. This happens because the owners have not redirected well or have not reported the changes. It should be noted that not doing things well can lead to a decrease in PageRank. Next, we will offer some solutions for users.

What to fix 404 error?

This 404 error is not really our fault, we are simply trying to access a website that is no longer available, therefore, the website administrator has to solve it so that it does not return this error, neither to us nor to many others users who will get exactly the same.

Check your connection, check the URL and reload the web page

The first thing we have to do is check that our Internet connection works correctly. The best way to do this may be to open the covers of several prestigious pages to verify that everything is in order. Once this is done, we must check that the URL we have entered is correct. If the 404 Not Found error still appears after entering it again, it would also be a good idea to wait a few minutes in case the web is saturated or down.

Then we could proceed to refresh this website by clicking on the “circular arrow icon” indicated by the orange arrow or by pressing F5.

If with this we have not managed to fix the problem, we will move on to the next solutions.

Search function of the website or to Google

Many web pages have a search function where they have the content of the web page indexed. If you have not visited a website for a long time and you see changes, it is probably because it has undergone a remodel. For this reason, some links that you have saved may have changed. Our first option would be to resort to the search function of the website itself, which is generally represented by a magnifying glass icon. There we enter what we want to find with any search engine and press enter.

The next option would be to search the major search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing in case they have a more modern link that avoids the appearance of the 404 error code.

Delete cache and cookies from the browser, change DNS and contact the website

Sometimes the 404 Not Found error message only affects a specific computer or device. Instead, you see that you can access the web from another without problems. Then, the failure usually happens by clearing the cache together with the cookies of this browser.

Clear cache in browser
Clear cache

Usually in browsers among its main sections we have one called Settings or Configuration. There we have to look for a section called Privacy and security where the cache and cookies can be cleared. We could also use its internal search engine and put Caché.

Another option that we can also try is to change the DNS server in TCP / IP version 4 of Windows. Sometimes our supplier’s are not good enough and sometimes it is convenient to change them. This would be an example with Google’s:

Windows 10 ipv4 settings
Windows 10 ipv4 settings

Another one that we could try is the one from Cloudflare which is 1.1.1.1. In the event that none of the above procedures are successful, we may try to contact those responsible for the website directly. Thus, administrators can inform us if the page we are looking for still exists.

In summary, if after trying the whole series of solutions the 404 Not Found error still appears, it is most likely that this content is no longer available on the web you are trying to visit.

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