Are you also facing HTTP Error 403 on Google Drive and want a solution to fix it? If yes, then you have stumbled upon the right page. In today’s article, I will talk about this error thoroughly and provide you with some solutions that you can try to fix this error.
So, without any further ado, let’s get started on ways to fix HTTP Error 403 on Google Drive-
How to fix HTTP Error 403 on Google Drive
Google Drive is undoubtedly one of the top-rated and most used cloud storage services available on the internet. It is easy to use, highly reliable, and people have faith in it because of its parent company, Google.
But despite being one of the best on the market, it has some bugs that cause some errors from time to time, and sometimes, these errors can be very frustrating.
Recently, when I was going through my Google Drive, and I tried downloading a file, I came across such an error. This error appeared with a message that said, “Access to XYZ (name of the file) was denied. You don’t have the authorization to view this page. HTTP Error 403,” and it astounded me.
In brief, this error was saying that I don’t have access to a file that I actually have stored inside my Google Drive. Like every other person, I also went to Google and started gathering information about it. I got to know that it is a very common issue that many other people are also facing.
It can appear with other messages such as “Google Drive Access Denied Error 403” or “Google Drive Forbidden Download Error 403,” but the error code always remains the same. That means, essentially, those all are the same error caused by the same reason, and most commonly, they will have the same fixes.
What actually causes Error 403?
Well, there is no official clarification from Google Drive that could explain the reason behind this error. However, after researching more and more about the error and after finding all possible solutions to fix it, I have come to the conclusion that could possibly explain the reason behind this Error 403.
Obviously, there can be some other reasons as well, and we have to wait for Google’s official clarification, but until then, these are the only ways to understand what may be causing this problem.
- As per forums, a significant majority of Google Drive users face this Error 403 because of an overloaded browser cache.
- Another most common reason that could cause this error is multiple sign-ins of your Google Drive account at the same time.
- If you are using a dated web browser that is not officially compatible with Google Drive, that may also be a reason why you are facing this error.
- Lastly, if you have installed any problematic or corrupted extensions/add-ons to your browser, you can also face this issue.
So, since now we have some possible explanations that can help us understand what might be causing this error, it is time to share some fixes with you.
Solutions to fix HTTP Error 403 on Google Drive
Since one of the most common reasons people face this issue is because of an overloaded browser cache, our first solution is entirely based on that.
1. Clear your browser’s cache memory
Browser cache memory typically caches static content from a website that will not change from visit to visit and stores them on your computer’s hard drive. It saves it so that the next time you visit that website again, it will consume fewer resources and time to load the webpage.
How long this cache memory will stay in your device depends on the website and your browser settings. Sometimes, it would be removed within a few days, while sometimes, it can remain on your device for up to a year.
We will not thoroughly discuss cache memory here, but the above explanation would be sufficient to understand what cache is and how it works. Sometimes, when the cache memory of your device overloads data, it starts causing such errors.
In such a scenario, the easiest way to solve this Error 403 will be to clear your browser’s cache. To do that, you simply have to follow these simple steps-
- Open your browser.
- Press the SHIFT + CTRL + Delete button simultaneously to open the “Clear browsing data” menu.
- For the “Time Range” option, select the “All Time” option.
- Tick on the “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files” options. You can also select the “Browsing History” option, but that is not necessary.
- Now, click on the “Clear Data” button.
- Reopen your web browser.
After clearing your browser’s cache, open your web browser to see if the error has been fixed or not. And this will most probably fix Error 403. If not, try the following method.
Do note that the steps mentioned above can differ slightly from browser to browser, but the process will be somewhat similar.
2. Sign out from all devices and sign in again
As I already told you that another possible reason that may be causing this problem could be multiple Google Drive sign-ins. If that is the case and clearing cache memory has not fixed the issue, then you can try this method.
To sign out from all devices, you can follow these simple steps-
- Go to accounts.google.com
- Most probably, you will be directly signed into your Google account settings page. If not, you will have to log in with your Gmail credentials.
- After that, you have to click on the “Security” option from the left sidebar.
- Now, scroll down until you see the “Your Device” option. From there, you have to click on the “Manage devices” option.
- It will take you to the page where you can see all the devices you’re signed into. Next, tap on the three dots assigned with each device and choose the “Sign out” option. Doing this will sign you out from that device.
- In the end, go to drive.google.com and click on the profile button situated on the upper right side of your screen.
- Click on the “Sign out” option from there.
Doing this will log you out from all your devices. Once you’re signed out from all your devices, go to drive.google.com and sign in again.
Now, try to download your file to see if Error 403 has been fixed or not. If you were facing this issue because of Google multiple sign-ins, this method would fix it.
If the problem is not fixed even after following the above two methods, in that case, there are chances that you are encountering that problem because of your web browser or any problematic browser extensions/add-ons.
3. Update your browser
If you are using an outdated web browser, then there is a slight chance that you may face such issues. But, more than that, not updating your web browser can open your PC for security vulnerabilities, and in the worst-case scenario, it could even compromise your PC’s data.
Plus, dated browsers have many compatibility issues that usually cause errors like Error 403 and others. Therefore, it is always a good idea to keep your web browsers updated.
Even though most prevalent web browsers like Google Chrome, Firefox, and Brave come with an auto-update function, most people either don’t enable it or voluntarily disable it, believing that it will slow down their PC.
Since there are chances that Error 403 may be occurring because of a dated web browser, you can try updating your browser to see if that fixes the issue.
The problem is that I cannot share a guide with you explaining how to update your web browser because the steps differ from browser to browser. But you can easily find a guide by doing a simple Google search.
So, update your browser and see if it fixes the issue. If not, follow the next method.
4. Disable problematic extensions/add-ons
Since Error 403 is a browser-based error, there are chances that one or more extensions may be why you are facing this error. If that is the reason, then you can try disabling your extensions to fix it.
Since we don’t know which extension or add-on is primarily causing the problem, you will have to disable all of them first. Below I am sharing guides to disable extensions/add-ons on Chrome and Firefox browsers. The methods are kind of similar on other browsers too.
How to disable add-ons on Firefox
- Open Firefox web browser and click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) from the top right corner of your screen.
- Now, click on the “Add-ons and Themes” option or press CTRL + Shift + A simultaneously. It will take you to the “Add-ons manager,” where you can manage all your extensions.
- Here, you have to disable all add-ons.
Doing this will disable all Firefox extensions for you.
How to disable extensions on Chrome
- Open Chrome browser and click on three dots from the top right corner of your screen.
- Now tap on More Tools.
- There, you will see the “Extensions” option; click on it.
- It will take you to the extensions page, from where you can disable all your Chrome extensions.
Once you have disabled all the extensions/add-ons, open your Google Drive and check if the problem persists or not. If the problem has been fixed, it is most likely that your browser’s one or more extensions/add-ons are causing this error.
In that case, you have to enable each extension one by one to identify which one is causing this problem. Once you find out the problematic extension, you can either remove it completely or disable it for the time being until you have to use that extension again.
5. Use incognito mode
When dealing with a browser-based problem, it is always a good idea to try incognito mode to see if it solves the problem. Although it is not a reliable solution to fix the issue, it can be handy for the immediate time. Also, it is very easy to do.
Simply follow these simple steps to try if incognito mode fixes the problem for you-
- Open your browser and click on the hamburger icon from the top right corner.
- There, you will see the “New Private Tab/Window” option. Click on it.
- It will open the incognito tab for you.
- There, you have to go to drive.google.com and sign in with your Gmail account.
- Locate the file and download it.
It will 100% surely fix HTTP Error 403 for you. However, remember that this is a temporary fix, and therefore, you cannot wholly rely on it. But you can still use it to get rid of this error immediately.
6. Create a shareable link
Lastly, we have a technique that is neither temporary nor permanent, but still, you can rely on it.
Since it is not practical to log into an incognito window again and again because that is time-consuming, you can create a shareable link and download it from an incognito tab to fix it immediately.
To do that, simply follow these steps-
- Go to drive.google.com and right-click on the file you want to download.
- An options menu will appear. Click on the Get Shareable Link option.
- Copy the link to your clipboard and open an incognito tab.
- Paste the link in the address bar and hit enter.
- The file will appear on your screen, and from here, you can use the download option to download the file on your computer.
So, these are some of the ways you can fix this Error 403 of Google Drive.
You may like the following Google Drive articles:
- How To Share Google Drive Folders With Non-Gmail Users
- How to Email a document from Google Drive
- Change Your Profile Picture on Google Drive
- How to Copy a Folder in Google Drive
- How to Scan Using Google Drive
There you have it – six different ways to fix HTTP Error 403 on Google Drive.
Error 403 is a very common problem that primarily occurs due to browser-related issues. However, sometimes it can also arise because of your Google account login history. Since there is not an apparent reason why this problem would occur, you can only try these workarounds to see if that fixes your issues.
The problem will most commonly be fixed by clearing your browser’s cache or following the sign-out and sign-in method. In case that doesn’t work, you can try other methods mentioned in the article.
With that said, here I am wrapping up this article. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to share them with us in the comment section below. We will try to respond to your comments ASAP.
I am Carissa Gudinoa, a technology buff, and Office online and Apple expert with over 9 years of experience. I am passionate about helping others get the most out of their Apple devices. I have written extensively about Apple products and technologies. I am committed to providing my clients with the best possible service and am always up-to-date on the latest Apple products and features. I also write extensively on other software available for use at minimal cost or free. This includes Word Online, Outlook Online, Excel Online, and other Office online programs… Check out more.