What Does A “500 Internal Server Error” Mean And How To Fix It?

“500 Internal Server Error” is the most common error reported on the internet. In general, known as HTTP error it indicates that there is some issue with the server of the website you are trying to visit. So, What Does A “500 Internal Server Error” Mean exactly, and how to get rid of it is the real question here.

This error really bothers you when you get it in between something important, and the first thing that comes to your mind is that there is some issue with your internet connection or the device you are using.

Well, this is not the case. This error clearly means that there is some issue with the website you are trying to access.

The “Internal Server Error” can occur when the request is processed by the webserver. The status code includes everything unplanned that can happen on the server and prevent the website from being loaded. 

The server error 500 probably happens because an error has occurred in the configuration of the webserver. Here are some error sources that leads to this:

  • Incorrect permissions on files and folders on the server.
  • Timeout when connecting to an external resource.
  • The structure in a .htaccess file could be wrong.
  • In some cases, scripts or paths are incorrect.
  • Any process exceeds memory and therefore cannot be executed correctly.

In the case of WordPress sites or other content management systems, installing an incompatible extension or plugins/themes(third party mostly) may affect the website too.

What Does A “500 Internal Server Error” Mean



Depending on the websites, you may see these messages:-  “HTTP Error 500”, “500. That’s an error”, “Temporary Error (500)”, “500 Internal Server Error”, “500 Error”, or just the error code “500”.

These are all the same errors, and the issue lies with the website itself.

The 500 error code is a generic message that appears when something unexpected happened on the webserver and the server can’t provide more detailed information.

So, instead of a normal page of the website, due to this error, the server gives your browser a web page with an error message.

Using status codes, the webserver tells an internet user’s browser whether a request was successful or not. If the browser receives the 200 status code, it knows that everything went well. 

However, in the case of 400 and 500 status codes, the error is client-related and server-related respectively.

So, in most cases, it is not specified what is the actual cause of this error, and you simply get this 500 internal server error on your screen.

But, there are cases when you may also get more detailed information, this happens if the server has installed Microsoft IIS (Microsoft Internet Information Services).

Error codes, in this case, will be specified, and decimal places indicate the cause of the error in detail.

Check out some of the examples here:-

  • 500.0: Module or ISAPI error occurred.
  • 500.11: Application is shutting down on the webserver.
  • 500.12: Application is busy restarting on the webserver.
  • 500.13: 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.
  • 500.100: Internal ASP error.

How To Fix 500 Internal Server Error

Tackling with this error is different for the type of user you are. A website operator or an internet user will have a different approach and understanding towards this error.

As a normal internet user, you can use the following methods to get rid of this error:-

  • Try reloading the page again later.
  • Clear your browser’s cache.

As there is nothing much you can do, if the problem on the server is resolved by any means, you will get back the result you are looking for following the methods mentioned above only.

NOTE:- Do Not Refresh The Page In Case You Are Making Any Kind Of Payment On The Website, As This May Result Into The Deduction Of Your Money Multiple Times.

Now, as a website operator, on getting this error, the first thing you need to do is to contact your hosting provider and check with them the running status of your server.

If you are getting this error as an owner of your own website, then it could be more frustrating as there is no sure shot fix for it. More troubleshooting is required to get the root cause of this issue.

Try checking your web server’s log files as the most common problem include an error in your website’s .htaccess file.

  • Incorrect permissions on files and folders on your server,
  • a software package that your website depends on not being installed, or
  • a timeout when connecting to an external resource

may also result in these errors, as discussed earlier in this article.

Wrapping it up:-

Now I believe you understand What Does A 500 Internal Server Error Mean exactly and how you can resolve this issue.

However, there is a way to access the older version of any website, if this is really important for you. This older version may or may not have the information you want.

This can be done by using Google Cache, to get access to the cached copy of the website you are looking for. Just click the back button in your web browser when the web page doesn’t load. Click the arrow to the right of the web page’s address, and click “Cached” to view the old copy.


If the page taking a long time to load click the “Text-only version” link at the top of the cached page. But, you will not see any images in this version.

Must Read:-

Another simple way is to visit the Wayback Machine page and just provide the link to the website and click on the “Browse History” button. You will get the older available version of the requested website on your screen right away.


Share this article with others on social media platforms, and post a comment if you have any suggestions or queries regarding this article.




Leave a Comment