404 Not Found

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This error occurs when the requested file is not found on the server. This can happen if the file never existed or if the file was deleted. Another cause for this issue is due to a malformed request describing an inaccurate file name.

This error only indicates that something is missing and doesn’t clarify if it’s temporarily or permanently moved.

If a user receives this error they may want to verify it the resource has been moved to a different location on the server. In some cases, the user may need to contact server support for troubleshooting.

The HTTP 404 Not Found response status code indicates that the server cannot find the requested resource. Links that lead to a 404 page are often called broken or dead links and can be subject to link rot.

A 404 status code only indicates that the resource is missing: not whether the absence is temporary or permanent. If a resource is permanently removed, use the 410 (Gone) status instead.


404 Not Found

Custom error pages

You can display a custom 404 page to be more helpful to a user and provide guidance on what to do next. For example, for the Apache server, you can specify a path to a custom 404 page in an .htaccess file:

ErrorDocument 404 /notfound.html

For an example of a custom 404 page, see MDN’s 404 page.

Note: Custom design is a good thing, in moderation. Feel free to make your 404 page humorous and human, but don’t confuse your users.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP/1.1): Semantics and Content
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