How to troubleshoot 500 Internal Server Error?

Posted at October 14, 2016 at 4:01 pm by Jithin

The 500 Internal Server Error will be familiar to all Internet users. There are various http status codes which are three digit integers. For every request, there will be a status code to return from the server to the client. Usually we’d have come through various errors like 404 Not Found error. These error codes are actually http status codes. The 500 Internal Server Error is also an http status code. In this article, we are going to see about 500 Internal Server Error in detail.

 

The 500 Internal Server Error

The 5xx errors are the status codes returned by the server when the server encounters an unexpected condition which prevented it from fulfilling the request from a client. The 500 Internal Server Error is the general catch all error when the server throws an exception. It is the error message when no more specific error message is suitable. It may be difficult to troubleshoot on this error because it can be triggered out by many different issues. One common cause of this error is scripting issues such as a form fails to handle a missing or incorrect value correctly. Various server faults can also cause this error like a failed disk or nonfunctional software module. Simply, 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 what that exact problem is. It is rare but not impossible that the issues with the computers that connect to the server is triggering this error.

 

Troubleshooting 500 Internal Server Error

As we’ve seen earlier, it’s a little bit difficult to troubleshoot this error because many issues can lead to the 500 Internal Server Error. Let’s see what steps are necessary to resolve a 500 Internal Server Error page.

 

Troubleshooting the 500 Internal Server Error from Client Side

The 500 Internal Server Error is caused by the server, there are only a few actions which can be taken from the client side.

1) Restart the browser after clearing the cache and deleting the cookies.

2) Take it as a 504 Error

Restart the browser after clearing the cache and deleting the cookies

The 500 Internal Server Error is not often related to the caching issues but it is possible sometimes the issue will be fixed after you clear the browser cache and cookies. It is not something that you need a high technical knowledge.

In Google Chrome you can clear the cache and cookies by following the below steps.

1) Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

2) You will get a window to clear the browsing data. Ensure that the boxes are checked as in the below screenshot.

3) Click on the button “Clear browsing data”.

To clear cache and cookies in Mozilla Firefox,

Please follow the below steps to clear cache.

1) Press Ctrl + Shift + Delete.

2) You will get a window regarding clear recent history. Ensure that the boxes are checked as in the below screenshot.

3) Click on the button “Clear Now”.

 

Take it as a 504 Error

The 504 Gateway Timeout is returned when the server did not receive a timely response from another server that it was accessing while attempting to load the web page or fill another request by the browser. This may occurr when the other server is down or not working properly. Sometimes the web server may return a 500 Internal Server Error instead of the 504 Gateway Timeout, but that is not common.

 

Troubleshooting the 500 Internal Server Error from Server Side

If you are the webmaster or the website administrator, you can troubleshoot the error from the server side too. As we’ve seen earlier, the 500 Internal Server Error can be caused by many issues. However, we are going to see some common issues triggering this error.

1) External Resource Timeout

2) Issues triggered by wrong file and directory permissions

3) Misconfiguration in .htaccess file

External Resource Timeout

Sometimes the web server may need responses from a remote server to complete processing the request from a client. There can be situations that theses external resources may timeout. This can be a php timeout. In such cases, the webserver will return a 500 Internal Server Error. We can fix this error by increasing timeout values or setting other appropriate timeout options, so that the remote server will not return a timeout error but wait for the request to be processed.

Issues triggered by Wrong File and Directory Permissions

This is the cause of most Internal Server Errors. If the permission of one more files or directories needed to process the request of the client is set wrongly, it will not be accessible to the server so that the error is returned. The wrong permission of a php script is an example of this type issue. This issue can be fixed by resetting the correct permission on the file or directory.

Misconfiguration in .htaccess file

Another common cause of the 500 Internal Server Error is misconfiguration in the .htaccess file. Errors in URL rewriting can lead to, but not often a 500 Internal Server Error. Locating and correcting the misconfiguration in the .htaccess file can fix this issue.

 

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