How to fix Forbidden error 403 on your iPad Air 3 Safari app

There are various types of errors you may encounter when browsing websites and Internet services in mobile devices. One of the common errors encountered by Apple device users when browsing the Internet is the Forbidden error 403. Read on to learn why you are getting this error on your iPad Air 3 and what must be done to get rid of it.

When your browser prompts a Forbidden error 403, it’s letting you know that the URL, file, or webpage you are trying to access is unsupported. As a result, you won’t be able to view the resource, page or file unless permission is granted. This error usually occurs when trying to access content from invalid or forbidden sites or URLs.

Highlighted below are possible solutions and workarounds you can use when trying to get rid of this error and finally access the URL or website that you’re trying to load.

Before we move on to our troubleshooting, if you are looking for a solution to a different issue, make sure you drop by our troubleshooting page as we’ve already addressed some of the most common problems reported by our readers. Find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If you still need our help after that, then feel free to contact us by filling up our iPad issues questionnaire.

First solution: Clear Safari app cache and browsing history.

Corrupted Internet files that are stored in your browser’s cache are usually the main triggers of these errors. This is the main reason why it is imperative to clear your browser’s cache and cookies regularly. If you haven’t already, then here’s what you should then:

To clear browsing data, history and cookies from Safari without changing auto-fill information, follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Safari.
  3. Navigate to the Privacy and Security section and then tap the option to Clear History and Website Data.

To clear cookies and keep browsing history, refer to these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap Settings.
  2. Select Safari.
  3. Navigate to the Advanced section.
  4. Tap on Website Data.
  5. Then select the option to Remove All Website Data.

After clearing cache and website data, quit the Safari app and then open it again to test and see if the error is gone.

ALSO READ: What to do if your new iPad Air 3 is overheating [Troubleshooting Guide]

Second solution: Reboot your iPad Air 3.

Other possible triggers to this error are minor firmware glitches on your iPad. This is usually the case if the network system is experiencing some random issues. To clear out such errors, performing a soft reset or restarting the iPad is recommended. This process does not affect any data you saved on the internal memory of your iPad and so there’s no need to create backups. Just follow these steps whenever you’re ready:

  1. Press and hold down the Power/Top button for a few seconds until the Power off slider appears.
  2. Drag the slider to power off your device.
  3. After a few seconds, press and hold the Power/Top button until the Apple logo appears.

Allow your iPad to finish rebooting and then retry browsing URLs and pages on Safari. If the Forbidden 403 error shows up again, proceed to the next applicable solution.

Third solution: Update Safari app.

The problem could also be due to the Safari app that’s becoming unstable or being spoiled by some bugs and malwares. In this case, updating the app can help. Updates for built-in iOS apps like Safari are usually embedded into each iOS update released by Apple. Thus, you can check your iPad for new iOS update to implement. Here’s how:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. If a new update is available, select the option to Download and Install.
  5. Then follow the rest of the onscreen instructions to install the update on your phone.

To update your device wirelessly (OTA), it must have a stable Internet connection, sufficient memory space and battery life.

Fourth solution: Refresh your Internet connection.

Random Internet errors are often due to minor glitches affecting the browser or network system of the device. To deal with these minor glitches, refreshing the Internet connection can help. There are many ways to refresh internet connection on your iPad Air 3. The first is through the Wi-Fi toggle. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Then toggle the switch to turn Wi-Fi off.
  4. After a few seconds, tap the switch again to turn Wi-Fi back on.

Allow your device to reconnect to your Wi-Fi network and once it’s connected, launch the browser app and try navigating to different websites and URLs.

If the Forbidden error 403 shows up again, then try performing the Airplane Mode trick. Here’s how:

  1. From your Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select Airplane Mode.
  3. Toggle Airplane mode switch from off to on. Doing so disables wireless radios of your iPad simultaneously.
  4. While Airplane Mode is enabled, reboot your iPad Air.
  5. When it’s finished restarting, go back to Settings-> Airplane Mode menu.
  6. Then toggle the switch to turn Airplane Mode off again.

Your iPad’s wireless functions should now be activated. Reconnect your iPad to your Wi-Fi network and when it’s back online, open Safari and navigate through different sites and URLs to see whether or not the error is fixed.

If that doesn’t help either, then you may have to consider deleting the Wi-Fi network and then add it back to connect like the first time you did. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select Wi-Fi. Make sure that the Wi-Fi switch is turned ON to view a list of available Wi-Fi networks.
  3. Select your Wi-Fi network then tap the information icon (i) next to its name.
  4. Then tap the option to Forget This Network.
  5. The network will then be deleted or removed from the list. Follow the same steps to forget all other saved Wi-Fi networks to prevent them from causing conflicts.
  6. After forgetting the networks, reboot your iPad
  7. Then go back to Settings-> Wi-Fi menu and wait for the Wi-Fi networks to populate the list.
  8. Select your preferred Wi-Fi network then tap Join or Connect.
  9. If prompted, enter the correct Wi-Fi password to access the network.

Once your iPad is connected to Wi-Fi, open Safari and try browsing through pages and see if the error is gone.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPad Air 3 that has no Internet access but connected to WiFi network

Fifth solution: Reset network settings.

Performing resets can be considered among the next options and possible solutions if the previous methods failed to get rid of the Forbidden 403 error. Doing so will eliminate invalid network configurations from customized settings and network update overrides that might have caused conflict and somehow triggered the error to occur. This reset does not affect any saved data on the internal storage so you don’t need to back up files beforehand. Once you’re ready, follow these steps to reset network settings on your iPad Air 3:

  1. Tap Settings from your Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap on Reset.
  4. Select Reset network settings from the given options. Doing so will delete all your current network settings and then restores the default network options. Your Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections will also be deleted.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

When the reset is finished, all your customized network settings are erased while the original network options and values are restored. To get back online, you need to activate Wi-Fi and reconnect to your Wi-Fi network. Then open the Safari app and see if the error is no more.

Still getting a Forbidden error 403 after resetting your iPad’s network settings?

At this point, you may opt to escalate the problem to your Internet service provider or network carrier. Let them know exactly of the issue as well as the solutions you have applied so that they can further assist you by immediately working on the next procedures. You can also ask them to check on their system for any temporary network outages that may have affected network services in your place. Network problems like this can also trigger similar issues that would affect Internet services.

If the Forbidden error 403 started after installing an iOS update and it persisted after exhausting all possible workarounds, then contacting Apple Support can be considered an option. Relaying post-update issues is imperative so that Apple will know that such problems exist and so they can make further assessments. Once they’ve confirmed that the problem is an iOS bug, developing a fix patch will be their next step to address it.

You can also try to contact the website administrator of the URLs or pages that are affected by the Forbidden error 403. That way they can apply the required fixes on their end.

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