How to fix Apple iPhone XS Max Safari that keeps prompting Forbidden error 403 [Troubleshooting Guide]

The appearance of a 403 error Forbidden Error is often tied to a problem with the web browser or device being used to access the application. When this error occurs while browsing the web with Safari on your iPhone, it means that the URL, page, or requested file you’re attempting to view isn’t available or you don’t have the permission to view it likely because your IP address is restricted or barred from having access to the page or resource. Hence the 403 Forbidden Error serves as a code given by the server to the Safari web browser, saying that it doesn’t have proper authorization to access the requested content for some reason. The requested content could be strictly forbidden for all clients regardless of authorization or simply invalid.

So you may ask what to do if you encounter the 403 Forbidden error on your iPhone XS Max Safari browser. The answers to that question are highlighted below. Read further and learn what to do when your iPhone XS Max Safari browser shows this error code while attempting to browse web pages and online resources on your phone.

For those who are looking for a solution to a different problem, drop by our troubleshooting page for we have already addressed some of the most common issues with this phone. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work for you or if you still need our help, contact us anytime through our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone XS max with its Safari browser that shows Forbidden error 403

Before troubleshooting, verify and ensure that this is the exact resource that you intend to request. Many web servers are tightly secured to prevent access to improper URLs that the server is not prepared to provide access to like a file directory or private page meant to other users. So it would be a good idea to double-check the exact URL that’s returning the 403 Forbidden error code and make sure it’s the correct URL you’re trying to access.

First solution: Force close Safari then reload the app.

If this is the first time Safari is prompting the 403 Forbidden Error, then it could be just a random glitch that’s easily rectified by restarting the application. That said, follow these steps to force close and relaunch Safari on your iPhone XS Max:

  1. From the Home screen, swipe your finger up and then pause.
  2. Swipe right or left to navigate through apps preview.
  3. Then swipe up on the Safari preview to force close the application. Do the same to clear all the rest of the app previews you see.

Clearing all background apps can also help fix the problem if this happens to be attributed to slow performance. After clearing Safari and other background apps on your iPhone XS Max, perform a soft reset on your iPhone XS with these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Side/Power button and either Volume buttons simultaneously for a few seconds.
  2. Release the buttons when the Slide to Power Off command appears and then drag the power off slider to the right.
  3. After 30 seconds, press and hold the Power/Side button again until the phone reboots.

A soft reset dumps junk files that are stored as cache on the internal memory including temporary data that were corrupted and caused conflict with the browser app.


Second solution: Clear cache and cookies from Safari.

Cache and cookies that are stored on the browser’s memory can contain some corrupted data and files that could trigger occurrence of various errors codes and prompts. To rule this out, try clearing cache, cookies and browser history from your iPhone XS Max Safari app with 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.

This will clear your history and cookies, and browsing data from Safari without changing your autofill information.

If you opt to clear cookies and keep your browsing history on the Safari app, do this instead:

  1. Tap Settings.
  2. Select Safari.
  3. Go to the Advanced section.
  4. Tap on Website Data.
  5. Then select the option to Remove All Website Data.

After clearing cookies, close/quit Safari app, restart your iPhone and then load the app again.

Third solution: Update Safari or rollback recent upgrades.

Installing the latest iOS will likewise update built-in apps and services on your device, including Safari app. The new update might have embedded the required fix patch to get rid of any bugs that caused you this trouble. To manually check for and install new iOS update, simply follow these steps:

  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 prompts to implement the update completely.

You can also set your iPhone XS Max to install new updates automatically. Doing so will keep you from failing to install any important update for your iOS apps and built-in functions. To do this, turn on automatic updates options on your iPhone settings with these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Select General.
  3. Tap Software Update.
  4. Tap to enable Automatic Updates option.

This will prompt your device to automatically update to the latest version of iOS whenever Apple rolls out a new version.

Meanwhile, if the 403 Forbidden Error started to show up after installing new update to the Safari app, then you may want to consider rolling back to the previous version you had installed when things were working just fine. This can help if the error is triggered by an update bug. If you just added new extensions to your browser, then it may be wise to uninstall them as well.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone.

To rule out network-related factors that might have triggered the occurrence of the 403 Forbidden Error code, carrying out a network settings reset can help. Doing so will erase all your current network configurations and server settings along with any invalid or incorrect configurations. Here’s how it’s done:

  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.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode to continue.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm network settings reset.

Network-related errors are often resolved by this reset.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone.

If the previous reset doesn’t help, then try resetting all settings on your iPhone XS Max instead. Doing so clears out any incorrect customizations and then restores that default values and original options on the phone. Any errors associated with customized settings will therefore be deleted. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Tap General.
  3. Scroll down to and tap Reset.
  4. Select the option to Reset all settings.
  5. If prompted, enter your device passcode.
  6. Then tap the option to confirm all settings reset.

After the reset, your iPhone will restart automatically and then loads the default options and values. This means that you need to re-enable individual features and services you want to use on your phone again. Unlike a factory reset, this reset does not affect your iPhone data so you won’t be losing any personal information from doing so.

Seek more help

Contact that app developer or Apple Support to escalate the problem and ask help in performing more advanced solutions and troubleshooting methods. There may be some more complex error from within the Safari browser that triggers it to prompt the 403 Forbidden Error code for some reasons. Alternatively, you can try using other third-party browsers like Google Chrome to see if the error still appears. Doing so will help you determine whether or not the problem is isolated to the Safari browser app or all browsers are affected.

I hope that this how-to post has helped you one way or another. Please help us spread the word by sharing this post to your friends or people who may also have similar problems. Thanks for reading!