How to fix Apple iPhone XS Safari app that keeps prompting Forbidden (403) Error [Troubleshooting Guide]

When your browser prompts a 403 Forbidden error, it’s telling you that you don’t have permission to view a requested file, page, or URL. This error usually occurs when your IP address is restricted from accessing a page or resource and likewise could be due to a removal of file permission. In short, access to the page or resource you’re trying to reach is denied.

To give you some insights on how to deal with this error in case you’ll encounter it while using Safari on your iPhone XS, I’ve outlined some helpful workarounds to serve as reference to troubleshoot the browser app or your phone’s network connection. Read on for more information.

For owners 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 problems with this device. Browse through the page to find issues that are similar with yours and use the solutions we suggested. If they don’t work or if you need further assistance don’t hesitate to contact us by filling up our iPhone issues questionnaire.

How to troubleshoot iPhone Xs with Safari browser that keeps showing 403 error

Before you start to troubleshoot the Safari app and your iPhone XS, check and ensure that your Internet connection is working fine and stable. Access to some websites may also be barred due to slow or intermittent Internet connection. Try browsing through different websites and pages to see if they’re loading and working as intended. Or you can also try opening online apps to see if they’re working. If not, then you will need to deal with Internet problems first. If the Internet is working fine but Safari still prompts a Forbidden (403) error, then you may go ahead and try applying these workarounds.

First solution: Force close Safari then reload.

Like any other apps, Safari can also give into minor errors and glitches when triggered by some factors from network-related issues to random bugs. And when this happens, random symptoms and errors may occur. Usually, such minor app problems are easily remedied by force closing and restarting it. Otherwise, soft reset or restart the phone. So here’s what you can try doing first.

  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 app preview to end it. Do the same to 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. If clearing Safari and other background apps doesn’t help, then try performing 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 from the internal memory that might have caused problems to the Safari or any other app’s functions. This doesn’t affect any saved data on the phone memory, hence no files will be deleted in the process.

Second solution: Update Safari app to the latest version.

Keeping apps updated is recommended to ensure they’re always performing at their best. For built-in applications, updates usually come along with the latest version of operating system released for the phone. Thus, Safari updates should be embedded into every new iOS version rolled out by Apple. That being said, ensure that you’ve installed the latest iOS version for your iPhone XS so as to keep Safari and other built-in iOS apps updated as well. If you can connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi, then you can check for new iOS update on your iPhone XS. Just 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.

Then follow the rest of the onscreen prompts to implement the update completely.

You can also set your iPhone XS to update automatically so you won’t miss an important update for your iOS apps and built-in functions. All you have to do is turn on automatic updates options 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.

Third solution: Clear cache, cookies, and browsing history from Safari.

Temporary files and data that are stored as cache on the Safari browser can also be the main trigger especially when they crash or become corrupted. While these files are essential for faster reloading of websites and pages, they can also cause troubles and errors at some point. Thus, it’s also recommended to clear browser cache, cookies, and browsing history regularly. If you haven’t done so yet, then follow these steps to clear cache and cookies from your iPhone XS Safari browser app:

  1. Go to the Settings menu.
  2. Tap on Safari.
  3. Tap the option to Clear History and Website Data under Privacy and Security. This won’t affect the browser’s autofill information.
  4. To clear cookies and keep browsing history on the Safari app, go to Settings-> Safari-> Advanced-> Website Data menu, then select the option to Remove All Website Data.

Quit the app afterwards and then reload it.

Fourth solution: Reset network settings on your iPhone XS.

Network-connectivity problems can likewise be considered among the underlying causes if the error occurs to all URLs and websites. Doing so will clear your current network settings including Wi-Fi, APNs and server information and then restores the default network configurations. If you wish to give it a try, then simply follow these steps:

  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.

Your iPhone will then instigate clearing and restoring network defaults and then reboots automatically when done. After it boots up, set up and connect to your Wi-Fi network to use the Internet and other online services again.

Fifth solution: Reset all settings on your iPhone XS.

If the Safari error continues after resetting the network settings, then you can try resetting all settings on your iPhone XS instead. This will help rule out invalid options and incorrect customizations from the possible causes. 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 reboots and then loads the default values and options. This means you need to enable options and features you need to use including Wi-Fi. Reconnect to the Internet, launch the Safari app, navigate to certain sites and see if the error is gone or not.

Seek more Help

You may have to consider reporting the problem to the Safari-Apple Support for further assistance in configuring the app permissions and advanced settings. But if the error only occurs when trying to access a certain page or URL, then that’s likely an isolated problem to that specific URL and not with the Safari app. In that case, you may opt to report the problem to the site administrator for recommendations. To make sure that the error isn’t attributed to your current IP address, contact your Internet service provider’s technical support team for help. Your IP address may need to be configured.


Connect with us

If you need more help with the use of certain functions and features of the Apple iPhone XS smartphone, feel free to visit our Tutorial Page. There you can find a list of how-to contents, step-by-step tutorials, as well as answers to FAQs regarding iPhone XS. If you have other concerns or encountered some troubles while using the phone, you can reach us through this form. Just be sure to tell us more details of the problem or device issue(s) you may have and we will be more than happy to assist you further.