406 Not Acceptable Status Code

406 Not Acceptable Status Code

The internet is a fast-paced place, and your website should be too. Find out what the 406 not acceptable status code means, why you're getting it, and how to fix it!

The internet is a fast-paced place, and your website should be too. It's not uncommon for people to try to access your site and get the 406 Not Acceptable status code in return. This can mean that something on the client-side is causing the issue, or in some cases, an error with the server. 


In this post, we will talk about what this error means and how you can fix it!


What Does 406 Not Acceptable Mean?


The 406 Not Acceptable status code is an error message that means your website or web application does not support the client's request with a particular protocol. Basically, this includes everything from an unsupported protocol to a bad user agent (think Internet Explorer) and more.


Is It a Server-Side or a Client-Side Error?


The 406 Not Acceptable status code is a client-side error. It's part of the HTTP response status codes in the 4xx category, which are considered client error responses. 


The 4xx category includes HTTP status codes such as:


  • 400 Bad Request
  • 401 Unauthorized Error
  • 403 Forbidden
  • 404 Not Found
  • 405 Method Not Allowed
  • 410 Gone
  • 429 Too Many Requests 
  • 415 Unsupported Media Type


4xx errors indicate that the requested page wasn't found, and something is wrong with the request. Something that is happening on the client-side is the issue. 


They're different from status codes in the 5xx category, which is considered to be server-side errors. These errors are no fault of the client but suggest something's wrong with the server-side of things.


In some cases, the server could be the root cause of a 406 Not Acceptable error. For example, if it is misconfigured and handling requests improperly, it can result in a 406 code response and other problematic traffic routing issues. We'll explore these scenarios (and potential solutions) down below, so you know how to avoid them or fix them should they occur!


How Do I Fix HTTP 406 Not Acceptable?


If you cannot diagnose or fix this issue on your own, it is crucial to reach out for help as soon as possible from a qualified professional who can take care of the problem right away. You don't want to have all sorts of errors when people try to visit your website.

Troubleshooting on the Client-Side

Since the 406 Not Acceptable status code is considered to be a client-side error, it's recommended that you start by troubleshooting any issues that may come from your end. 


Here are a few things you can do to try to fix the problem:


Check Your URL

One of the most common reasons why a 406 error may occur is because you entered an incorrect URL in your browser's address bar. For example, you entered "example.com/index" rather than "example.com/index.html."


Check the URL and make sure it is correct before trying any other steps listed below for what to do in case of a 406 error.


Rollback Recent Upgrades

CMS platforms are the heart of any website, and a recent upgrade or installation you made to it may be the root cause behind your 406 error. If this is so, consider rolling back to a previous version in order to regain control over your site again!


Uninstall New Extensions, Modules, or Plugins

Regardless of which content management system your application is using, extensions, plugins, and modules serve the same purpose across every platform: improving capabilities and features beyond what it’s normally capable of out-of-box. 


But beware: such extensions can take full control over a system at any point in time, whether that means changing your PHP code, CSS, HTML, or database. Make sure to uninstall any new additions you may have made recently before doing anything else.


If you need help removing a certain extension, simply Google the extension name to find the official documentation. That should help you uninstall the extension in the safest way possible.


Check for Unexpected Database Changes

The problem with uninstalling an extension is that doing so might not fully revert the changes made by the extension. Some extensions, especially on the WordPress platform, have full access rights to your database and can change records in tables belonging to other extensions as well! The best thing you should do if this happens is open up each table one-by-one or manually comb through all of them for any modified data from a certain plugin. Or, you can do a quick research and find people who have experienced the same issue to see how they handled the problem.


Troubleshooting on the Server-Side

If you tried all the troubleshooting steps outlined above and nothing worked, it may be time to see if something on the server-side of things is causing the issue. 


Here are a few things you can do to try to fix the problem:


Check the Configuration Files

If you're certain that the issue isn't on your side of things, the first thing to do is check if there are any unintentional redirect instructions in your web server's configuration files. 


Your application is either running on Apache or Nginx web servers. If it turns out that it's an Apache server, then both apache_server and .htaccess need to be checked.


On the other hand, if you're using Nginx, only one file needs checking: namely, nginx_conf_. After you locate the files, search for 406 errors and see if anything appears. If it does, you need to modify it. You either want to remove it entirely if you don't need the status code or apply it to a specific page.


Check the Application Logs

The application logs are like your website's diary, detailing what pages were requested and which servers it connected to. 


When you open the app log files for a 406 error, there is usually some kind of match that will point you in the right direction towards resolving this issue.


Key Takeaways


This post has given you some tips and tricks on how to fix the 406 Not Acceptable error. 


Now that you know more about this particular error, it's time to get back to work! We hope these solutions helped fix your problem. 


If you're a website owner, knowing all types of HTTP status codes is critical. Knowing what each error represents is crucial for the health of any online business. 


To help you, we've put together this comprehensive HTTP status code cheat sheet that's perfect for learning about the different types of codes and their meaning.

And after you're done with all your hard work studying up on these codes, make sure to 
invest in proper website maintenance services. Regular monitoring and upkeep will keep your website error-free and its owner worry-free!