502 Bad Gateway Error

How to Fix a 502 Bad Gateway Error

502 Bad Gateway Error
502 Bad Gateway Error. © THORDOG
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The 502 Bad Gateway error is an HTTP status code that means that one server on the internet received an invalid response from another server.

502 Bad Gateway errors are completely independent of your particular setup, meaning that you could see one in any browser, on any operating system, and on any device.

The Bad Gateway error can be customized by each website. While it's fairly uncommon, different web servers do describe this error differently.

Below are some common ways you might see it.

How the 502 Error Appears

502 Bad Gateway
502 Service Temporarily Overloaded
Error 502
Temporary Error (502)
502 Proxy Error
502 Server Error: The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request
HTTP 502
502. That's an error
Bad Gateway: The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server
HTTP Error 502 - Bad Gateway

The 502 Bad Gateway error displays inside the internet browser window, just like web pages do.

Twitter's famous "fail whale" error that says Twitter is over capacity is actually a 502 Bad Gateway error (even though a 503 Error would make more sense).

A Bad Gateway error received in Windows Update generates a 0x80244021 error code or the message WU_E_PT_HTTP_STATUS_BAD_GATEWAY.

When Google services, like Google Search or Gmail, are experiencing a 502 Bad Gateway, they often show Server Error, or sometimes just 502, on the screen.

Cause of 502 Bad Gateway Errors

Bad Gateway errors are often caused by issues between online servers that you have no control over. However, sometimes, there is no real issue but your browser thinks there is one thanks to an issue with your browser, a problem with your home networking equipment, or some other in-your-control reason.

Note: Microsoft IIS web servers often give more information about the cause of a particular 502 Bad Gateway error by adding an extra digit after the 502, as in HTTP Error 502.3 - Web server received an invalid response while acting as a gateway or proxy, which means Bad Gateway: Forwarder Connection Error (ARR). You can see a complete list here.

Tip: An HTTP Error 502.1 - Bad Gateway error refers to a CGI application timeout problem and is better to troubleshoot as a 504 Gateway Timeout issue.

How to Fix the 502 Bad Gateway Error

The 502 Bad Gateway error is often a network error between servers on the internet, meaning the problem wouldn't be with your computer or internet connection.

However, since it is possible that there's something wrong on your end, here are some fixes to try:

  1. Try loading the URL again by pressing F5 or Ctrl-R on your keyboard, or by clicking the refresh/reload button.

    While the 502 Bad Gateway error is usually indicating a networking error outside of your control, it could be extremely temporary. Trying the page again will often be successful.
  2. Start a new browser session by closing all open browser windows and then opening a new one. Then try opening the webpage again.

    It's possible that the 502 error you received was due to an issue on your computer that occurred sometime during this use of your browser. A simple restart of the browser program itself could solve the problem.
  1. Clear your browser's cache. Outdated or corrupted files that are being stored by your browser could be causing 502 Bad Gateway issues.

    Removing those cached files and trying the page again will solve the problem if this is the cause.
  2. Delete your browser's cookies. For similar reasons as mentioned above with cached files, clearing stored cookies could fix a 502 error.

    Note: If you'd rather not clear all of your cookies, you could first try removing only those cookies related to the site you're getting the 502 error on. It's best to remove them all but it won't hurt to try the clearly applicable one(s) first.
  1. Start your browser in Safe Mode. Running a browser in Safe Mode means to run it with default settings and without add-ons or extensions, including toolbars.

    If the 502 error no longer appears when running your browser in Safe Mode, you know that some browser extension or setting is the cause of the problem. Return your browser settings to default and/or selectively disable browser extensions to find the root cause and permanently fix the problem.

    Note: A browser's Safe Mode is similar in idea to the Safe Mode in Windows but it's not the same thing. You do not need to start Windows in Safe Mode to run any browser in its particular "Safe Mode."
  2. Try another browser. Popular browsers include Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari, among others.

    If an alternative browser doesn't produce a 502 Bad Gateway error, you now know that your original browser is the source of the problem. Assuming you've followed the above troubleshooting advice, now would be the time to reinstall your browser and see if that corrects the problem.
  3. Download Software Update 1 for Microsoft Forefront Threat Management Gateway (TMG) 2010 Service Pack 1 if you have MS Forefront TMG SP1 installed and receive the message Error Code: 502 Proxy Error. The network logon failed. (1790) or a similar message when accessing a web page.

    Important: This is not a common solution to 502 Proxy Error messages and only applies in this particular situation. Forefront TMG 2010 is a business software package and you would know if you have it installed.
  1. Restart your computer. Some temporary issues with your computer and how it's connecting to your network could be causing 502 errors, especially if you're seeing the error on more than one website. In these cases, a restart would help.
  2. Restart your networking equipment. Issues with your modem, router, switches, or other networking devices could be causing 502 Bad Gateway or other 502 errors. A simple restart of these devices could help.

    Tip: The order you turn off these devices isn't particularly important, but be sure to turn them back on from the outside in. Check out that link above for more detailed help on restarting your equipment if you need it.
  3. Change your DNS servers, either on your router or on your computer or device. Some Bad Gateway errors are caused by temporary issues with DNS servers.

    Note: Unless you've previously changed them, the DNS servers you have configured right now are probably the ones automatically assigned by your ISP. Fortunately, a number of other DNS servers are available for your use that you can choose from. See our Free & Public DNS Servers list for your options.
  4. Contacting the website directly might also be a good idea. Chances are, assuming they're at fault, the website administrators are already working on correcting the cause of the 502 Bad Gateway error, but feel free to let them know about it.

    See my Website Contact Information page for a list of contacts for popular websites. Most websites have social networking accounts they use to help support their services. Some even have telephone and email contacts.

    Tip: If you suspect that a website is down for everyone, especially a popular one, checking Twitter for chatter about the outage is often very helpful. The best way to do this is to search for #websitedown on Twitter, as in #cnndown or #instagramdown.
  1. Contact your Internet Service Provider. If your browser, computer, and network are all working and the website reports that the page or site is working for them, the 502 Bad Gateway issue could be caused by a network issue that your ISP is responsible for.

    Tip: See How to Talk to Tech Support for tips on talking to your ISP about this problem.
  2. Come back later. At this point in your troubleshooting, the 502 Bad Gateway error message is almost certainly an issue with either your ISP or with the web site's network - one of the two parties might have even confirmed that for you if you contacted them directly.

    Either way, you're not the only one seeing the 502 error and so you'll need to wait until the problem is solved for you.

Errors Like 502 Bad Gateway

The following error messages are related to the 502 Bad Gateway error:

A number of client-side HTTP status codes also exist, like the very common 404 Not Found error, among many others that you can find in this list of HTTP status code errors.