How to Fix Internal Server Errors for Linux , Apache, and cPanel

Oh no! You have an “Internal Server Error”:

The dreaded internal server error.

The dreaded internal server error.

What do I do?

First remember that “Internal Server Error” does not mean a server problem. It implies an “internal” problem inside of your own hosting space and files. Here is a quick overview of what will solve this problem, and then followed by step by step on how to do it:

1) A .htaccess file has problems

2) 1 or more files or folders have permissions higher than 755, which is not allowed by the server. Any software that says you need 777 will work with 755 on our server.

3) Your PHP version is wrong inside the “PHP Configuration” section.

4) Your username does not own the folder or files.

Now, on to how we check the above….

Don’t worry. Luckily, its easily fixable. Before you proceed, backup all your files and data through the “Backups” section of your cPanel or through file manager or through an FTP client. If your with Arvixe, your files are being backed up periodically and can be restored from the R1Soft backup section of your cPanel.

Here is the order of procedure, it will take you less than 5 minutes:

1) Download an FTP client (Filezilla at , its free and is what we will use for this tutorial.

2) Open FileZilla and put in your cPanel login information on the top to connect and then press “QuickConnect”:


Username: your cpanel username

Password: your cpanel password

QuickConnect to your site's files.

QuickConnect to your site

3) Now, you are going to solve the problem. First, on the right hand side of your FTP client(the “remote” side), double click on “public_html”:

Double click on "public_html" to go into that folder.

Double click on public_html to go into that folder.

4) Once inside, look for a file called “.htaccess”. If you see it, double click it to bring the file to your computer. Leave it on your computer until you are done with this tutorial. Then, right click on the same “.htaccess” file on the right hand side and rename it to “.htaccess2”:

Rename the .htaccess to .htaccess2

Rename the .htaccess to .htaccess2

Did that? Now go back to your site and see if the error is there. If its gone, you know the problem was inside your file called .htaccess. I would at this point contact the developers of the site and ask why thats happening.

Still not working?

No problem. If the folder giving errors is not public_html, then go to the folder that is and see if there is an .htaccess file in there. If there is, rename it and test that as well.

If still receiving an internal server error:

Before you continue to the next step, ensure that you have all of your files backed up. You should be keeping backups anyway. Luckily, Arvixe customers have R1Soft incremental backups and will be able to revert back to atleast sometime in the last week. But its always the best bet to backup files and data.

Now right click on “public_html”, click on “File Permission”, type 755 in the box, and checkmark “Recurse into Subdirectories” as shown below:

Set the permissions to 755, and recurse into subdirectories and files.

Set the permissions to 755, and recurse into subdirectories and files.

After you do that, go check your site. Is the Internal Server error gone? If so, good, your set to go.

If not, your last bet is to go into cPanel, go into the “PHP Configuration” section, and change the PHP version from whatever it is(System Defaults = PHP5) to the other choice(theres only 2- php5 and php4). If all else fails, you have a few choices:

1) Go to our forums at and post your problem there, someone can help you.

2) If you are a client, you can send an email to support and they will try to help you as well.

3) Post a comment here and someone will respond here as well.

Either way, we will get to the bottom of it with you.

Tags: , , | Posted under Errors | RSS 2.0

17 Comments on How to Fix Internal Server Errors for Linux , Apache, and cPanel

  1. Thank you very much Mr. Avesta
    (fa: mamnun avesta jan)

  2. Mark Holmes says:

    Many thanks, I just followed the openx install process and chmoded the folders as instructed. No help at all found on the openx forums or help areas.
    Never thought about the hoster restrictions.

  3. Paula Lema says:

    I followed all these instructions and yet I still have the same error. The strange thing is that it works and stops working every few minutes.
    is there anything else I could do?

  4. Avesta says:

    Hi Paula,

    There is not much information based on what you said to diagnose the issue. If you are an arvixe client, please email our support staff and we will take a deep look into the issue and let you know what we find.

  5. I almost forgot to backup my cpanel website before fixing it – thank you very much for your tutorial, without this this I could have ruined it.

    Great method, works like a charm

  6. Terry says:

    Followed your instructions and changing permissions was the solution now it is working a treat. Cannot say thank you enough.

  7. VAHID says:

    Thank you very much

  8. Jason Pang says:

    Thanks! Changed the permissions back to 755, and it’s working again.

  9. Dean says:

    Thanks, you have just saved my day 🙂

  10. Julay says:

    Thank you!!! 😀

  11. Babanature says:

    since i’ve been getting traffic, i am always having internal server error and don’t know what to do. even customer care can’t help. just so fedup

  12. Chris Bao says:

    Your instructions are useful for solving internal server error. It is a nice option to choose a good web hosting services for fixing server problems.

  13. Kosphil says:

    Can you please see what the problem is? I was under the impression that your service is live 24/7/365 yet here we are sending e-mail instead of resolving the problem asap

    • Alex says:


      Apologies for the delayed response. Our support team does not monitor the blog and the comments section is not monitored 24/7 as it is not an official support channel.

      Can you please email support @ explaining what issue you’re experiencing?



  14. Hello,

    I m also facing this type of problem for my website one of my website blog this url is open and as i have post new blog on my website that URL is not open error is showing 500 internal server error please suggest me how can i resolve it.

    • Alex says:


      Can you please create a support ticket at so our team can investigate the 500 internal error you’re receiving?


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