Have you ever come across the error message “Error 403 – This web app is stopped”, while browsing your app hosted in Azure? If you are still wondering what the actual reason for this error is, this article may help.
About the Error
When you see the error – “Error 403 – This web app is stopped”, it is quite possible that your web app might not actually be stopped. But this is because HTTP 403 shares same error code with several other causes, which could be misleading since it hides the actual reason for this error message.
How to check
The very first step is to quickly check error details from developer’s tool /or F12 . Once we observe the traces on the browser window, it will gives us information about the actual error as shown below.
Notice the “HTTP 403 : IP forbidden“, which basically states that the client IP browsing the App is not allowed to access that App service i.e. “IP restrictions” have been explicitly configured on the App service. You can check the list of blocked IP addresses from the portal .
Note: If this is not the case for you, then here are several other reasons listed for this error .
There could be another possibility where the IP Restriction could have been configured using web.config. In such cases, you can display a specific error page, instead of the misleading error message. In below screenshot of web.config, we are denying access to IP range 167.220.***.*/24 for the sample web app. For this 403 error, we are setting Unauth.html as custom error page. Unauth.html is present in the folder site\wwwroot folder of the web app.
Note: If IP restriction is set though Azure portal then this approach would not help.
When we browse the web app, we see the custom error page:
If we remove httpErrors setting tag we get default 403 error: “You do not have permission to view this directory or page”.