How to Fix 500 Internal Server Error Nginx? [9 Solutions]

If you’ve ever encountered the 500 internal server error Nginx on your website, we know how frustrating and stressful it can be. You may have spent hours or even days creating and designing your website, and the thought of visitors being unable to access it can be disheartening.

But you do not need to worry, we’re here to help you fix this Nginx server error with the best possible troubleshooting methods!

In this Guide, we’ll walk you through the main causes that trigger 500 internal server error Nginx, How to prevent it, and the steps to fix the Nginx 500 error and get your website back up and running.

500 Internal Server Error Message Nginx
500 Internal Server Error Message Nginx

Let us get started then!

Read: 🚩 How to fix HTTP 500 Internal Server Error in WordPress?

Let us check out them in detail.

1. Force Refresh or Reload your Webpage

The 500 Internal Server Error in Nginx can sometimes appear on your screen due to a temporary issue with your server. The server may be restarting or may be overburdened with too many requests to handle, resulting in insufficient resources to process them.

If it is the case, then Force refreshing or reloading the webpage can do the job. To do this,

  • Press the Windows + R key simultaneously or Press the F5 key in windows.
  • For Mac, Press Apple + R or Cmd+shift+ R key simultaneously
  • For Linux, Press F5 Key

2. Clear Browser Cookies and Cache memory

If the Nginx 500 internal server error is triggered due to a cache-related issue, clearing your browser’s cookies and cache memory can help. Here are the steps you can follow:

Note: Since Chrome has a major Browser market share, here we will be using Chrome for this tutorial.

Step 1: Depending on your browser, navigate to the settings menu. In Google Chrome, you can click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the window.

Step 2: Select “More tools” and Click on “Clear browsing data“.

Clear browsing data on Chrome
Clear browsing data on Chrome

Step 3: A pop-up window will open on which, you can select all three options under the “Basic” section as shown in the picture below. These options are “Browsing history“, “Cookies and other site data“, and “Cached images and files“.

Step 4: Click on “Clear data” to initiate the process.

Clearing data in Google Chrome
Clearing data in Google Chrome

Quick tip: Alternatively you can try to access the website in Private or Incognito mode, in which the browser doesn’t store any cookies/cache of the website you visit.

3. Deactivate or Disable VPN

Sometimes, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) can be at fault. You can add a VPN or use a VPN client to access the website again.

However, if you have already used VPN, try to deactivate it and then access the website. To do this,

Press the Windows Key + I simultaneously to open the settings interface.

Go to the Network and Internet

Click on VPN, located on the right pane, select your VPN and click on the Remove button.

If you are using any VPN client, do not forget to disconnect it from the VPN.

Removing VPN from Windows PC
Removing VPN from Windows PC

After completing all the steps, restart your device and check whether the 500 internal server error in Nginx has been resolved or not.

4. Remove Unwanted Browser Extensions

If you have installed a lot of plugins or extensions on your browsers, try to delete or remove the unwanted ones. Sometimes, extensions can also create issues that can trigger such types of errors.

5. Check Server Logs

You can also check out your error logs and find out the possible causes that trigger 500 internal server errors Nginx. All you need to do is log in to the FTP client and then navigate to the Error log Directory and either download it or directly open it in an editor.

This will help you to narrow down the issue so that you easily figure out the exact problem and you can immediately fix it. 

You can also read our complete guide on How to access and set up WordPress error logs?

6. Check out the Scripts

  • Check Nginx error logs: The first step is to look at the error logs for Nginx, which are usually located in the /var/log/nginx/error.log file (or a similar location depending on your configuration). Look for any error messages related to the 500 error, such as “upstream timed out” or “connect() failed”.
  • Check PHP error logs: If you’re running PHP scripts, check the PHP error logs as well. These logs may provide more specific information about the cause of the error, such as syntax errors or runtime issues.
  • Check permissions: Make sure that the script and any files it accesses have the correct permissions. Check the owner and group of the script and files and make sure they match the user running the Nginx process.
  • Check syntax: If the script is written in a scripting language like PHP, make sure that the syntax is correct. You can do this by running the script from the command line and checking for any syntax errors.
  • Check for infinite loops: If the script is in a loop that never ends, it can cause Nginx to timeout and return a 500 error. Look for any infinite loops in the script and fix them.
  • Check resource limits: Check the resource limits for the server, such as the maximum memory or CPU usage. If the script is using too many resources, it can cause Nginx to timeout and return a 500 error. Increase the limits if necessary.
  • Check for database errors: If the script is accessing a database, check the database logs for any errors or connection issues.

Read: 🚩 How to Fix HTTP 504 Gateway Timeout Error?

7. Check whether adequate permission is granted to folders and files.

To make the WordPress website work perfectly fine, it is essential to have all the directory and file permissions correctly configured. The recommended file permission settings are as follows:

  • 755 for all folders and sub-folders.
  • 644 for all files.

Incorrect permission settings will lead to the blocking of some plugins, themes, and scripts to work. 

At WPOven you can use the “Fix Permissions” tool for fixing file permissions in Sites->Tools in the dashboard. 

8. Check all your redirections

Sometimes misconfigured or incorrect redirections in web servers can show 500 internal server error Nginx. Make sure to check that files like mod_rewrite or .htaccess are properly configured and working as they should be.

9. Increase Script timeout value

Sometimes, web servers take longer time than usual to send a request, and if the response time exceeds the timeout value, the web server may time out on the request without waiting for Nginx to respond. This can result in a 500 internal server error Nginx.

To avoid this situation, it is recommended that you increase your web server’s timeout value. This will give your server more time to connect with Nginx and receive a valid response.

10. Contact your Web hosting provider or Developer

If none of the above-mentioned methods can help you fix the 500 Internal Server Error Nginx, the last option left is to contact the support team of your web hosting provider or seek assistance from a developer for further help

What does the 500 internal server error Nginx mean?

The 500 internal server error Nginx simply means that something has gone wrong on the server side of things. It is a generally comprehensive response that indicates the server is not able to determine the exact error code in response.

This could be due to a variety of factors, including faulty scripts, misconfigured servers, incompatible plugins, or inadequate file permissions.

Whatever the cause may be, the 500 Internal Server Error Nginx is a sign that something is preventing the server from functioning as it should.

One of the most common reasons for this error is an issue with one of the web servers that NGINX is working with, such as Apache. If the web server encounters an issue and returns a 500 error response to NGINX, this error message can then be returned to the client’s browser and displayed on the screen as 500 Internal Server Error Nginx.

What Are The Causes Of 500 Internal Server Errors Nginx?

The Nginx 500 Internal Server Error can be a real headache for website owners, causing frustration and anxiety. Below are some of the most common reasons that cause 500 internal server errors in Nginx.

  • Misconfigured Server
  • Incompatible Plugins
  • A faulty script
  • Inadequate File Permissions

1. A misconfigured server

A misconfigured server can lead to an error, causing a conflict between the server and the browser, leading to a disruption in the communication between the two. This can be due to server mismanagement, which can be caused by human error, a lack of expertise, or outdated software.

2. Incompatible plugins

Sometimes the WordPress plugins that you have installed can be the possible cause of the 500 internal server error Nginx. These plugins may have compatibility issues with the website, leading to the error. This can be due to plugin updates, which can cause compatibility issues with other plugins or website software.

3. A faulty script

A faulty script is another possible cause of the Nginx 500 Internal Server Error. Scripts can become corrupted, causing issues with the website’s functionality, and leading to the error. This can be due to programming errors, file corruption, or compatibility issues.

4. Inadequate file permissions

Insufficient file permissions can prevent the server from accessing or modifying files, leading to errors. This can be due to user error, misconfigured file permissions, or file corruption.

By understanding and identifying the root cause of the 500 Internal Server Error in Nginx, you can take the necessary steps to resolve the issue and ensure that the website runs smoothly and efficiently.

Best Practices For Preventing 500 Internal Server Error Nginx

  • Regularly update server software and plugins
  • Monitor server logs
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)
  • Optimize website performance and reduce resource usage
  • Use a backup system

Regular Update Server Software and Plugins: Regularly updating server software and plugins with their latest version available is crucial to ensure that your website is running on the latest and most secure version of your server and plugins. Outdated software can be vulnerable to security threats, which can cause internal server errors.

Monitor server logs: Monitoring server logs is also important, as it can help you identify potential issues before they become major problems. Checking server logs regularly can help you detect unusual activity or errors, allowing you to take quick action before it causes an internal server error.

Use CDN: CDN or Content Delivery Network can help improve website performance and reduce server load, reducing the risk of internal server errors. CDNs help distribute website content across multiple servers, reducing the load on any single server and improving website speed.

Optimizing website performance and reducing resource usage: It is another important step in preventing internal server errors. This can involve techniques like image compression, minification of code, and reducing the number of HTTP requests.

Use a backup system: It is crucial to ensure that your website can quickly recover from any internal server errors or other issues. Regular backups can help you restore your website to a previous version quickly and easily, reducing downtime and minimizing the impact of any errors or issues. Check out this dedicated blog on “How to Backup WordPress Site in 5 minutes“.

However, if your website were hosted on Managed WordPress VPS hosting, more than 90% of your issues would be gone. Migrate to WPOven today!


Tackling the 500 internal server error Nginx can be stressful and frustrating for any individual, but with the proper troubleshooting steps outlined that we have mentioned in this guide, you can easily figure out the issue and fix it.

In addition to that, also do not forget to implement the best practices that we have mentioned to prevent this error from happening in the future.

Always remember, that a well-functioning website is essential for the success of your business, and we’re here to assist you in achieving that. If you have any queries or would like to add any valuable points to it, please do let us know in the comment section below.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I fix the NGINX 500 internal server error?

Here are some best troubleshooting methods you can try to fix 500 internal server errors Nginx on Ubuntu, PHP, WordPress, or other platforms.
1. Force Refresh or Reload your Webpage
2. Clear Browser Cookies and Cache memory
3. Deactivate or Disable VPN
4. Remove Unwanted Browser Extensions
5. Check Server Logs
6. Check out the Scripts
7. Check whether adequate permission is granted to folders and files.
8. Check all your redirections
9. Increase Script timeout value

What causes 500 internal server errors?

Here are some of the most common issues due to which your WordPress website has an HTTP 500 Internal Server Error.
1. Corrupt .htaccess file
2. Exceeding PHP Memory Limit
3. Faulty Plugin or theme Issue
4. Corrupted Core Files
5. Check File Permissions
6. Unsupported PHP Version
7. Incorrect DNS entries
8. Problem with the Server itself
9. Inode Limitation Reached

Is a 500 error my fault?

If you are getting 500 internal server error Nginx messages, it means there is something wrong on the server side. There is nothing wrong, with the client side, i.e. browser, your computer, or the internet connectivity. It is simply a problem with your website.

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