How to Fix HTTP Error 431

Every time you go to a website, your browser will send an HTTP request to the server to get access to the webpage’s content. Regardless of whether the request becomes successful or not, the server will always provide an HTTP response. 

But if the URL itself is past the capacity and is too long, you’ll get an error code that says, “HTTP Error 431.” The 431 error particularly means that the request header fields are too large i.e., the URL is too lengthy, and the server is unable to fulfill the request. 

Similar to other HTTP codes, this error mostly stems from the client’s side, meaning there are problems with your browser or settings. 

Modify URL Query Parameters

Query parameters are the additional bits of information that lie toward the end of a URL, specifically after a query string separator. Such parameters help in specifying your query on a website. But usually, they only prolong the URL unnecessarily, causing the HTTP error 431.

You can still access the website properly without using such query parameters. So, you can either shorten, edit, or remove them as you prefer. To edit the URL query parameter, 

  1. Click on the URL to select it. 
  2. Look for the query string separator. Its icon is a question mark. 
  3. Then, select the question mark icon along with the rest of the information after it. 
  4. Press Backspace to delete. 

Enable Incognito Mode 

User data, like cache, cookies, and such, can add more data to the URL header, making it too long. This can result in the 431 error. If you don’t want to remove your data, you can visit the same website while using Incognito Mode

This method can prove to be effective since all the settings are default, and there’s no pre-existing user data. In this way, the header field won’t be too long.

If you’re using Chrome, click on the three dots in the top-right corner and select New Incognito Window. Alternatively, you can press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Shift + N. 

Likewise, if you use Firefox, go to the More option and click on New Private window or use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + Shift + P

Clear Site Data of Certain Sites 

There’s also accumulated data for each website you visit on your browser. Similar to user data, this stored site data can also make the URL lengthy by adding more data to it. This is also effective when you’re having this issue with a particular website. 

  1. Open Chrome Settings and go to Privacy and Security
  2. Click on Site Settings
  3. Under the Recent Activity option, select View Permissions and data stored across sites. You’ll now see the full list of all websites you’ve previously visited. 
  4. Find the particular website and select the Trash icon to delete it. 
  5. Click on the Clear option in the new pop-up window. 

Delete Browser Cache and Cookies

Another significant cause for the 431 error code is the stored cache and cookies on your browser. The purpose of cache and cookies is to load content on your browser faster and give you more personalized content.

But, if there are piled-up cache data and cookies or if these files have become corrupt, it can lead to the 431 error. Most browsers can have a slightly different way to clear the browser cache.

If you’re on Chrome, this is how you can do it: 

  1. Navigate to the three dots in the upper-right corner and then go to Settings
  2. Click on Privacy and Security from the left panel. Go to Clear Browsing data.
  3. You’ll now get a new window to clear your data. Here, check the boxes for cache data and cookies. You can keep other items unchecked. Then, select Time Range and pick a time from when you want to remove your data. 
  4. Next, select Clear Data. 

If you’re using Firefox, here’s how you can remove its browser cache:

  1. Click on the More option and click on History
  2. Select Clear Recent History. 
  3. In the new window, check the boxes for cache and cookies. Also, select the Time Range.
  4. Click on OK

Make New User Profile 

Another way you can avoid making use of the user data is by making a new user profile. Using a new profile won’t have any pre-existing data, so you’ll likely bypass the 431 error without needing to delete the cache. Here’s how you can quickly create a new user profile on Chrome. 

  1. Open Chrome and then click on the user icon from the toolbar.
  2. Click on Add.
  3. Then, select Continue without an Account. 
  4. Then, give a name for your new profile. 
  5. Click on Done
  6. Now, try to access the same website again and check if the issue persists. 

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