This step-by-step article describes different methods to turn off the "Show Friendly HTTP Error Messages" feature on the server. Note
If you are an end user, you can refer Method 1
to turn off "Show Friendly HTTP Error Messages" feature on your browser. Or, you have to contact the Web site administrator in order to let them know that this error has occured for this URL address.
When you access Web pages from Internet Explorer, the actual text of an HTTP 500 message that is sent to the
browser may be masked by an Internet Explorer "friendly" error message.
Although you can turn off this feature manually for each client, this article
also provides several server-side workarounds to inhibit the display of
"friendly" error messages.
According to the HTTP 1.1 specification, Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 returns a status code of 500 for any response that is not handled by another 1xx
, or 5xx
status code, such as "302 - Object Moved", or "404 - File not
Found". Because IIS 4.0 does not strictly follow RFC 2616, it returns Active
Server Pages (ASP)-based Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript)
errors with a status code of 200.
Several frequently-seen status codes have "friendly" error messages that Internet Explorer displays and that effectively mask the actual text message that the server sends. However, these "friendly" error messages are only displayed if the response that is sent to the client is less than or equal to a specified threshold. For example, to see the exact text of an HTTP 500 response, the content length must be greater than 512 bytes.
To display the actual message that the Web server
sends, use one of the following methods.
Use an ISAPI filter that forces the content length of all HTTP 500 responses to be larger than 512 bytes, effectively padding all 500 responses so that they are large enough to override the "friendly" error setting in Internet Explorer. Padresponse.exe is a sample ISAPI filter (and its source code)
that demonstrates how to pad the response that is sent to the client (based on
receiving an HTTP 500 status code).
The following file is available for
download from the Microsoft Download Center:
Download Padresponse.exe now
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Release Date: April
For additional information about how to download Microsoft
Support files, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to Obtain Microsoft Support Files from Online Services
Microsoft scanned this file for viruses. Microsoft used the most
current virus-detection software that was available on the date that the file
was posted. The file is stored on security-enhanced servers that help to
prevent any unauthorized changes to the file.
For additional information, click the
article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
HTTP 500 Error Displays Instead of ASP Error from 500-100.asp
HOWTO: Install an ISAPI Filter Dynamic-Link Library
For more information about the HTTP 1.1 specification, visit the following Web site:
For additional information about all status codes that
display friendly error messages and the registry location for the corresponding
error threshold to override that friendly message, click the article number
below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Description of Hypertext Transport Protocol Error Messages