Autossl 403 (Forbidden) error happens as a result of web directory permission issues which makes AutoSSL verification script not able to create a temporary file for the domain to complete the SSL generation and creation.
How we troubleshoot AutoSSL issues ?
For WHM Users:
1. Firstly, login to the WHM of the server in question and follow this path: Home > SSL/TLS > Manage AutoSSL.
2. cPanel > SECURITY > SSL/TLS will allow you to run the SSL on a specific domain but the WHM interface will run it on the whole account:
- Then, under "Manage Users" search the username of the cPanel account you're trying to run the SSL on.
- Once you see the account, click on "check «USERNAME»"
- Finally, to visualize the errors causing the SSL to be blocked. Click on logs > Refresh > Select the log to view and click "View Log".
For cPanel Users:
From cPanel> SECURITY> SSL/TLS status, select the domain or domains you need to install SSL on.
Then, click on Run AutoSSL.
Nature of Autossl 403 (Forbidden) error ?
The exact error message looks as shown below:
The domain failed domain control validation: The system queried for a temporary file at but the web server responded with the following error: 403 (Forbidden). A DNS or web server misconfiguration may exist. at bin/autossl_check.pl line 565.
This means AutoSSL verification script is not able to create a temporary file for the domain.
How to fix Autossl 403 (Forbidden) error ?
To resolve this error, all you need to do is to assign 755 permissions and the correct owner to your public_html directory:
$ chmod 755 /home/user/public_html -v
$ chown user.user /home/user/public_html/ -R
Also, make sure you change user.user with your real cPanel user for that website.
Check your .htaccess in case you have allow/deny directives that may be preventing the cPanel AutoSSL verification script to access your website.
That will do the trick and allow cPanel to write the temporary file.