How Do You Fix the Web Server Is Configured to Not List the Contents of This Directory?


Scott Campbell

The ‘Web Server Is Configured to Not List the Contents of This Directory’ is a common error that web developers and administrators encounter when trying to access a directory on a web server. This error message typically appears when the server is configured to prevent the automatic listing of files and folders in a directory. In this article, we will explore different methods to fix this issue.

1. Check the Directory Permissions

One of the most common reasons for encountering the ‘Web Server Is Configured to Not List the Contents of This Directory’ error is incorrect directory permissions. To fix this, you need to ensure that the directory has proper read permissions for the web server.

To check and modify directory permissions:

  • Step 1: Connect to your web server using an FTP client or file manager.
  • Step 2: Right-click on the directory and select ‘File Permissions’ or ‘Change Permissions.’
  • Step 3: Set the permissions for directories to ‘755’ and for files to ‘644’. If these values are already set, try changing them temporarily and then changing them back.

2. Enable Directory Listing

If the previous step does not resolve the issue, it may be necessary to enable directory listing explicitly on your web server. By default, many web servers have directory listing disabled for security reasons.

To enable directory listing:

  • Step 1: Access your web server’s configuration file. The exact location depends on your server setup (e.g., Apache uses httpd.conf or .htaccess).
  • Step 2: Look for the ‘Options’ directive and add ‘Indexes’ to enable directory indexing.
  • Step 3: Save the configuration file and restart your web server for the changes to take effect.

3. Create an Index File

If directory listing is disabled and you do not wish to enable it, you can create an index file that will be displayed instead. This file can be named ‘index.html’, ‘index.php’, or any other supported filename depending on your server configuration.

To create an index file:

  • Step 1: Create a new HTML or PHP file in the directory you want to access.
  • Step 2: Add your desired content, such as a welcome message or a list of files and folders.
  • Step 3: Save the file with one of the supported filenames mentioned above.


The ‘Web Server Is Configured to Not List the Contents of This Directory’ error can be frustrating, but with the methods outlined in this article, you should be able to resolve it. Remember to check directory permissions, enable directory listing if necessary, or create an index file as an alternative solution. By following these steps, you will regain access to your files and directories on your web server.

I hope this tutorial has helped you fix the issue. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below.

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