Help for HTTP error 501: “Not Implemented”
This HTTP error occurs when you try to access a web server using a “method” that the server does not support. The most commonly used and supported HTTP methods are
POST, though other methods are also defined, e.g.
Outline: Symptoms Cause What you can do about it Extra information
Internet Explorer may report this as “The website is unable to display the webpage”
Microsoft Windows Update reports HTTP 501 errors with error code 0x80244020 (hexadecimal 80244020).
Apache web servers report this as follows (text in blue may vary):
Method Not Implemented
GET to /index.html not supported.
e.g., if you copy content from a web page that links to images, and paste it in an OpenOffice document, then when you use OpenOffice to open the document, OpenOffice will try the
PROPFIND method on the original links, which can lead to HTTP 501 errors on many servers that do not support
Microsoft Knowledge Base article 942058 (“Error message when you visit a Web site that is hosted on IIS 7.0: “HTTP Error 501.0 - Not Implemented””) gives the example of an IIS web server returning this error when the client sends a requests to use the
What you can do about it
You can determine which methods a server supports by sending it an
OPTIONS request. The easiest way to manually send such a request is to connect to the web server (usually operating on port 80) using
telnet. The example below shows that the
www.example.com web server allows the
Note that you must press the Enter key twice after typing the “
$ telnet www.example.com 80
Connected to www.example.com.
Escape character is '^]'.
OPTIONS / HTTP/1.1
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2009 02:29:38 GMT
Server: Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS)
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
Connection closed by foreign host.
OPTIONS...” text that appears in red.
The example above was created on a Linux machine. To do this on a Windows machine:
- On Windows Vista or Windows 7, enable the
telnet client in the Control Panel by selecting “Programs”, then “Program and Features” then “Turn Windows Feature on or off” and then select the
- Open a Command Prompt before typing the
telnet command line.
telnet will clear the screen, and by default won't display what you type. To see what you type, press Ctrl+] then type
set localecho and press Enter twice to return to interacting with the web server
HTTP 501 errors occur when a method is not supported throughout a site, whereas HTTP 405 errors relate to methods not being supported for particular objects on a site.
Some IIS web server documentation refers to methods as “verb”s.
Web-sniffer allows you to experiment by sending