Error 401 - How to Avoid?

The HTTP 401 Unauthorized Error occurs when access to a web resource is denied due to failed authentication. Unlike the more generalized 403 Forbidden Error, a 401 error specifically calls for authentication credentials that the server did not receive or recognized as invalid.

404 Status Code in Web Scraping

For web scrapers, a 401 error can be a signal to adjust the request headers to include proper authentication details. It’s a reminder that not all data is freely accessible and that respecting website access controls is crucial for ethical web scraping practices.

Solutions and Best Practices

  1. Proper Authentication: Ensure your scraper includes the correct authentication tokens or credentials in the request headers.
  2. Session Management: Maintain and manage sessions effectively to prevent authentication timeouts or errors.
  3. Rate Limiting: Adhere to request rate limits to avoid triggering security measures that could result in a 401 error.
  4. User-Agent Rotation: Use varied user-agent strings to mimic different devices and reduce the likelihood of being blocked.
  5. Compliance and Ethics: Always comply with the website’s terms of service and use scraping practices that respect data privacy and ownership.

Bright Data’s Solutions

Bright Data stands at the forefront of providing solutions that can navigate around the complexities associated with HTTP 401 errors, especially in scenarios where legitimate access requires sophisticated management of authentication details and sessions.

  1. Bright Data’s Residential Proxies: Offer a diverse IP pool, reducing the chances of detection and blocking. These proxies can be crucial for managing session persistence across requests that require authentication.
  2. Web Scraper API: Bright Data’s Web Scraper API can simplify the handling of authentication processes, managing session cookies, and headers without the need for deep technical know-how, making your scraping projects more effective and less prone to errors.


Navigating HTTP 401 Unauthorized Errors demands a blend of technical savvy and ethical consideration. While the challenge may seem daunting, the right tools and strategies can make all the difference. Bright Data’s suite of products provides a robust foundation for overcoming these hurdles, ensuring that your web scraping endeavors are both successful and respectful of web resource access controls.

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