What is HTTP 416 Status Code (Requested Range Not Satisfiable)?

Reliqus Marketing

02 May 2024

HTTP Status Codes
By Ankit Bhatia
Founder & CEO

In the complex world of web development and server management, HTTP status codes play a critical role in facilitating smooth communication between servers and clients. Among these, the HTTP 416 status code often emerges as a puzzling challenge for many developers.

At Reliqus Consulting, we’ve noticed a recurring theme of inquiries related to the HTTP 416 error. This guide is designed to provide practical solutions, demystifying the HTTP 416 error code and offering resolution methods. 

By understanding and effectively addressing the 416 errors, developers and internet users can significantly enhance the overall user experience, ensuring uninterrupted access to web resources.

What does the HTTP 416 Status Code mean?

The HTTP 416 Range Not Satisfiable error response code indicates that a server cannot fulfill the requested ranges specified by the client. This typically occurs when the document does not contain the requested ranges or the values in the Range header are logically inconsistent, making it impossible for the server to serve the requested segments.

In response, the server sends back a message with a Content-Range header indicating an unsatisfied range (that is a ‘*’), followed by a ‘/’ and the current length of the resource, for example, “bytes */12777”. 

When this error occurs, browsers usually either abort the operation or request the entire document again, bypassing the range request that led to the HTTP 416 Error.

For more information about the HTTP 416 status code, please see source: RFC7233 Section 4.4

HTTP 416 Error Code References

Rails HTTP Status Symbol :requested_range_not_satisfiable

Go HTTP Status Constant http.StatusRequestedRangeNotSatisfiable

Symfony HTTP Status Constant Response::HTTP_REQUESTED_RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

Python2 HTTP Status Constant httplib.REQUESTED_RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

Python3+ HTTP Status Constant http.client.REQUESTED_RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

Python3.5+ HTTP Status Constant http.HTTPStatus.REQUESTED_RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

.NET HttpStatusCode.RequestedRangeNotSatisfiable

Rust http::StatusCode::RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

Apache HttpComponents Core org.apache.hc.core5.http.HttpStatus.SC_REQUESTED_RANGE_NOT_SATISFIABLE

Angular @angular/common/http/HttpStatusCode.RangeNotSatisfiable

HTTP 416 Status Code Example

Request:

GET /example.txt HTTP/1.1

Host: example.com

Range: bytes=10000-20000

Let’s delve into a practical example to better understand the HTTP 416 Status Code. Imagine a client making a specific request for a range of bytes from a document named ‘example.pdf.’ The client sends a request aiming to retrieve a segment of the file that starts at byte 10,000 and ends at byte 20,000.

Response:

HTTP/1.1 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable

Content-Range: bytes */10000

As a result, the server responds with a 416 Status Code, indicating that the requested range is not available for this document. This makes this a clear case of a 416 requested range not being satisfiable. The response includes a “Content-Range” header with the “*” symbol indicating that no bytes are available for the requested range.

What Causes an HTTP 416 Status Code Error?

Understanding the reasons behind a 416 Status Code, commonly referred to as the “Range Not Satisfiable” error, is crucial for developers and web administrators to diagnose and rectify issues effectively. Here are the primary factors that may lead to this HTTP 416 error:

Requesting Non-Existent Byte Ranges: One of the main causes of a 416 error is requesting a range of bytes that does not exist within the available range for a resource. This typically occurs when a client specifies a byte range that extends beyond the current length of the content, expecting a segment of the data that the server cannot provide.

Changes in the Resource: Another scenario that triggers the 416 Range Not Satisfiable error is when the requested resource has been deleted or significantly modified since it was last accessed. This means that the previously valid byte ranges are no longer applicable, as the content length or structure might have changed, rendering the old ranges invalid.

Overlapping Byte Ranges: Lastly, a 416 status code can also result from requesting a range of bytes that overlaps with a range that was previously requested and not satisfiable. This overlap often indicates a misconfiguration or misunderstanding of the content’s available byte ranges, leading to repeated and erroneous range requests.

How to Fix a 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable Error?

Addressing an HTTP 416 Status Code effectively involves a series of troubleshooting steps. Here’s how you can methodically resolve these errors:

Modify Byte Range Requests: Attempt re-requesting a smaller or different range of bytes, particularly if the original request exceeds the resource’s available range. This ensures that the byte range specified aligns with the content’s actual size and scope.

Verify Resource Availability: Confirm the current availability of the requested resource. Changes to the resource, such as deletion or modification, could render previous range requests invalid. Verifying the resource’s presence and current state can help adjust the request parameters accordingly.

Check for Overlapping Range Requests: Examine whether the range of requests overlaps. A significant portion of 416 errors occurs when the new requested range of bytes intersects with a range that was previously deemed unsatisfiable. Identifying and correcting such overlapping requests can prevent the recurrence of this error.

By following these proven steps, developers and web administrators can confidently troubleshoot and rectify issues leading to a 416 Requested Range Not Satisfiable Error, ensuring smoother web resource access and interaction. If you encounter complexities or need further assistance, do not hesitate to contact us at Reliqus Consulting. Our team is equipped to provide you with the expertise and support needed to manage and resolve any web-related challenges effectively.

How an HTTP 416 Status Code Might Impact SEO?

SEO, which aims to make a website more friendly to search engines to enhance traffic through organic search results, may seem unrelated to an HTTP 416 Status Code at first glance. 

Given that a 416 error—indicating “Requested Range Not Satisfiable“—is uncommon in SEO contexts, it’s not typically an issue for web crawlers like Googlebot. These crawlers usually request entire resources rather than specific byte ranges, the latter being the scenario where a 416 error might occur. 

While a 416 error may not directly affect SEO, encountering it on a site could indicate underlying technical problems that have the potential to impact SEO negatively.

There are three main ways a 416 status code might affect a site’s SEO: 

Crawlability and Indexing Issues: While crawlers might not directly encounter the error itself, it suggests server or configuration issues that could impede a crawler’s ability to access content, thereby affecting the site’s indexing. 

Site Quality: Frequent errors of any kind can negatively impact the site’s quality in the eyes of search engines, possibly lowering its ranking. 

User Experience: If users encounter these errors, it could lead to poor user experience, a factor increasingly considered by search engines in determining site quality and rankings.

3 Best Practices for Preventing HTTP 416 Errors

To minimize the occurrence of HTTP 416 errors and ensure a seamless web experience, it’s essential to implement certain best practices. Here are three key strategies recommended by Reliqus Consulting:

Validate Byte Ranges: Make sure that the requested byte ranges are within the available range for a specific resource. This involves a clear understanding of the resource’s size and ensuring that the specified byte range requests do not exceed the content’s current length. Adopting this practice is fundamental to avoiding the common pitfalls associated with an HTTP 416 Status Code.

Monitor Resource Changes: Avoid requesting resources that have been deleted or modified since the last time they were accessed. Keeping track of the current state and availability of resources can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering a 416 error. This includes being vigilant about any changes made to the content that could affect its byte range validity.

Implementing Caching Mechanisms: It is a powerful strategy for reducing the number of requests made to a server and improving server performance. Caching frequently requested resources minimizes the need for repeated byte-range requests, which in turn can lower the risk of 416 error codes

Following these best practices diligently is not just a recommendation but a necessity in preventing HTTP 416 Errors. It ensures a smoother and more efficient web experience for both developers and users and significantly reduces the risk of encountering this error.

Conclusion

Understanding the HTTP 416 Status Code is crucial for maintaining seamless web applications and enhancing user experience. While this error is less common than other HTTP errors, it underscores the importance of adeptly handling technical challenges. 

At Reliqus Consulting, we’re committed to offering insights and solutions for a range of HTTP status code issues. Adhering to best practices not only prevents errors like the 416 but also solidifies your online presence. 

Preventing errors is crucial, and with Reliqus Consulting, navigating technical challenges becomes a smoother process.

FAQs

After exploring the intricacies of the HTTP 416 status code, you may still have some questions about common scenarios and fixes related to this error. Below, we address some frequently asked questions that we often encounter, providing you with clear and actionable insights.

How can I fix the HTTP 416 Error?

To fix an HTTP 416 error, verify the requested range headers and ensure the actual file size supports the requested byte range. Adjusting client requests or server configurations may be required.

What is the “requested range not satisfiable” in S3 416?

In Amazon S3  (Simple Storage Service), a “requested range not satisfiable” error occurs if the byte range specified in the request does not overlap with the extent of the target object. This can happen if the object is smaller than the range defined or if the range is misaligned.

Ankit Bhatia

Founder & CEO at Reliqus

With 12+ years of experience building a web presence for 300+ businesses, Ankit understands how businesses can use technology to increase revenue.

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