What is 502 Bad Gateway?

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The 502 Bad Gateway error specifically means that the server received an invalid response from an inbound server.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) defines the 502 Bad Gateway error as:

The 502 (Bad Gateway) status code indicates that the server, while acting as a gateway or proxy, received an invalid response from an inbound server it accessed while attempting to fulfill the request.

Every time you visit a website your browser sends a request to a web server. The web server receives and processes the request, and then sends back the requested resources along with an HTTP header and HTTP status code. Typically an HTTP status code isn’t seen unless something goes wrong. It’s basically the servers way of notifying you that something has gone wrong, along with the code on how to diagnose it.

There are many different types of 500 status error codes (500501502503504508520, etc.) which all have slightly different meanings. These indicate that the request was accepted, but the server prevented the fulfillment of the request.

Due to the various browsers, web servers, and operating systems, a 502 bad gateway error can present itself in a number of different ways. But they all have the same meaning. Below are just a couple of the many different variations you might see on the web:

  • “502 Bad Gateway”
  • “Error 502”
  • “HTTP Error 502 – Bad Gateway”
  • “502 Service Temporarily Overloaded”
  • “502 Proxy Error”
  • A blank white screen
  • “502 Server Error: The server encountered a temporary error and could not complete your request”
  • “HTTP 502”
  • Temporary Error (502)
  • 502. That’s an error
  • 502 bad gateway Cloudflare
  • Bad Gateway: The proxy server received an invalid response from an upstream server

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