.htaccess: Deny From All – Prohibit, Forbid or Restrict Directory Access

Restricting directory access might be one of the most frequently used .htaccess techniques out there. As a site grows, there always are some areas that you don’t want visitors to look at such as merchandise warehouse where you store digital products for sale.

You want a programmed server-side script to serve the download after confirming payment instead of risking the users downloading them directly from the directory without paying you.

To deny all requests for the restricted directory or folder, prepare a .htaccess text file in that directory and put the following directive in it:

deny from all

That’s it.

Allow and enable access from certain IP

Say you have a permanent IP and you want to administer the site via /admin and protect the directory from the rest of the world once ‘n’ for all, then you will want the following .htaccess directives:

order deny, allow
deny from all
allow from

Wherein is your IP.

Or if you have an IP range for an entire country, you can allow visits to your site from that particular country only with this technique.

Or if you are operating the site from LAN you can allow only LAN IP to access certain directories such as /admin:

order deny, allow
deny from all
allow from 192.168.0
Disallow and deny access from certain IP

You get the idea. To allow all visits except from a few identified spam bots, just reverse the deny and allow order like this:

order allow, deny
# is a bad bot here
deny from
allow from all

Another blocking method via robots.txt.

21 thoughts on “.htaccess: Deny From All – Prohibit, Forbid or Restrict Directory Access”

  1. Pingback: Quick Tutorial & Examples: Robots.txt Disallow All and Block Search Engine Spiders

  2. Pingback: Use robots.txt disallow directive to shut out spiders and search engine robots

  3. Pingback: Protection of Directory

  4. I know that this article is quite old but I wanted to show my appreciation for your hard work and say that after I’ve been googling for more than half an hour for how to prevent access to files in a directory I’ve found your article which helped me getting there with just one line of code. Thank you very much!

    keep up the good work! 🙂


  5. Exactly what I was looking for! Did the trick perfectly for a Facebook app. I was developing, where I didn’t want people to view the files from the domain it was hosted on.

  6. BTW,
    Is it possible not be IP specific (for bots). And check them using their some other identity. And then stop them.

    Also, is it possible to block some of my users based on their userid?

    1. If you want to block specific bots, try a robots.txt file:


      Of course, this is only for bots that obey the standard. You can’t really block bad bots; they can just lie about their names.

      As for your second question, I have no idea what you mean by userid.

  7. Pingback: Anonymous

  8. you should NOT leave a space between “deny” and “allow”
    order deny,allow <– good
    order deny, allow <– apache error

    1. Hmmm.

      I just now find this out! And this post is over two-years old.

      Still valid with today’s versions of Apache.

  9. Pingback: .htaccess – Deny access for a specific folder under webroot | Eureka!

  10. Thanks for the help.

    To deny public access but allow internal processes use this in the htaccess of the folder you want to restrict access to:

    order deny,allow
    deny from all

  11. Hi,

    I am trying to deny access to a directory. Then check a cookie set with a directory name.
    Then use the cookie name and allow access to the directory.
    For example cookie name my_dir. if the value in my_dir = “zaks_directory” then
    allow access to “zaks_directory”.

    Do you know how to do this.


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