Handle HTTP 500 errors

The HTTP 500 error is a generic error message that Internet Explorer passes to you when your web site errors for one reason or another, but it provides no useful information by itself.

About this task

We can change this setting, to allow you to see and read what the real error is. Good error information is essential to the debugging of any application, and the HTTP 500 error may in fact provide more information to the ServiceNow support team.

To enable Internet Explorer to show you the root cause of any error in your code, you need to make a change in the Internet Options window. You can access the Internet Options window by selecting the Internet Options item from the Tools menu at the top of Internet Explorer.

Procedure

  1. Select the Advanced tab.
    Internet Options Window
  2. Accessing the Advanced options displays a window that contains many settings that can be changed within Internet Explorer. These settings are broken down into categories. The category we are interested in is the Browsing Category.
    Show Friendly HTTP Error Messages
  3. Scrolling down the window will bring you to the Show friendly HTTP error messages check box. By default this box is checked in order to hide the real error from users. Once you have located this check box, remove the check and click the OK button.

Result

You can now report any problem pages that you have had difficulty with and see the real error message that is being generated. Once you can see what the real error message is, then providing debugging information to the ServiceNow support team becomes so much easier.