Service Unavailable: HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable in SharePoint

Service Unavailable: HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable error normally occurs whenever the password for application pool identity account is changed or application pools are in stopped state. This error may appear temporarily when you deploy solutions. In my case, I realized that password got changed for the Identity account.

Its a best practice to set “Password never expire” option for service accounts, BTW!

Here are the steps to resolve:

SharePoint Error: Service Unavailable: HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable in SharePoint

If you are running SharePoint in Windows 2003:

  • Go to Start >> All Programs >> Administrative Tools >> Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.
  • Locate your App Pool account and right-click on it and select “Advanced Settings”.
  • Go to process model then Identity Click on the Identity >> Set and then give the user name, password and confirm password.

Hope this will work fine after that.

Here is the Microsoft KEDB:

If you are Running SharePoint in Windows 2008:

  • Go to IIS Manager (Start > Administrative Tools > Internet Information Services Manager)
  • Expand the server node, and click on Application Pools
  • Locate the Application Pool of the SharePoint site, If it is stopped – Start it. If the password is changed, update the password:
    • Click on “Advanced Settings” Setting Application Pool Identity in IIS
    • and then click on … Button in Identity property
      Set Application Pool Identity in IIS
    • Enter the User Name and password for the Application Pool account.
      Set Application Pool Account User Name password in IIS 

It could happen when the App pool’s Advanced Property: Enable 32-Bit Applications is set to “True”! It should be false.

Tail: Application Pool Starting and Stopping? or Application Pools stops after restart? Make sure your application pool account has “Log on as batch job” rights!. This error may occur when necessary services like World Wide Web Publishing service, SharePoint Timer Service is in  stopped state.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack is a SharePoint Architect with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. He loves sharing his knowledge and experiences with the SharePoint community, through his real-world articles!

24 thoughts on “Service Unavailable: HTTP Error 503. The service is unavailable in SharePoint

  • May 7, 2018 at 8:40 AM

    Thank u so much…it was helpful and time saving solution.

  • November 3, 2017 at 5:22 PM

    thanks, this is helpful for me.

  • August 4, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    Thanks , It worked fine for me

  • May 10, 2016 at 2:02 PM

    Enable 32-Bit Applications is set to “True” – Perfect, that’s what was wrong!

  • September 21, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    I was facing the same problem.After setting new credential,Need to set Enable 32-Bit Applications is set to “True”! It should be false.

    It works fine for me!!!

  • May 27, 2015 at 3:56 AM

    Still I’m facing the problem. .Any one can you help me for that?

  • May 20, 2015 at 9:57 AM

    It does not work for me. App pool is started and also I have changed the password for the identity account. Still it does not work and is giving me nightmares… please help

  • March 8, 2015 at 3:38 PM

    it worked awesomely for me… I had just patched the server and changed the service account defaults passwords but was not sure if the patches broke it or the passwords change and then still had to figure out which of the accounts was responsible. thanks a million

  • October 5, 2014 at 2:03 PM

    Thanks! Win 2008 Solution worked on my Win2012 HyperV VM.

  • April 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    above is solution…how we can find root cause?

  • October 10, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    Thanks , it solves the problem with sharepoint 2013 on win server 2012.

  • September 10, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    Perfect!!! In my case… domain/administrator – than password twice…


  • August 26, 2013 at 10:05 AM


    Thanks this was extremely helpful. We were under pressure since the entire organisation was offline and needed this up asap.

    Thannks once again for this excellent info.

    Keep up the good work.

  • July 3, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Thank you sooo much..It helped me a lot.. 🙂

  • June 2, 2013 at 4:39 AM

    Thank you very much. It is awesome. I relieved from all the troubles.
    Thank you so much again.


  • February 6, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    Thanks! I found all my application pools were just stopped!

  • November 8, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    Every time I deploy a solution this happens and it gets annoying. Is there a way to make a custom page instead of this ugly black and white one with no info?

    • November 8, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      You can create a custom error page for 503 error, as in: just cgange the error code!

  • October 20, 2012 at 1:09 AM

    Great!! Thanks a lot

  • October 10, 2012 at 1:19 AM

    This worked! Thanks!

  • January 20, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Perfect!! Great suggestion! You saved my bacon.


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