The Cloudflare rate-limiting feature is designed to protect online services against different types of user attacks.
In certain situations, Cloudflare can block valid requests resulting in an error message that looks something like this:
What is Cloudflare Error 1015: You Are Being Rate Limited?
When a user comments that they’ve seen error 1015, Cloudflare is rate-limiting their connection. This means the rate-limited device is temporarily blocked from connecting for a short time. When this happens there’s no way for the visitor to access the domain until the error times out.
The 1015 error often causes users to bounce from a site entirely.
A smart website owner will act to resolve 1015 errors as quickly as possible to keep the traffic flowing.
(Don’t need the whole rundown about rate limiting? Click here to go straight to the solutions)
What is Rate Limiting?
Since lots of requests in a short period of time can overload a website, Cloudflare lets a site owner monitor and control your bandwidth consumption.
You can limit the impact of high-volume traffic by setting up a “rate-limiting” rule on a per-IP address or domain basis through the Cloudflare rate-limiting feature in your website owner settings.
With rate limiting, Cloudflare can automatically block traffic from a suspicious site visitor or IP address so that hackers, spammers, and other online pests are can’t bog down your site’s performance with DDoS attacks and other illicit activities.
How to Fix Cloudflare Error 1015: You Are Being Rate Limited
- Slow Down Your Activity
- Disable Rate Limiting
- Delete Your Old Rate Limiting Configuration
- Raise Your Rate Limiting Request Threshold
- Check the Time Restrictions On Your Rate Limits
- Consider Increasing Your Bandwidth
- Optimize Your Website
- Reach Out to the Cloudflare Support Community
Cloudflare Error 1015: “You are being rate limited” results from one of a few possible causes.
Most frequently, when a legitimate site visitor is being blocked by the rate-limiting error 1015 it’s due to issues with the rate-limiting configuration that only the site owner can fix.
Even in cases where the user may be sending lots of legitimate requests quickly, your web server needs to be configured to handle increased visitor traffic loads.
Let’s explore the different root causes that result in the Cloudflare rate-limiting error and how to troubleshoot those issues.
BTW a quick note—there’s actually a cache purge error code labeled 1015 in Cloudflare that’s unrelated to the rate-limiting problem.
“Unable to purge” is a separate 1015 error code that has to with Cloudflare cache purge. If this sounds more like the information you need, check out Cloudflare’s cache purge tips here.
1. Slow Down Your Activity
Oftentimes, slowing down is all your user needs to do to solve the issue.
When you interact with a website, each action you take demands a portion of the website’s resources.
The site can slow down (or crash) if its traffic isn’t managed. Cloudflare rate-limiting identifies and mitigates excessive request rates to the domain to avoid these slowdowns.
Except in unusually rare cases, your server should be configured to handle regular visitor traffic & activity such that high volumes of requests don’t lock them out of your website or app.
Slowing down user behavior on your website is only a temporary stop-gap you can use while you take steps to improve your Cloudfare rate limiting configuration and firewall rules.
2. Disable Rate Limiting
While I can’t in good conscience advise disabling your Cloudfare rate-limiting altogether, taking this step will at the very least your visitor traffic to flow freely.
If your website is throwing a lot of Cloudflare 1015 errors and it’s halting your business, you can open up your website to all traffic from any allowed IP address by disabling the rate limit rules altogether.
Remember—this may potentially expose your website to slowdowns or crashes as a result of high-volume requests or DDoS attacks.
A good site owner will only apply this solution as a first step towards optimizing their Cloudflare rate limiting configuration.
3. Delete Your Old Rate Limiting Configuration
You might receive complaints that users are still getting a 1015 error on your website even after disabling rate limiting.
In rare cases, your rate limit rules can still work even though the rate-limiting feature is disabled for the domain.
To ensure your rate limiting is properly turned off you can re-enable the rate-limiting feature in your site owner settings, entirely delete all of your rate limiting rules, and then disable rate limiting again.
4. Raise Your Rate Limiting Request Threshold
A very low limit is one of the most common causes of Cloudflare error 1015.
The site owner settings allow us to limit the number of page requests from an IP address in a given time interval. In most cases, users assume that each pageview on the website is equal to one request.
However, this is false—an individual pageview might feed as many as 50 or more requests to your server in just a few seconds, especially if the visitor is using a reverse proxy or has recently performed a cache purge.
Limiting the value of request based on this misinterpretation is a frequent cause of the 1015 error.
If your website is rate limited by a low request threshold, try disabling this rate limit in your account settings or significantly increasing the limit.
5. Check the Time Restrictions On Your Rate Limits
Another common mistake is setting a rate-limiting rule to block an IP address for multiple requests inside of 10 seconds.
This may cause legitimate traffic to experience unnecessary lockouts when users should have full rights to access your site.
Cloudflare support experts recommend you should configure the rate-limiting rules on your account to 10 seconds or more.
This isn’t always a default setting, and issues commonly arise when a site owner accidentally miskeys a “1” instead of the correct 10 seconds for this configuration
Check that your Cloudflare rate limit times are sufficiently high enough to allow normal volume from everyone using your site at the same time, or else your users will see more Cloudflare 1015 errors.
6. Consider Increasing Your Bandwidth
These Cloudflare abuse protection measures do apply in certain situations depending on the volume of traffic and accessing your application.
As the site owner, if you expect to receive the 1015 error message on a regular basis in response to traffic or expect your application to incur this error, contact Cloudflare support to increase your limit.
7. Optimize Your Website
Cookies saved in your visitor’s browser help the visitor load content using fewer requests. But if the cookies and cache have been cleared out, the browser will have to reload all of the site information again.
A poorly-designed or poorly-optimized site is one of the reasons you might see more page errors being thrown at legitimate IP addresses.
Some issues your customers may report include:
- Regularly having to refresh articles and posts on your site
- Having to clear their cache & cookies each time they access a given URL
- Slow page loading times
Repeatedly having to refresh, reload, and revisit a section of site each time you access it causes a significant spike in request traffic to your servers.
If you’re getting any of these complaints, then you need to ensure each part of your site is loading properly and serving the visitor’s browser with appropriate cache & cookie information.
A properly optimized website will help reduce the request load allowing your community to use your site error-free.
8. Reach Out to the Cloudflare Support Community
If these tips don’t help you identify and resolve the causes of the 1015 error code on your domain servers, app, or program, the Cloudflare support team is always there to help.
Cloudflare offers several support articles and its community forum to help you solve problems with your configuration, and if you pay for a support contract they can help you via email or live phone support.
If you or your site owner uses Cloudflare’s service for free accounts you can still use the robust community forums.
Between the Cloudflare forums and the broader online community, you can find posts full of details about how to resolve various error messages.
Keep tabs on the community forums to keep up with the latest details about issues & errors you’ve seen on your Cloudflare server or site.