Azure App Service provides a management interface reachable through “Advanced Tools” in the Azure Portal for controlling App Service features. (This interface is part of the Kudu project.) Today I discovered that if your browser does not send the HTTP Referer header in cross-origin requests, you will get Error 403 with the following content:

Error 403 - This web app is stopped.

The web app you have attempted to reach is currently stopped and does not accept any requests. Please try to reload the page or visit it again soon.

If you are the web app administrator, please find the common 403 error scenarios and resolution here. For further troubleshooting tools and recommendations, please visit Azure Portal.

Although this error may occur due to the site being stopped, as the message and linked blog post suggest, in my case the cause is the Referer header not being sent. I had configured Firefox with network.http.referer.XOriginPolicy set to a non-zero value for privacy reasons. Setting it to 0 resolved the error.