Just some advice to prevent “403 – Forbidden” error when loading the root page of a new fresh Laravel installation on Windows/Apache:
1.- Do not modify .htaccess file: the issue is not there.
2.- Use virtualhosts configuration in your httpd.conf file
3.- Try to keep your configuration clear and simple. Once you make it work you can add extra features.
This could be a good starting point to configure your VistualHost entry, and please pay special attention to the DirectoryIndex entry:
<VirtualHost *:80> DocumentRoot "/var/www/html/yoursite/public" DirectoryIndex index.php ServerName yoursite.local <Directory "/var/www/html/yoursite/public"> Options Indexes FollowSymLinks AllowOverride All Require all granted </Directory> </VirtualHost>