One of the most frequent problems Support deals with is when users are unable to log in to the Archive. While there are many possible causes for login issues, we've created a list of some of the most common and easiest to resolve.
If you're having trouble logging in to the Archive, here are some places to start your troubleshooting:
Have you activated your account by following the link provided in your registration confirmation email?
If you've recently signed up to the Archive and are having trouble logging in, make sure you've activated your account! Within 24 hours of signing up, you should have received a registration confirmation email from firstname.lastname@example.org, asking you to activate your AO3 account using the included link. The activation email usually arrives right after creating your account, but some email providers can considerably delay the delivery.
Once you've activated your account, you should receive an activation confirmation email from the same email address: email@example.com. Sometimes, these emails can get lost in spam filters, so make sure you check these as well! If you can't find either your activation request or an activation confirmation email, and it's been over 24 hours since you registered, you can contact Support asking for your account to be activated by an administrator.
Are you trying to log in with your username (not an email address), and is it spelled correctly?
You can only log in to the Archive with your account username; an email address won't work. If you’ve forgotten your username, or aren't sure if you're spelling it correctly, you can have it emailed to you by requesting a password reset on the New Password page. In addition to a temporary password, the email will include the username associated with the given email address, highlighted in red. Please note that this solution will only work if the email address associated with your account is current, so make sure you always keep your account's contact information up-to-date!
Is your browser or a password manager automatically entering your username/password?
If you're using your browser's auto-complete or a password manager to log in to the Archive, there's a chance the saved username/password combination could be incorrect. To check, delete the pre-filled login information and re-type your username and password manually. Remember to update the auto-complete/password manager entry with the working combination later, to prevent this problem from reoccurring.
Have you tried deleting your browser’s cookies?
Sometimes, login issues can be caused by misconfigured or corrupted cookies. Cookies issues may lead to an error message saying that the password or user name you entered doesn't match our records, even when they are correct, or a condition where you get a successful login message but are not actually logged in. To make sure your cookie settings aren't keeping you from accessing the Archive, check that your browser is set to accept cookies from AO3 and clear your cookies before attempting to access the Archive again. Instructions for managing cookies differ by browser and browser version, but here are some links to get you started:
- Firefox: Checking Cookie Settings and Clearing Cookies
- Chrome: Managing your cookies
- Internet Explorer: Delete and manage cookies
- Opera: Cookie tips
Have you tried disabling browser extensions/add-ons?
Sometimes, browser extensions or add-ons can interfere with the login process. To ensure your browser settings are not preventing you logging in, disable any additional software associated with your browser by following the links below.
- Firefox: Disable or remove Add-ons
- Chrome: Managing your extensions
- Internet Explorer: Manage add-ons in Internet Explorer
- Safari: If you need to remove a plug-in
- Opera: Extensions
Have you tried logging in using a different browser or device?
If you can successfully log in to AO3 using alternative means, the problem you're encountering is most likely a problem with your browser or device, rather than your account. If this is the case, we encourage you to let us know of such issues by contacting Support, so that we can investigate further. Please remember to include details about the browser(s) and device(s) you've tried, as well as the problem itself.
Have you tried everything above, and still find yourself unable to log in?
If you’ve tried all these steps and are still having trouble logging in, please use this contact form to contact Support directly. Do not share any account information in the comments on this post as all comments are public and can be seen by anyone who accesses this page. Comments containing account information will be removed.
As always, please remember to include as much detail as possible about the specifics of your problem, such as error messages received and your browser/device configuration, so that we can troubleshoot most effectively. Also include which of the above steps you have tried, so we can rule those issues out!