In order to improve security and maintainability, we've overhauled the code for the Archive's login system. As we previously announced, this overhaul caused all users to be logged out. If you know your username and password, you should be able to log in as usual. However, here are a few things to check if you're having trouble.
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 or automated inbox sorting, 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.
If you're trying to log in with your username, is it correct?
To check if a username exists and belongs to you, go to your browser address bar and enter https://archiveofourown.org/users/USERNAME, replacing "USERNAME" with your username. If the account exists, this will take you to its Dashboard. You can then make sure the icon, profile information, or public works or bookmarks for that account are yours.
Please note that usernames can only contain lower- and uppercase letters from A-Z, numbers, and underscores (_).
If you're trying to log in with your email address, is it correct?
If you have more than one email address, it may help to go to the New Password page, fill in your email address, and press "Reset Password." If the email you enter isn't associated with an account, you'll be given an error message and no email will be sent. Doing this for all your email addresses can help you determine which one you used for your AO3 account.
You will be able to log in with your regular password even after a reset email is sent (just ignore the email).
Is your password correct?
If you've determined the username or email you're trying to log in with is correct, the problem could be your password. Fill out the form on the New Password page and a link allowing you to change your password will be sent to you.
If you do not receive the email within 24 hours, make sure to check your spam folder or automated inbox sorting. The email will have the subject "[AO3] Reset your password."
Edit (28 December, 10:43 UTC): Due to changes in the way passwords are sanitized, you will need to reset your password if it previously contained the < or > character. (You can continue to use < and > in your password; it just needs to be updated for our new system.)
Is your browser or a password manager automatically entering your username/password?
If you're using your browser's autocomplete 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 autocomplete/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 username 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: Clear, enable, and manage cookies in Chrome
- Internet Explorer: Delete and manage cookies
- Edge: Delete cookies
- Opera: Clear browsing data and Manage cookies in pages
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: Install and manage extensions
- Internet Explorer: Manage add-ons in Internet Explorer
- Edge: Adding, moving, and removing extensions for Microsoft Edge
- Safari: Install and manage Safari extensions on your Mac
- 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 try the steps above in your preferred browser, and if it still doesn't work, 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 without reply.
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!