Log-In and Freezing Up Browser Issues - Most Viable Solutions From The IT Industry

by Jerrico_Usher

You may have heard to do this before, now you will know why they always tell you to do it, and why it works 99% of the time!

When it comes to working online, especially when you do a great deal of research, love to stumblupon through the web, or just surf a lot, it can be frustrating to find that sites are kicking you out, forcing you to re-log-in and often when you do get back in you find yourself frustrated because every time you click a link or try to click to a new page the site asks you to sign back in!

This issue isn't that bad for static sites you just visit and that don't require authentication, however sites that authenticate like memberships sites (i.e. Wizzley, Hubpages, Squidoo, Super Apprentice, and any other site you have to sign up or sign in to view or use. In this article I'm going to explain what I explain to my writers all the time (I work tech support for a content mill)- the two most notorious issues that cause this.

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computer problems

Introduction

This article came from trying to answer a question in our own forum about logging in and getting booted out.

The question was (I took a screenshot as not to create duplicate content):

Forum Question Post
Forum Question Post

This is a VERY common issue I keep having with my writers due to the amount of pages they load doing research every day and for hours a day (day job/content mill) and the solution 99% of the time is the same:

1. Clear cookies...

Cookies
Cookies

1. Clear cookies...

(Cookies are tiny text files created on your computer and used by sites to store encrypted authentication data and personalized settings in some cases (i.e. if they let you choose your pages format over another it would tell the site which one you prefer))

Why?

Well generally you need your cookies as they are what keep you logged in and contain the personal settings for many sites, BUT often cookies go corrupt for a number of reasons and when that happens (even a period removed will corrupt the whole cookie sometimes) it causes the cookie to become useless.

Cookies are mostly used to keep you logged in

When you log into a site, any site, a cookie is usually created. This encrypts your log in username/pw and some other stuff and the site that created it generally only has access to it and can decrypt it.

Some other sites try to find ways to crack into the cookie but unsuccessfully- this can also cause it to go corrupt (i.e. doubleclick ads share cookies across a lot of domains... too complicated- back to basics...

If you clear cookies you are also essentially logging out of every site your logged into at any given time because the sites cannot maintain a log-in without them!

Essentially, what many don't realize is that when you log in, and until the cookie expires (wizzley's don't expire unless they go corrupt and won't work it seems), the site actively uses the cookie file to log you in ANYTIME you click a link (to move about the site?), or do anything that requires the site to refresh the page (server side not your browser refresh)... in other words when it needs to update data, take you to a new page etc...

You literally download a new page t your cache when you click a link but the site must make sure your allowed to i.e. are logged in so it re-authenticates every time you move around the site (click links etc...)

You are logging in everytime you do anything. If you log into wizzley then click to go check out the forum, the site has to authenticate you again- you don't notice this because it's seamless- the site just calls the cookie to verify who you are and to give it the authentication data again.

When the cookie goes corrupt, the symptoms you're experiencing happen:

  • Changing pages or clicking links cause you to log out, or it requests you to log in again, or it just boots you to the login page or popup
  • Takes forever to move about the site and sporadically lets you in, other times boots you out completely and may even give you an authentication error message.

2. Clear your browser/internet cache

Memory
Memory

2. Clear your browser/internet cache

Why?

The way the cache works is when you go to a site (which is literally downloading the page to a cache where a copy is stored locally for your viewing) it stores the images in a cache as well, this way when you revisit that site, instead of wasting bandwidth to download all the pages images including logos etc... it just grabs a local copy from your cache file. This is a dated feature in my opinion because with broadband speeds most sites can be instantly downloaded, but I don't turn off the cache, I just set it to some miraculously low number like 30 megs max (you can do this in your tools/options page).

When you visit a lot of pages (especially if you use stumbleupon to bounce around the web) your cache gets pretty full, big images as usually found on stumbleupon and iamboared.com type sites really drag the cache down.

This is akin to a fragmented drive- your computer/browser has to scroll through all the other images to cherry pick the ones needed (to load to form the page) and if there are too many, this can freeze up your browser.

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The Culprit: Pages Time Out

Most pages, for security reasons time out (so if you walk away from your computer someone else tcan't navigate through a secure site it will ask them to re-log on- Yahoo email does this almost religiously- if a page times out it forces you to log back in, it won't use the cookie).

For sites like Wizzley whose cookie doesn't seem to expire, pages still time out during loading (it's likely to allow their side to move on since nothing is happening or a connection to your side cannot be established).

If a page doesn't fully load within a specific time they set, it will time out and cause you to have to log in again (usually around 20 seconds). Timing out issues are almost always an issue with a full browser cache causing the load time to take too long and the page (along with it's sending the site it's log in credentials- but in this case it's your computer not responding like it has a concussion or something) expires...

Another issue that causes this is internet latency- if your internet is bobbing and weaving from fast to snail pace the page could also time out. Sometimes it's not your internet provider but one of the "hops" along the way. If any computer in the chain of hops freezes up, the rest of them have to wait and this could time out the entire process.

Do A Cold Restart/Power down

DO NOT JUST RESTART, Unplug the sucker if you have to!

If all else fails another thing that 98% of the time causes issues is that the computer simply needs to be rebooted (from cold boot not restart).  

What happens often is either the registry is corrupt or fragmented (lots of dead files blocking the way) in the memory, or the memory filled up and programs that didn't effectively remove themselves from protected memory block those memory sections...if there isn't enough memory available the computer freezes up. This often happens over several days or weeks of the computer not being rebooted but being used a lot (opening and closing programs etc...).

When you reboot the computer (power down completely)- the memory, which is essentially just a bunch of electrons dancing to a special beat :) wipes clean. Turning the PC back on starts you with ALL your memory slots working, and often a noticeable difference is felt.

Clear DNS Cache (Windows all versions)

Sometimes the DNS cache isn't cleared and it can hold you in limbo while you wait for your computer to naturally update/clear the cache. If a site changes their IP address for example, as is the case when changing servers/ISP's then the DNS cached copy of the resolved IP to DNS server will be wrong. To fix this instantly just do the following:

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How to clear out your computers DNS cache

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Click start
then run

enter cmd in the open box and hit enter

you'll see the DOS box popup and show something like

C:\users\username>

enter ipconfig /flushdns

so it looks like this

C:\users\Username>ipconfig /flushdns

hit enter, this will clear your computer's DNS cache

In Conclusion

The bottom line is clear your browser cache and cookies from time to time, especially when you do a lot of page viewing or moving about the web loading pages that have hundreds of images embedded to create the look and feel etc... clearing cookies resets the cookie, when you log back into the site a fresh  new cookie is created and often that resolves it. Rebooting is the first thing I try if the other two don't work- if none of this works, you may have a more serious problem in your software. You may need to re-install the browser but that is beyond the scope of this tutorial.

Hope this helps.

 

Updated: 11/17/2012, Jerrico_Usher
 
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Jerrico_Usher on 07/15/2012

Glad to help Sheilamarie :) @Dustytoes, you uploaded that picture? Awesome! I liked it the best out of about 20 others, it spoke to me hehe... Thanks for the likes!

sheilamarie on 07/15/2012

Thanks for writing this wizzle, Jerrico! I'll let you know whether these tips work for me.

dustytoes on 07/15/2012

I hate reading this kind of thing, it makes my head spin. Very helpful though.
(Glad to see my cookies photo here.. those are the kind of cookies I understand..... ;)

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