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Error messages - and how to clear your cache

If you are seeing error messages when you try to log into electronic resources, the most common errors are caused by stored information on your  browser causing conflicts.  You might see any of the following

  • secure connection failed
  • A system problem has occurred

You can often resolve these type of problems by doing the following

  • Clearing your browser cookies and cache
  • Closing down all instances of your browser
  • Restarting your browser

'Stale Request' error Message

This error message usually happens when :

      · you open multiple library e-resource links in new browser tabs

      · you have more than one open instance of the same e-resource


The error message looks like this


A sign on a computer

Description automatically generated



       · Re-try the e-resource link in a fresh browser

        · Cookies may be required to access the e-resource. Enable them in your web browser setting

        · Information saved by your browser may cause problems. Clear your cache and cookies 

        · Web browser problems – try using a different browser.

The wikiHow guide to clearing your cache covers all popular browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge and Safari

Date, Time & Time zone problems - if a website presents a certificate with validity dates that don't match the date on your computer's clock, then the browser can't verify that it is secure, and will show an error page.  Such issues can be fixed by setting the correct date, time and time zone on the device. 


Other key tips for accessing e-journals

  • If you are having problems accessing a resource, try using a different browser. 
  • Some journal sites don't support older versions of browsers, so keep yours up to date on your personal laptop or PC
  • Check that your browser is set to accept cookies.  If you have a pop-up blocker enabled on your web browser, you may need to disable it to view content from some journal databases, see the  wikiHow guide to How to Allow Pop-ups

Still having problems?

If you know how to access online resources, but you are having a particular problem, please get in touch with  and include details such as

If you are currently having problems accessing online resources using your MAC (February 2021), and clearing your cookies, and trying a different browser does not help, please report your problem to Help4u, as certificate errors are being investigated.