If you are not on the BU network, it’s possible that the Internet Service Provider you are using has implemented a rotating IP address system. (Your network IP address needs to remain the same during the course of a session in order for the session to function properly.) A typical symptom of this problem is that you will be prompted to Authenticate repeatedly. To work around this:
Connect to the VPN on your computer
See if it helps to first connect to the VPN via http://vpn.bu.edu. Once you are connected, you should then return to the application you are trying to use and it should work properly. (It’s ok to quit the browser if you need to – you will not lose the VPN connection.) For more details (and instructions for configuring the built-in Mac client) see the VPN page.
- Connect to the VPN on your mobile device
To configure your mobile phone or tablet to access the BU VPN, detailed instructions can be found on the following pages:
Make sure your login information is correct
Make sure to log in correctly
Make sure you are using only the login portion of firstname.lastname@example.org, and that you are using your BU Kerberos password. If you have forgotten your password, you can reset it. If you are trying to log in to a BU Web Account (as in the case of BU applicants) your login is, instead, the entire email address you supplied when you created the account – for example, email@example.com.
Quit/Exit the browser and try again
Sometimes all you need is a fresh start. See if it helps to quit the browser and try again.
Try clearing the cache, or try a “hard” Refresh/Reload
It can also help to clear the browser’s cache. Instructions can be found on our website. You could also try a Refresh/Reload while holding down the Apple or Control key.
Is your Authentication issue specific to accessing BU’s web-based mail?
Make sure you are starting at www.bu.edu/webmail. If you’re using a bookmark that points to any page other than www.bu.edu/webmail, please change it to point to that page. If you find that you are repeatedly getting a BU login screen, please review the Steady the IP address section below.
Still not working?
If you have tried everything listed above but are still having problems, you will want to run through the suggestions listed below.
Test with a different browser
For example, if you were using Internet Explorer, try using Firefox. In terms of troubleshooting, the browser change will reveal whether or not the problem is related to a setting in the browser you were using or, instead, to something about your Internet connection and/or firewall/security software.
If using a different browser doesn’t help, test from a different computer
If the step above doesn’t help, see if the problem still occurs when you are using a different computer on the same network (that’s connected in the same way – e.g., both wireless). In terms of troubleshooting, the computer change will reveal whether or not the problem is related to something about your Internet connection, or to firewall/security software, or, possibly, to an issue with your account.
Can’t access BU sites but other sites work properly?
Sometimes people find that they can’t get to BU sites and the problem occurs only on one computer. If this happens, test with a different browser on that computer. If only one browser is an issue, make sure that you don’t have any preconfigured proxy settings (from another school or organization) in the browser you are having a problem with (see our Help for removing proxy setting from Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox). Otherwise, make sure your computer is clear of viruses and spyware, and that you have reviewed the other options listed on this page.
Check your firewall settings
Security software can be set to block cookies. If you have one of these programs installed, open it and see if you might have turned on (or it might have turned on) options to “protect privacy” or “block cookies.” If so, you will need to turn that setting off to authenticate.
If you can’t upload attachments or files, allow www.bu.edu as an exception in your pop-up blocker
Sometimes pop-up blockers will prevent your browser from working properly with BU web-based applications. One symptom we sometimes see, for example, is that people cannot upload attachments to web-based mail or other files to other BU applications. To fix this, set your pop-up blocker to allow www.bu.edu as an exception.
Check your computer for spyware If nothing mentioned above has resolved the problem for you, it’s possible that spyware is disrupting your browser, your Internet connection, or your ability to maintain a consistent IP address. Spyware can cause all sorts of problems so, in all mysterious troubleshooting situations, we recommend that you clean and protect your machine.
Contact us if nothing listed above resolves the problem If nothing listed above has resolved the problem for you, it’s possible that there is an issue on our end, or with your account, and you should contact us. However, please do make sure that you have reviewed every possibility listed above. We’ll need to know what you’ve already tried, and the results of your testing, in order to help narrow down the problem. Please also send the text of any error codes you are seeing.