UPDATE - see solutions at bottom
In the past week or some some users are reporting that they are frequently prompted to log in again when using Web Mail. This is not a timeout, but happens immediately after starting a new session, when the user clicks on certain tasks.
What this probably means is that the session cookie that keeps you logged in is not being presented by the browser when it makes a request to the server. Sometimes this can be caused by security software running on your computer. Right now we don't know why several users are suddenly seeing this problem, but the most likely cause is that something changed in the browser or web security software that those users are running.
If this has happened to you, please provide the following information to help us pin down the cause. You can either post the information here, or send it directly to email-guy at earthlink dot net.
- Does this happen only when performing certain tasks in Web Mail?
- What is your exact browser version (Help / About)?
- Have you done system upgrades recently, for example Windows SP3?
- How are you connected to the Internet when the problem occurs?
- What security software is running on your computer? Can you temporarily disable it or close it to see if the login problem goes away?
- Do you have access to another computer where you can try and see if the problem does not occur while using your same account?
- Does the problem occur on any other web sites that require you to log in?
Thanks for any information you can provide.
One user reports that Microsoft support was able to fix the problem for them. We don't yet have details of how they fixed it. We also know now that the problem is definitely that Internet Explorer is losing the session cookie that keeps you logged in to a web site, and the problem is apparently not something we can fix on the EarthLink side. But we don't yet have enough information to tell you how to fix it. Hopefully I'll have that soon.
My research shows that one thing which can definitely cause this problem is if you have your Internet Explorer home page set to open a local file on your computer and not set to a remote web site. A bug in IE will then cause it to lose session cookies from remote web sites.
Another user has some helpful information in the comments below.
More info soon....
Some users have discovered that resetting the Internet Explorer settings fixes this problem. Go to Tools / Internet Options, click the Security tab, click the "Default Level" button (Internet zone), then click on the Privacy tab, and click the Default button. Click OK. If that fails, do it again but click the Advanced tab, and then the button at the bottom that says Reset. That puts everything in IE back to its default state, and it definitely fixes the problem for all users who have tried it.
We're still trying to narrow this down further to a specific setting so that you don't have to do the reset, but this appears to work. Also, there is definitely more than one setting in the Security and Privacy sections that will prevent you from staying logged in to web sites, so it may not be the same specific setting for all users.
Please report if this works for you.