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First steps and top tips for online resources

If you are experiencing problems accessing online content, here are a few things you can try in the first instance. If these suggestions don't resolve your issue, take a look at our Passwords and troubleshooting page, or FAQs.

Incognito/In-private browser

Before you clear your cache and cookies it always good practice to try and use the incognito/in-private version of a browser. This will allow you to search on a browser without any of your previous history saved. The different browsers (e.g. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Safari etc.) often call their respective version of private browsing something different, but they can generally be accessed in the same place. You should see a three dotted/dashed settings menu in the top right hand corner of the browser. Near the top of the drop down list will be a link to open the private version of the browser in a new window.

From here you can try accessing Library resources without it remembering what you have been using previously. If you can access resources without difficulty, this usually means that you need to clear the cache in your preferred browser or that you have a browser extension which may be influencing the access to resources.

Clearing Cache and Cookies

Cache and cookies enable webpages to load more quickly, remembering where and what you have done on previous visits. However, sometimes web developers update webpages while your cache has remembered the previous settings, and this can sometimes cause errors. There may be times when you need to clear your cache and/or cookies to access the most up to date information. You can find help and guidance online for clearing your cache.

A shortcut to clearing most browsers' cache/cookies/history is to ensure that the browser is open, and press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac). 

Disabling browser extensions

Several browser extensions are known under certain circumstances to cause website access issues to certain services. 
  • DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials 
  • Adblocker Extensions 
If you’re experiencing problems with accessing a website, temporarily disabling these extensions, or opening the browser in incognito / in private browsing may help. Managing your browser extension may be different depending on browser.
Google Chrome (extensions):
  1. Click the Chrome menu (three dots) on the browser toolbar
  2. Select More Tools > Extensions
Microsoft Edge (extensions):
  1. Click the Edge menu (three dots) on the browser toolbar
  2. Select Extensions > Manage extensions
Apple Safari (extensions):
  1. Select Safari > Preferences
  2. Click on the Extensions tab
Firefox (add-ons):
  1. Click the Menu (three lines) on the browser toolbar
  2. Select Add-ons to bring up the page to manage your Add-ons
  3. Follow the prompts to activate and deactivate individual Add-ons

Use a different device  

Try accessing the resource on an alternative device, such as a mobile or tablet. This helps rule out configuration / set-up issues on the device, and can help with troubleshooting if you contact the Library about the issue.  

Use a different Wi-Fi network / Mobile data 

Try accessing the resource on a different Wi-Fi network or try using mobile data (e.g., 4G/5G). Occasionally, Internet Service Providers (such as BT, Vodafone, Virgin) block access to certain resources. This information can also help with troubleshooting if you contact the Library about the issue.  

Still having problems? 

If you’re still having problems, please contact us. To help troubleshoot the problem as quickly as possible, providing the following information will help our teams diagnose the issue: 



Approximate Date / Time
Where possible, please include details about when and at what time you have tried to access the resource.

Please specify which browser you are using and whether you have tried alternatives. It may also help to check if you have the latest versions installed.  

Is the problem with the whole resource?
Does this affect a whole database or just one element (for example, is the issue with a whole e-book, or just book chapter? Or for a whole journal, or just a journal volume/specific article?)
Please include the URL / web address of the resource being accessed.
Where are you accessing the resource from? 
For example, did you find the resource in your module information, the Databases page, Library Search etc. 
Please take a screenshot(s) of the error you are experiencing, including the URL bar.
Troubleshooting steps taken

Have you tried any of the following? 

  • Clearing browser cache 
  • Accessing the resource via Incognito / In-Private Browsing 
  • Accessing the resource via a different device 
  • Accessing the resource via a different Wi-Fi network or via mobile data