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Help??? Troubleshooting for Users

How to Clear your Cache

Desktop browsers
  1. At the top of the "Clear browsing data" window, click Advanced.
  2. Select the following: Browsing history. Download history. Cookies and other site data. Cached images and files. ...
  3. Click CLEAR DATA.
  4. Exit/quit all browser windows and re-open the browser.

For desktop browsers, to quickly open menus used to clear your cache, cookies, and history, ensure that the browser is open and selected, and press Ctrl-Shift-Delete (Windows) or Command-Shift-Delete (Mac).

Enable Cookies

Internet Explorer
  1. Click Tools or the gear icon at the top of the browser window.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Click the Privacy tab and then the Advanced button on that tab.
  4. Ensure that "Override automatic cookie handling" is checked.
  5. Set the First and Third party cookies to "Accept."
  6. Check "Always allow session cookies."
  7. Click OK.
  8. Exit Internet Explorer and restart your browser.
 
Mozilla Firefox
Read the Firefox instructions here.
  1. Click the menu button Menu icon.
  2. Click Content Blocking.
  3. Click Privacy & Security.
  4. In the "Content Blocking" section, select Standard.
Safari
  1. Click Safari Preferences.
  2. Click on the Privacy tab.
  3. In the "Cookies and website data" section, select "Always allow."
  4. Close the Preferences window.
Chrome
Steps are the same for both PC and MAC.
  1. Click on the Chrome menu button on the browser bar.
  2. Click "Settings."
  3. Scroll down and click "Advanced."
  4. In the Privacy and security section, click Content Settings.
  5. Click Cookies.
  6. Click the slider to "Allow sites to save and read cookie data (recommended)."
If you need further assistance checking your browser settings, go to "Help" on your web browser toolbar.  

What's in a Cookie?

Each cookie is effectively a small lookup table containing pairs of (key, data) values - for example (firstname, John) (lastname, Smith). Once the cookie has been read by the code on the server or client computer, the data can be retrieved and used to customize the web page appropriately.

When are Cookies Created?

Writing data to a cookie is usually done when a new webpage is loaded - for example after a 'submit' button is pressed the data handling page would be responsible for storing the values in a cookie. If the user has elected to disable cookies then the write operation will fail, and subsequent sites which rely on the cookie will either have to take a default action, or prompt the user to re-enter the information that would have been stored in the cookie.

Why are Cookies Used?

Cookies are a convenient way to carry information from one session on a website to another, or between sessions on related websites, without having to burden a server machine with massive amounts of data storage. Storing the data on the server without using cookies would also be problematic because it would be difficult to retrieve a particular user's information without requiring a login on each visit to the website.

If there is a large amount of information to store, then a cookie can simply be used as a means to identify a given user so that further related information can be looked up on a server-side database. For example the first time a user visits a site they may choose a username which is stored in the cookie, and then provide data such as password, name, address, preferred font size, page layout, etc. - this information would all be stored on the database using the username as a key. Subsequently when the site is revisited the server will read the cookie to find the username, and then retrieve all the user's information from the database without it having to be re-entered.

How Long Does a Cookie Last?

The time of expiry of a cookie can be set when the cookie is created. By default the cookie is destroyed when the current browser window is closed, but it can be made to persist for an arbitrary length of time after that.