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Unable to Log Into Your Bank Account? Try These Tips

Joe Keeley Updated 23-01-2020

One of the easiest ways to manage your finances is through your online bank account. Normally it’s straightforward to access your bank account online, but sometimes problems do happen. Perhaps you are seeing an error like ‘online banking is not available to you at this time.’

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Asking yourself “Why can’t I log into my bank account?” We’ve rounded up some tips to hopefully help you resolve it. Many of these tips can also be used for any other site you’re having login troubles with.

Check Your Bank’s Service Status

Before going through any troubleshooting steps, you should first verify that the problem isn’t on your bank’s end. The best method to check this is by looking at your bank’s service status page if they have one.

HSBC service status

Do a web search for “[bank name] service status” and you should find the page. If it doesn’t exist, you could also try looking at the bank’s official social media pages to see if they’ve posted anything there.

Alternatively, use a site like Downdetector. This is where people report problems with websites or services. It also tracks user location, which is helpful if the problem might be local.

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Double Check Your Credentials

Check your caps lock key when signing into your account

Wait! Before you skip this step, just double check that you’re using the right credentials. If you have multiple bank logins, make sure you haven’t got them mixed up. It’s a simple thing to suggest, but it’s surprising how often the problem is an accidental Caps Lock or missed character.

Okay. You’re certain it’s all correct? Let’s continue.

Update Your Browser

Firefox update window

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You should always ensure your web browser is running the latest version. An update can come with new security features, compatibility fixes, and plenty of other goodies that can enhance your browsing experience—and fix any browsing problems you might be having, including login issues.

Your browser should update itself automatically. To check, on Chrome input chrome://settings/help in the address bar and on Firefox go to menu > Help > About Firefox. Alternatively, go to the browser’s official website and download the latest version there.

Disable Your Browser’s Extensions

If you use browser extensions, like ad block or a password manager, they might interfere with the bank’s login systems. They could accidentally hide a form field or intercept the connection and cause an error.

Firefox extensions

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You should disable your browser’s extensions and see if this resolves the problem. If it does, you can enable them one at a time to see which is causing the issue. Once established, ensure the extension is updated or keep it disabled until it’s patched.

To manage your extensions on Chrome, input chrome://extensions/ into the address bar. For Firefox, input about:addons.

Check Your Tracking Protection Settings

Your browser or anti-virus software might be running tracking protection that is too strict.

Firefox privacy settings

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For example, Firefox has Enhanced Tracking Protection to try to stop your activity being followed online. To access it, input about:preferences#privacy into the address bar. Use the Standard setting, which offers protection but still allows for useful cookies, and see if you can log in to the bank now.

You should also check any anti-virus software you have running to see if they have similar settings. You might even want to temporarily disable them to determine if the program is causing the problem.

Clear Your Cookies and Site Data

Every bank website uses cookies. However, an outdated cookie might be causing the login problem.

We have covered how to delete your browser cookies, so you can follow the advice there, but you don’t need to delete everything.

Doing so will log you out of every website, which is inconvenient, and we can sandbox such an environment in the next step anyway.

Firefox manage cookies

Instead, search for your bank’s domain name and delete those specific cookies. While it is likely that they are also using cookies not on their domain name, which will be harder to determine, it’s a good step to try.

In Chrome, you can manage specific site cookies by going to chrome://settings/siteData in the address bar. On Firefox it’s about:preferences#privacy, scroll down to Cookies and Site Data, and click Manage Data.

Try Incognito or Private Mode

Chrome Go Incognito

Incognito mode, or private browsing, is basically using your normal browser with a clean slate. It doesn’t save browsing history or information entered in forms, and importantly it doesn’t bring across your cache or cookies.

This is a good way to determine if the problem with your bank’s login lies within your cache or cookies. To open incognito on Chrome, press Ctrl + Shift + N. To open private browsing on Firefox, press Ctrl + Shift + P.

Try a Different Browser

browsers

Switch to another browser and see if this fixes the problem. The best browsers to use are Chrome or Firefox, so if you use one of those then try the other. You don’t need to permanently switch browser, but it is always good to have a backup installed when problems like this occur.

The reason this can fix the problem is that browsers are not built the same. They might use different standards or have different features. This is why websites can not only look different on other browsers but also function differently too.

Still Broken? Contact Your Bank

If you’re still not able to log into your bank account after performing all of these steps, then it’s more than likely your bank’s fault. Call up the bank, explain the problem, and follow their troubleshooting steps.

Stay safe when doing your banking online. Check out the methods hackers use to access your bank account 5 Methods Hackers Use to Break Into Your Bank Account The risk to your bank account from hackers is real. Here are the ways hackers can gain access to your savings and clear you out. Read More so that you can protect yourself.

Image Credit: Mukumbura

Related topics: Browser Cookies, Browsing History, Money Management, Online Banking, Personal Finance.

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  1. Patricia
    August 28, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    no help for me

  2. joseymiller
    June 25, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    I work on online banking. The tips are rather very helpful to me.

  3. Tony
    March 3, 2016 at 4:01 am

    I tried incognito and I was finally able to log back in my bank account.

  4. Luka
    May 18, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Thank you for the information on how to use incognito window and why you need to clear your browser. Not understanding fully the cogs and wheels of a computer usually leaves me with issues I know absolutely nothing about and the information provided here has probably saved me the expense on paying someone to tell me. I have followed the steps here and it worked. Thanks again

  5. Anthony
    September 24, 2013 at 5:30 am

    I usually live by the philosophy "If something works, and nothing changed (on my end) and now it doesn't work, than it must be them" There are some exceptions, but VERY few.

  6. Kevin White
    September 24, 2013 at 5:01 am

    Before ever attempting to log into your bank account, be ABSOLUTELY SURE it is the bank's web page and not a fake designed to look like the page but is really collecting your log in information to be later abused. Personally, I never use a link in an e-mail sent to me from "the bank" as that is the way many phising exploits work.

  7. Abhishek R
    September 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Seriously changing browser really helps, for me changing from chrome to firefox helps me to log properly in my bank account and also viewing the website properly. Actually the page rendering by chrome was not so smooth but as soon as i changed from chrome to mozilla it worked just fine