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Log-In Problems

Since yesterday, I've had to sign in every time I come back to the Chow site. It's not remembering my log-ins at all. What's happening?

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  1. I've been having the same problem.

    1. Me too. Not every time I return but several times in the past couple of days.


      1. Me too! I thought it was just me.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pat Hammond

          The problem continues. I'm on a new MacBook , using Fire Fox. The ticky-box is checked, but name and password needs to be filled in again.

        2. Just checking -- are you all hitting the 'remember me' ticky-box when you login?

          3 Replies
          1. re: Jacquilynne

            Yes, I am. It does remember my screen name but have still had to log in.

            Edited to correct: It shows my screen name as a popdown when I click on the user name field. It doesn't show until I do that.


            1. re: Jacquilynne

              Oddly, moi aussi!

              I just this week had to replace my laptop due to a painful crash and thought the issue was that. Oh yes, I am checking that tiny box like crazy each time.
              I also get, it seems randomly one of two login screens, One is a small box and one is a page login. Either way, I check remember me and it hasn't.

                1. me 2 ! trouble !
                  And YES, I HAVE been clicking on the "remember me" ....
                  guess it does'nt wanna remember me, lol ...

                  1. Me too. I've had no changes in equipment, the remember me box is checked. Usually this only happens every week or so, now it is almost every time I return to CH.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: meatn3

                      Glad to see I'm not the only one. And I don't think I've ever been remembered when I do log in, even tho it's always checked.

                    2. Can you all try removing your existing chow.com cookies, and then logging back in with Remember Me ticked and see if that helps?

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                        Sorry to sound stupid, but how do you removed the cookies?

                        1. re: mnosyne

                          In Firefox, select Tools --> Options and then go to the Privacy Tab.

                          Choose 'Show Cookies', and then enter 'chow.com' in that search panel. It should bring up a list of all your CHOW-related cookies, which you can then select and delete.

                          If people need instructions for other browsers, let me know, and I'll look them up or figure it out.

                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                            Working with Chrome, cleared cookie, shut off laptop went out for a few hours just came back and was "forgotten"

                            So had to re log in. *sigh*

                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                              Deleted cookies, so far, so good. Thanks.

                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                I don't see "Options" in the pull-down menu under "Tools". I'm on a Mac, if that makes any difference.

                                    1. re: Jacquilynne

                                      The instructions worked, but it didn't fix the problem. I was just asked to log in again.

                                        1. re: GilaB

                                          I still have to log a couple of times a day. I haven't noticed if it's every single time I come to the site.

                              2. re: Jacquilynne

                                I updated this browser (IE) a few days ago, including deleting cookies and clearing cache, and have been experiencing this login problem all this week, Remember Me checked.

                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                  Nope tried again and still "forgotten".

                                2. I've had this problem over the last day or so, but I had just run an Mozilla security update, and thought that maybe *that* was the issue (it did start happening after the update). I'll try deleting the cookies though, and see if that's the fix.

                                  1. Moi aussi, removed firefox cookies. Now will see if helps

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. Even having cleaned & scrubbed temp files/cookies and the like; even switch browsers the log in problem persists. All this week, I've experienced the same issues as fellow hounds posting here.

                                      1. I've had the same problem for at least six days. We were out of town and on our laptop, and I initially ascribed it to that laptops older operating system. (Even with remember me)

                                        Got home, back to my new computer and found the same problem.

                                        But it's not just this site. About half the places I go have the same lack of rememberin' me problem. Not all of them, just some of them. (Does it help you to know this?) The rest know me well and remember me and I haven't done anything different with them.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: shallots

                                          Interesting that a lot of new computer users are having the problem (although mine's about 3 months old now).

                                          Not having it with other sites, FYI.

                                        2. Tossed my cookies yesterday, but still having the log-in problem!

                                          1. I've been having this problem for a couple of days now--thought it was just me! I've deleted the cookies and that SEEMS to help, but I won't know for sure until tomorrow; before, it would remember me SOMETIMES but not always.

                                            Old computer--no changes.

                                            1. *** NOTE TO CHOW.COM STAFF: You probably want to look into this! ***

                                              Here's the problem:

                                              When you log in, chow.com sets a cookie named "cs_sig" that appears to contain authentication data. When that cookie expires, you have to log back in again. For some reason, this cookie has an expiration of only eight hours. As a result, you have to log in every eight hours! I suspect this must be due to a recent change on Chowhound's systems. This cookie (or other authentication token) probably had a much more generous expiration (30 days is typical) until a few days ago.

                                              Hopefully CH staff will read this and sort it out. It affects all new CH users immediately, and will begin to affect more and more existing users as their old cookies expire (or if they clear their cookies or use a new browser).

                                              Hope this helps!

                                              21 Replies
                                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                                I love that you cracked this mystery, Peri!

                                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                                  That sounds like the right answer! Nothing has changed on my system recently, so it seems like it must be theirs. Fingers crossed!

                                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                                    Thanks--sounds like the right answer to this problem! I had to re-login this morning again and immediately went to this thread.

                                                    1. re: Peripatetic

                                                      I think CH ought to offer you a job, Peripatetic. Super sleuthing!

                                                      1. re: Peripatetic

                                                        That time fits what I've seen.

                                                        I am in awe of Peripatetic's skills.

                                                        1. re: Peripatetic

                                                          Same problem here. I hope that when Engineering comes back from the weekend, they will take note of Peripatetic's observation. However, I logged in only a couple of hours ago, and then came back just now, and had to log in once again. So maybe there's more than just an 8-hour cookie thing going here.

                                                          1. re: Steve Green

                                                            You must have those Chinese cookies installed. 2 hours later and your computer is hungry for more... ;-D>

                                                            1. re: Steve Green

                                                              "I logged in only a couple of hours ago, and then came back just now, and had to log in once again."
                                                              Were you prompted for your username and password both times? Or just the second time?

                                                                1. re: Steve Green

                                                                  Hmm. It might be worth checking when the "cs_sig" cookie is scheduled to expire right after you log in next time. For me it's eight hours. While testing I created a new account, and the expiration period for it was also eight hours. However the server might set different expiration periods for different users or sessions based on unknown criteria.

                                                            2. re: Peripatetic

                                                              Nice job figuring our what is causing this extremely annoying issue. Something the Chow folks were either unable or unwilling to do. Now, let's see how long till they bother to fix it.

                                                              1. re: Bossa_Nova

                                                                I've been on the other side. When you have a large user base it's practically impossible to treat every user-reported issue as a potential service problem. Usually it takes multiple reports before you recognize it may be _your_ problem, especially with a problem like this where (initially) it affects only a small number of users.

                                                                1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                  Except that this "small number of users" may be just the tip of the iceberg, as it doesn't include those who have the problem but don't make it over to this thread for various reasons. Seems to me that based on the number of people citing the identical problem on this thread, CH does indeed have a service problem here. At least, that's what it looks like to my admittedly untrained eye.

                                                                  BTW, "cs.sig" doesn't show up on my browser's cookie list, FWIW. (FF3.6.15)

                                                                  1. re: Steve Green

                                                                    > Except that this "small number of users" may be just the tip of the iceberg

                                                                    Agreed. I was careful to say "where (initially) it affects only a small number of customers". It seems to be affecting more and more users as their older authentication cookies expire, but several days ago there were probably too few reports to connect the dots.

                                                                    > BTW, "cs.sig" doesn't show up on my browser's cookie list

                                                                    The cookie is "cs_sig" (with an underscore).

                                                                    1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                      "The cookie is "cs_sig" (with an underscore)."

                                                                      My mistake. "cs_sig" doesn't appear either.

                                                                      1. re: Steve Green

                                                                        What cookies do you see for chow.com?

                                                                        1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                          Oops, silly me. There are actually 16 cookies for chow.com, including the aforementioned "cs_sig" ., which btw does indeed show an expiration time appx 8 hours after my last login. You probably don't still want to know what chow.com cookies are showing, right? :o) Sorry.

                                                              2. re: Peripatetic

                                                                I'm having the same problem but don't have a cs_sig cookie for chow.com (several other cookies, some expiring today).

                                                                1. re: Malcolm Ruthven

                                                                  You might try clearing all the cookies associated with chow.com and chowhound.com and then logging into chow.com again. If you still don't see it, I'd be curious to know what cookies you do see.

                                                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                    I did that and lo and behold there was cs_sig, set to expire in eight hours.

                                                              3. +1 for this issue. Very non user friendly.

                                                                1. This has been happening to me as well, for several days now.
                                                                  Same computer, nothing new on my home front.

                                                                  1. Yep, me too but not on my MacBook just my ipad. It's making me crazy!! Yes I've ticked the "remember me" box to no avail!!

                                                                    1. Same here. Usually when I've shut my computer down for the night and log on the next day. The checkbox for "Remember Me" *is* checked. Today, I've had to log in THREE times. I've cleared all cookies using CCleaner, and yet it still happens.

                                                                      1. I've been having the same problem for a number of days. Yes, it's annoying, as I try to check CH several times a day. I hope "strength in (reporting) numbers" helps get it straightened out.

                                                                        1. Yes, me too, for at least the past week, but it's been worse this weekend (three logins in the past day).

                                                                          1. I haven't logged off the site. I haven't changed a thing on my computer. I have a notebook that is a year old. I have been logged off while reading a page a number of times today.

                                                                            1. I just felt like chiming in to add to the numbers of people suffering this same fate. Peripatetic seems to have nailed it with the observation of that specific Chow cookie that's set to expire in eight hours. This hassle makes me not want to read anything on Chowhound until this is fixed.

                                                                              1. Same issue, on Safari on my phone. No idea how to check or clear cookies on this.

                                                                                1. (Waving hand) Me, too; what's up with this, please?

                                                                                  1. Happened multiple times all weekend as well as today and never has happened before unless all computers have been shut down.

                                                                                    I have changed nothing and apparently many others haven't either. The locked 'instructions' telling me to fix it on my end are not the problem.

                                                                                    I'll come back when it is fixed. Until then will deal with more user friendly sites.

                                                                                    1. Maybe if less time was spent deleting posts and more time fixing site bugs...

                                                                                      4 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Gabatta

                                                                                        I'm having to log on every few seconds or so this a.m., plus getting a number of "oops this page is not available" messages. Wouldn't you know, I picked today to try to organize my eating itinerary for my upcoming SF trip :-(. I seem to get logged off whenever I navigate to a new page/thread, and sometimes I can't do anything eg reply even when I appear to be properly logged in. It took me multiple tries to get and reply to this thread, in fact. Sigh.

                                                                                        1. re: grayelf

                                                                                          Had to log in again to leave this response. I'm having the same issues as grayelf. Having to log in a few times a day, getting the page not avail message, etc. Let's see if this message even posts!

                                                                                        2. re: Gabatta

                                                                                          To clarify, since not everyone realizes this, but the moderation is done mainly by volunteers, while programming is done by the Engineering staff. The two groups have no overlap, and time spent on one doesn't affect time spent on the other.

                                                                                          There is a problem ticket open on this issue with Engineering, and I'm hopeful they'll be able to resolve it soon.

                                                                                          1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                            Thanks for checking back in, Jacquilynne. We all hope it'll be fixed as well! :-)

                                                                                        3. Just another "me too" post. Using a Macbook with Safari...

                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                            Another "me too" post. Also using a Macbook with Safari. I thought I could get around this by keeping one window open for just Chowhound, but that hasn't worked. I come back to the window after a couple of hours and have to log in again. It's making me nuts! It's been going on for several days now.

                                                                                            1. re: woodleyparkhound

                                                                                              Another me too, iMac and Safari. Nice to know I'm not the only one.

                                                                                          2. Good to know. Thought my computer was acting up.

                                                                                            1. My sign-in screen looks very different now. It was always a small pop up bubble, with the initial page darkened in the background, but now it seems to be a separate (or, rather, much larger) screen. Twice, today, I've had this. It could be part of the troubleshooting process, but thought I would mention it, just in case it isn't.

                                                                                              1. Still happening... I hope Engineering gets around to actually *doing* something about it

                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: zerlina

                                                                                                  "I hope Engineering gets around to actually *doing* something about it"

                                                                                                  They are trying, but they keep getting logged off in the middle of their attempts to fix the problem...

                                                                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                    Thanks for a big chuckle.

                                                                                                2. Much worse today. It logged me out, without notice, when I changed boards. I had not navigated away from the site and had been on for under half an hour. I noticed that none of the posts indicated "new" and sure enough, no longer logged in.

                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                  1. re: meatn3

                                                                                                    To add to the "it's getting worse". I'm now getting logged out in the middle of replies and posts. I hit the "post my reply" button and the icon spins and spins. Refreshing the page I find I've been logged.out.

                                                                                                    It would be nice to know if this is an arror being worked on or Chow wanted to do this. I can only guess the latter. Since the login cn the cookie is set to eight hours, which seems pretty specifc, perhaps Chow wants people logging in every day.

                                                                                                  2. Ugh, just another 'me too' post- can confirm that deleting cookies didn't do anything lasting for me, either, and definitely not using a new computer or browser.

                                                                                                    1. maybe not related, but when i tried to login from my husband's macbook air, the chowhound sign in box was halfway covered by a cbs ad for ncaa march madness -- and had NO WAY to get rid of it. i closed the page, tried a new page, and this time it was a similar ad for chow itself, to see if you want to "self-advertise"(?).

                                                                                                      anyhow, there was no corner of either ad to click to get rid of it. then i closed those pages, and tried a third time, and the box came up uninhibited by an ad.

                                                                                                      1. I too have been having this problem for several days (including just now), not a new computer.

                                                                                                        1. Sure seems like a lot of us are using Macs- wonder if it might be Mac specific, or maybe Mac people are just quality eaters...

                                                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                                            I'm a PC user both at home and work, and it's happening for us as well.

                                                                                                            1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                                              PC Chrome user here.

                                                                                                              Edit to add - Oddly enough the problem does NOT occur when using Firefox/3.6.12 (with NoScript).

                                                                                                            2. I've been having these problems for a few days now as well. Occasionally I even get logged out when switching boards. I'm also on a Mac, using Safari.

                                                                                                              1. Add me to the list as of last night and again this morning.

                                                                                                                1. Another me too. Also want to note that it's happening on my iPhone as well, in case that's helpful for troubleshooting.

                                                                                                                  1. I'm continuing to feel very fortunate that I'm not having any issues what-so-ever on my MacBook.

                                                                                                                    As I mentioned up-thread, this was only happening when I tried to access Chowhound on my ipad. I've now given up trying to use Chowhound unless I'm at home on my MacBook as it was far too inconvenient having to log in so frequently.

                                                                                                                    1. Thank you for all of the reports, folks.

                                                                                                                      Engineering has just put in a fix for this problem. Your current cookie will expire one more time, and then the next time you're prompted to log in should be the last time you're prompted to login for quite awhile, as long as you choose the 'remember me' box when logging in.

                                                                                                                      -- Jacquilynne, Community Manager for Chowhound

                                                                                                                      24 Replies
                                                                                                                      1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                        Thank you. I just forced a log out/log in procedure and set the timer. I'm curious how long a log in lasts.

                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                          The cookie now has an expiration period of two weeks. Yay!

                                                                                                                          (Personally, I'd vote for something closer to 30 days.)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                                                                            Thanks Peri, I noted it. I want to see if it holds true.

                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                              You're right to be cautious. The longevity of the cookie isn't the only thing that controls the duration of a login session.

                                                                                                                              1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                                                                                Exactly my thought Peri.

                                                                                                                                And, given that the log in/log out issue was reported over a weekend coverage, I think the turn around from all was excellent. Thank you Engineering, CHT & Jacq.

                                                                                                                        2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                          Sorry for that bug. As Jacquilynne mentioned, the problem should be fixed now. Here are the rules for how long your login should last:

                                                                                                                          "Remember me" checked - 2 weeks
                                                                                                                          No "remember me" - 8 hours or until you close your browser (whichever comes first)

                                                                                                                          If you see behavior outside of those times, please let us know.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                            Thanks for the fix and for letting us know what to expect!


                                                                                                                            1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                              So you're the cat who puts out the fires...

                                                                                                                              1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                                Great, and thanks! I came to this thread because the issue had been driving me nuts (I just got logged off in the middle of posting).

                                                                                                                                1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                                  Sorry to report that it is not fixed for Chrome. I even chucked all my cookies and allowed them to reset after logging in with Remember Me box ticked - still asking for a login for each session.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                    Do I need to allow third party cookies to be set? Still having problems on Chrome.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                        I am still being asked for my password (yes, 'Remember Me' is ticked), Chrome only. All's well with Firefox.

                                                                                                                                        I've deleted cookies three times now and closed my browser countless times. Each time I return I'm asked for my password.

                                                                                                                                        Any other Chrome users still having problems?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                            I've been ok on chrome-- had to log in once after the fix was announced, and that was it

                                                                                                                                          2. re: MplsM ary

                                                                                                                                            I had to wipe all user application info, uninstall and re-install Chrome. A bit extreme. just to change cookie behavior but it worked.

                                                                                                                                            I suspect a cookie handling extension that I disabled but must have been interfering nonetheless.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                                          Why the two week limit? Not one other forum I visit has this restriction...perhaps you can let us know why there's such a short window?

                                                                                                                                          1. re: deckape

                                                                                                                                            I asked Engineering about this, and they said it's set that way so that if someone hijacks your cookies, they won't have control of your account forever -- just until the cookies expire.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                              gosh, i didn't even know that cookies could be hijacked!

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                Yes, it's common security practice for websites to require a login password to be entered every so often, although most sites I've seen do so every 30 days, rather than 14. I didn't know about cookies being hijacked, but there are other ways in which a login can be taken over and used by someone else - computers can be stolen, people can have passwords remembered on a public computer such as at a public library, etc.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                                  I happen to agree that 30 days would be better then two weeks, but I've raised what I perceive to be a larger issue in a new thread:


                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Peripatetic

                                                                                                                                                    +1 for the 30 days. Better yet make it 90!

                                                                                                                                                    I honestly don't think session expiry help that much when you have keychains and such in a computer (using a Mac). There are other ways to get into an account. In addition to that these account don't hold vital information therefore, even though the risk exists, the impact is not as devastating as a banking or purchasing website.

                                                                                                                                            2. re: Jacquilynne

                                                                                                                                              Thanks very much, Jacquilynne....AND Engineering!

                                                                                                                                            3. Enginnering wins one for all of us, hopefully. Maybe he/she/they might know how much this is appreciated.

                                                                                                                                              1. Seems to be working again- thank you!

                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Clarkafella

                                                                                                                                                  I haven't had a problem with logging in but the newsletter I rec'd in my email is blank? I all get is the Chowhound header. Anyone else?

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: 02putt

                                                                                                                                                    Both my receipe of the day and today's LA newsletter look fine to me. Which one do you get?

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: 02putt

                                                                                                                                                      This happened to me this week, with the home cooking digest, BUT it also happened a week ago with an email from another trusted contact. So, I think the bug is in my system, not chow's. I just hit either 'reply' or 'forward', and then I can view it just fine.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Looks like the cookie fix worked. My expiry date is now April 6, and I haven't had to log in for 2 days. Thanks Peri and Engineering.

                                                                                                                                                    1. All is good now. Thank you, Engineering, for fixing this!!

                                                                                                                                                      1. Unfortunately, even with the "remember me" checked, I just had to log in.

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                          eta: NJ experienced a winter ice storn, last night-I think we had a power surge here, re logging was related to that.

                                                                                                                                                        2. Thanks for fixing this! All working fine now.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Seemed fixed yesterday. Today I've signed in three times in the last two minutes.

                                                                                                                                                            1. I'm still having problems. The login box is coming up under the ad in the banner. It is difficult to login. I can't see the fields I'm typing in because the ad is ontop of it. I got lucky logging in this time.

                                                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Bluebird

                                                                                                                                                                I am having this problem as well. Very poor website design and ad placement.

                                                                                                                                                              2. Once again. Signed in to look at posts. Half hour later, had to sign in again. During this session, I've had to sign in twice more, so far.

                                                                                                                                                                1. I'm getting logged out really frequently again. Also, is the Remember Me button supposed to do something? Because it never has done anything at all on either computer I regularly use (PC, Chrome).

                                                                                                                                                                  6 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                    I'm not having login problems but remember me has NEVER worked on my Mac.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                      Seriously, can someone explain what the Remember Me button is there for, or why it doesn't work? It's so frustrating to have to log on over and over.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                        You're not using Google Chrome by any chance are you?

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: JasmineG

                                                                                                                                                                            I've noticed that Chrome will automatically log me out of most (all?) of my accounts on various sites when I close the browser window. I assume that it is meant to be a browser security feature. This unfortunately suggests that the frequent log-outs cannot be addressed from this end, and I have not been able to find any settings in Chrome that will prevent it from the client side.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Engineering

                                                                                                                                                                              See, I was assuming that you meant that on Chrome the Remember Me button is broken, especially since others have asked about that. I don't get logged out of most sites on Chrome, so I'm not sure if it's a browser issue.