Primo (Search@UW) - Troubleshooting Login Problems

This document provides steps for troubleshooting login issues for Primo, which is the system used to access Search@UW or Article Search.


With the exception of UW-Madison, all UW System schools have campus-specific login pages for their local instance of Primo. While authentication is not required to use the Primo search interface (aka Search@UW), logging in provides access to additional features, including the ability to:

  • Request books from other campuses (Universal Borrowing)
  • Set preferences for future sessions
  • Permanently add items and queries to your basket
  • Set alerts for queries
  • Access external licensed resources

The exact location of a login or sign in link for Primo will vary by campus. Most campuses will allow users to access Primo as a 'Guest' (i.e. without authenticating), however, they will not be able to use the functions listed above. Please note that UW-Madison users do not have the option to authenticate into Primo directly; however, they will still have the ability to authenticate via EZProxy in order to access UW-licensed items.

Login Procedures

Each campus offering authentication for Primo will list two separate methods of authentication:

  • The first option listed will use the campus' local credentials, i.e. a campus-based username and password. This is the preferred method of authentication.
  • The second option will ask for a native campus ID number, which translates to a Voyager ID stored in the library system.

Pictured below are two examples from UW-Stevens Point and UW-Stout, respectively:

  1. Selecting the first option will redirect you to your campus Wisconsin Federation login page, which is generated by the campus IdP and bypasses the normal WAYF (Where Are You From) screen. For example, a UWSP student would see the following page after selecting Login with your UWSP Network Account (username and password) on the screen above:

  2. Selecting the second option will redirect you to a more generic page requesting your last name and campus-specific ID number. For example, a UWSP student who selected Login with your ID number and last name would be brought to a page like the following:


Troubleshooting Steps

First, select the method being used to login:

Username-based Login (Wisconsin Federation)

There are two different types of error messages that may appear when logging into Primo:

  • "Your User ID is not valid."

    This error is generated by the Primo application and may be due to missing or incorrect user data. It does not relate to your specific username or password, but rather, the data that is associated with your account and passed to the application upon entering your credentials.

    • If you receive this error message, contact your local campus help desk for assistance. Please note that for the fastest service, we recommend contacting your help desk by phone whenever possible.
  • General login errors such as "Authentication failed," "Invalid username or password," etc.

    The specific error message will vary by campus, but this type of login error is most often due to a username/password mismatch. If you receive a username/password error, try using your credentials to log in to another campus system to which you have access.

    • If you are able to log in to other campus applications using the same credentials and/or you know of other users on your campus experiencing problems logging into Primo, contact the UW-Madison DoIT Help Desk at 608-264-4357 to report the issue, as this may indicate a problem with Wisconsin Federation.

    • If you are unable to use your username and password with other campus applications, there may be a problem with your credentials. See UW System - Login Credentials for Each Campus (Wisconsin Federation) for more information on your campus' standard credentials. If you still cannot log in, contact your local campus help desk for assistance. Please note that for the fastest service, we recommend contacting your help desk by phone whenever possible.

Native Campus ID Login

The credentials stored for this method of authentication are stored by individual campuses. If you encounter an error when attempting to use this method, it may be that you are either not authorized to use Search@UW for your campus, or there may be an issue with your credentials (e.g. your last name is associated with the wrong ID number).

In this case, you should contact the UW System Library Automation Managers at with your full name (first, last, and middle initial), campus name, and a phone number where you can be reached.

Keywordsuw library libraries system catalog search@uw log sign in issues errors invalid username password combination "your user ID is not valid" wisconsin federation campus idp   Doc ID38134
OwnerHelp Desk KB Team .GroupDoIT Help Desk
Created2014-03-03 15:20 CSTUpdated2021-06-22 12:56 CST
SitesDoIT Help Desk, General Library System
Feedback  2   0