Wisconsin Federation - Getting help logging in

This document provides some suggestions for users having trouble logging into an application via Wisconsin Federation.

Overview of the Wisconsin Federation login page

Wisconsin Federation is a service that allows some UW System applications to be accessed by users from various UW System schools by selecting their campus from the WAYF (Where Are You From) page shown below and logging in using their local campus username and password. Directions for logging in via Wisconsin Federation are available at Wisconsin Federation - Logging into an application. This service is currently used by My UW System Portal and the Interactive Reporting Tool. More information about this service can be found in [Link for document 13938 is unavailable at this time.].

The Wisconsin Federation's Where Are You From login page

Troubleshooting Login Issues

  • First, check the DoIT Outages Page and the UW-Madison DoIT Help Desk website for possible known problems. If there are no known issues, try the suggestions below.

  • Next, verify that you are using the correct login credentials for your campus. See UW System - Login credentials for each campus for more information about the credentials for each campus.
    • You will receive an "Authentication Failed" error if the incorrect credentials are used.

  • If you get an Internal Server Error screen when attempting to select your institution:

    • Restart your browser and try again to select your institution. This likely occurred because you tried once to log in but failed, or simply hit the Back button, and then tried again without closing and restarting your browser first.

    • If restarting your browser did not resolve the Internal Server Error, make sure cookies are enabled, restart your browser and try again. For information about browser cookies, see http://kb.wisc.edu/helpdesk/page.php?id=936.
      • If cookies were already enabled for your browser and restarting the browser does not correct the issue, you may need to delete saved browser data. Instructions for this can be found here: Clearing Browser Cache and Cookies. You should also use these instructions to check the options to delete saved password and form data. Restart your browser once more after completing these steps.

  • If you're trying to access a page using a bookmark to a specific place in the application, try using the regular application URL to see whether you can log into the app. Bookmarks like this can be problematic and often will not work.

  • If you are able to select your campus and access your local campus login page, but are encountering an error when attempting to log in:

    • If you receive an "Authentication Failed" error, verify you are using the correct login credentials.

    • If you are using the correct credentials and receive an "Authentication Failed" error, you'll need to call your campus help desk. Tell the help desk agent that you believe you're using the correct credentials, and that the specific error is "Authentication Failed". There is likely a problem between the Federated Login service and your local campus login service.

    • If your local campus login page accepts your username and password (you do not get the Authentication Failed error) but the login to your application does not complete, there is an account problem with the application itself and you need to contact your campus help desk. Failures of this type result in your being left at some kind of page produced by the target application, such as an application login screen, or a blank screen with the application logo, etc.

  • If none of the above attempts solve the problem, and you are still unable to log in, please contact your campus help desk.

Campus-specific considerations regarding credentials


  • Verify that you can log in to other NetID services (such as MyUW or WiscMail). If you are not able to log in to these services, you will need to contact the help desk to have your NetID password reset (contact the UW-Madison Help Desk at 608-264-4357). After the reset try again to access those NetID services.

  • If you are able to log into NetID services but are still unable to log in to the application you were originally trying to access, follow through with the steps in section two above.

Non-Madison Campuses

  • Verify that sufficient time has passed since you were authorized for access to the particular system you're trying to use. It varies between applications and campuses, but it can take up to twenty four hours for login information to be added to some of the pertinent systems. Your help desk will know about any of these time constraints.

  • Check to see whether you can log into other credentialed campus services. If you're unable to log in to other campus applications or are unsure of your username and password, you'll need to contact your campus help desk.

  • If you are able to log in to other campus applications but are unable to log in to the application you were originally trying to access, follow through with the steps in the above section on login errors.

See Also:

Keywords:wisconsin federation shibboleth shibbolleth shiboleth shibolleth wayf idp logging in login log-in accessing connecting uwsa uw system federated identity provider campus help desks assistance help me trouble problems logins forgot username id password   Doc ID:13967
Owner:Help Desk KB Team .Group:DoIT Help Desk
Created:2010-05-10 18:00 CSTUpdated:2021-10-11 13:40 CST
Sites:DoIT Help Desk, MyUW System Portal
Feedback:  40   1075