Why can't I access library resources from off-campus?

Answered By: Sarah Cairns
Last Updated: Dec 20, 2021     Views: 117

When using the library's website off-campus to find the electronic resource you want (database, journal, e-book, etc.), you will be prompted to log in with your MacID credentials when you click the link.

I entered my MacID when prompted on the library website and it isn't working. Why not?

Commonly effective troubleshooting tips:

  • Clear your browser cache or try again in a different browser (i.e. Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.)
  • MacID login credentials are case sensitive (make sure your caps lock key is turned off)

Are your MacID login credentials working elsewhere (i.e. Mosaic, Avenue to Learn, MacMail, etc.)?

If the answer is NO:

Visit the University Technology Services (UTS) MacID web page for suggestions on resolving common MacID issues. These include information about how to: 

  • Activate your MacID
  • Reset your MacID password

If you require further MacID assistance, contact UTS.

If the answer is YES:

  • Are you new to McMaster? You will automatically receive a MacID when your relationship to the university has been identified. There may be a short delay between when your MacID is assigned by the university and activated for library use
  • Did you recently graduate from McMaster? Alumni library access is different than student access. Visit Alumni Library Access for more information and to submit an Alumni E-Resources Application
  • Are you a recently retired faculty member?  Please connect with to have your electronic access reinstated
  • Are you a current McMaster student, faculty or staff? If you recently switched roles on campus – your access may be different. Please connect with for further assistance
  • Are you trying to access resources from mainland China? You may need to be connected to a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to successfully access electronic resources through the Library website - visit this FAQ to learn more
  • If you are accessing resources from a bookmark or a link in an email, try searching from the Library homepage as your starting point instead
  • Is it just one specific resource that you're unable to access?
    • Temporary outages may occur; clear your cache and try again later, and/or report the issue through our Off-Campus Access Problem Report form
    • Some eBooks are limited to a certain number of simultaneous users, it should be indicated on the item’s catalogue page. If that’s the case, please try again later
  • Are you seeing an error message, e.g. Error 502 “Bad gateway” or Error 400 “Bad request”
    • If the error was returned when trying to use 'get it!', visit this FAQ for more information
    • Try a different device, browser or WiFi network 
    • Try updating or disabling any extensions or security software 
    • Try cycling your router to reset the connection (i.e. turn it off, and then on again)
  • Are you seeing a message stating that your account is blocked?
    • You will need to contact UTS to reset your MacID password
  • Are you experiencing an issue with connecting remotely to a library computer?


Visit Off-Campus Access for more detailed information regarding remote access to library resources.

Still experiencing a problem? You can notify us of issues through our Off-Campus Access Problem Report form

Still have a question?