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Soft Lock-Out Utility

Guide on how to understand and handle the soft lock-out utility

Please ensure that you have already tried following steps 1-3 in "Trouble Logging In? General Troubleshooting" and are still receiving the message when attempting to sign into your UWL accounts: "Incorrect user ID or password. Type the correct user ID and password, and try again."



  1. You are currently off-campus. 
  2. Can't log into any of your accounts like Canvas, Email or WINGS or other UWL Services that require your full UWL email address as the username while off-campus.
  3. You have tried recovering your password with the password reset page at
  4. You have tried logging in again after clearing your "all time" history, cache and cookies, or have tried a private web browser or have tried a different web browser as well. 
  5. In other words, when all else fails, then you are most likely experiencing a soft lockout. 
*More Notes: 
  • You can still be "in a session" or "logged into" one of your accounts and still not be able to access the other. 
    • For example: You currently still have access to your UWL email account, but you cannot log into Canvas due to the "incorrect username/password" message because you have not signed out of your UWL email account completely yet and/or you have not needed to re-authenticate back in yet.
  • This soft lockout can affect any login service that requires your full UWL email address (with the part) and current password.

How to unlock your account: 

  • Please verify you are experiencing all the symptoms above.
  • Please go to our password reset page at to obtain your public IP address found at the bottom of the page next to Your public IP Address is: <your public IP address>. 
  • Please use your personal email to contact the Eagle Help Desk at in the following format: 
    • Subject: Please white-list IP address <your public IP address
    • Body:  Please white-list IP address <your public IP address> for UWL NetID <your UWL NetID>.  
      • *Note: Your NetID is the first part of your UWL email address without the "" part.  
  • Alternatively, please contact the Eagle Help Desk at 608.785.8774 and request that your public IP address be white-listed. Keep in mind, you may be asked to verify yourself first before the ticket is escalated.   

How to access your accounts while you are still experiencing a soft lock-out:

It is still possible to access your UWL email/canvas/organizational accounts while off-campus during a soft lock-out by downloading and connecting to the VPN (Virtual Private Network) on your computer called "Cisco AnyConnect" by logging in at

How does the soft lock-out work?

  • The soft lock-out occurs when your IP address is recognized as being malicious.  
  • This tool is in place to protect our university accounts from "brute force attacks", where an attacker tries to guess a password by continuously sending authentication requests.  
  • The soft lock-out tool restricts access to your account after 6 bad attempts. 
  • Soft lock-outs can be triggered by multiple devices (computers, phones, tablets, etc.) using applications (like Office 365 apps, web browsers with saved or cached passwords, Macs using old keychains for UWL services, etc.) attempting bad login attempts as well. 
  • The soft lock-out, however, only affects services that authenticate through ADFS, which are anything that has you log in with your "organizational account" or uses your full UWL email address and password to login (Canvas, email, Office 365 apps, support.uwlax, Respondus Lockdown Browser, HR portal, etc).  

How to help prevent a soft lock-out in the future:

  • Double check that you are entering in your password correctly when you are attempting to log into your UWL accounts (like email and Canvas), especially when you are at new locations and/or when you are off-campus in general.
  • Clear your web browsers' "all time" history, cache and cookies from time to time and after resetting your password. 
  • Update or clear out any "saved" passwords for your UWL accounts on your device(s), especially after a password reset. 
    • These could include: keychains (Mac-only) that use your credentials for UWL-based services, your web browsers' saved passwords that you use to access UWL-based services, and any saved passwords within UWL applications that are downloaded onto your device (like Office 365). 
  • Use the VPN while working off-campus.

See Also:

Keywords:locked, email, canvas ,locked out, can't access, organizational, organizational account, account, unlock, ip, address, lockout, utility, softlock, soft, lock, white   Doc ID:89062
Owner:David H.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2019-01-14 11:08 CDTUpdated:2022-02-03 15:23 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
Feedback:  1   12