Soft Lock-Out Utility

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


  • You are currently off-campus 
  • Can't log in to Canvas while off-campus 
  • Can't log in to Email while off-campus 
  • Can log in to Wings while off-campus  

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 <your public IP address
    • Body:  Please white-list <your public IP address> for UWL NetID <your UWL NetID> and verify with your date of birth. 
      • *Note: Your NetID is the first part of your UWL email address without the 
  • 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 lock-out by using a Virtual Desktop

  • Please go to
  • Select "VMware Horizon HTML Access". 
  • Enter your netID and password.  Select "Login". 
  • Select "General Desktop". 
  • Your web browser is now acting as a campus computer.  Wait until you see a normal desktop in your web browser window.  This may take several minutes. 
  • In your web browser window, open Google Chrome.  Go to 
  • You will now have access to any locked-out accounts. 


Or you can download and use 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 
  • The soft lock-out, however, only affects services that authenticate through ADFS, which are anything that has you log in with your "organizational account" (Canvas, Email, Support.uwlax, 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 or Virtual Desktop while working off campus.

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:Brandon H.Group:UW-La Crosse
Created:2019-01-14 11:08 CDTUpdated:2020-09-17 13:40 CDT
Sites:UW-La Crosse
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