Fix PayPal not logging you in when making payments

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For a while know I have experienced a frustrating issue on PayPal that prevented me from logging in to the service to make payments when other services redirected me to it.

When you select PayPal as a payment method on third-party sites, you are usually redirected to the PayPal website where you are asked to sign in to your account before you get a chance to allow the transfer of funds to the third-party service.

This happens even if you are signed in to your PayPal account, for instance in another browser tab.

The issue that I experienced was that while authentication worked, PayPal would never leave the “logging you in” screen. It would simply display logging you in for several minutes before changing the part of the screen the message is displayed on to a blank page.

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I thought at first that this was caused by a virtual private network that I was connected to but that was not the case as the procedure would stop at the same point when I disconnected from the VPN.

What made this even more frustrating was that payments worked at times, even for services that did not work before.

Fixing the issue

It took me a while to figure out how to repair the issue. I’m using security keys when authenticating with PayPal to improve security.

PayPal supports several options including receiving keys as messages on a mobile phone or using hardware that generates keys locally.

Anyway, I decided to disable these protective measures just for a test, to see if they were responsible for the issue that I was experiencing.

This was indeed the case. The payment that was stuck on the “logging you in” screen went through right away after disabling the security keys.

paypal security key

I decided then to enable the keys again, and test another payment to find out if it would go through. Surprisingly, it went through as well, and all payments that I made in the meantime did go through as well.

Here is how you manage the security keys on PayPal.

  1. Sign in to your PayPal account directly.
  2. Select profile (the cogwheel icon).
  3. On the next page, select Security underneath your name.
  4. Select “Security key” on the page that loads.
  5. This loads a page listing all security keys and their state.
  6. Select those that are active, and deactivate them. Note: To activate them again, you need to enter a key or multiple keys sent to the device or generated by it.

Then make a payment by following payment links on third-party sites to PayPal. The payment should go through in this case. If it does, go back to your security key management interface afterwards and enable one or multiple keys again.

Payments made afterwards should go through as well, at least that was the case on my end.


Article Name

Fix PayPal not logging you in when making payments


Martin Brinkmann


Find out how to fix logging in issues on PayPal.

About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand. You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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