Computer issues and messages

1. How do I make the text larger on your website?

There is an increase-text-size button on the left side of your browser. This button enables you to change back and forth between the increased text size and the normal text size.

Most browsers, including Internet Explorer and Netscape, have a function that will allow the user to increase the size of text or fonts on the screen. Consult the browser help feature for information on how to increase or decrease the text size on the screen.

If the Web page you are reading is in PDF, adjusting the browser text size will not modify the size of the text in the document. The Adobe Acrobat PDF reader provides a "Zoom Tool" feature (magnifying glass icon with a plus or minus sign) that allows users to adjust the size of the display. Select this tool, and click on the document to increase or decrease the document display size.

2. Can you explain what is meant by "minimum computer requirements"?

For an explanation please go to minimum computer requirements.

3. My computer crashed/froze after I filled out the form. Did the information go through?

If you did not receive a transaction confirmation page or number, the information did not go through. You will likely have to fill out the form again.

4. How can I tell what browser version I have on my computer?

Most browsers have a "Help" option on the top tool bar that contains an "About" feature which lists the browser information.

5. What are cookies and how are they used on this site?

Cookies are small files that are placed on your computer to link information from one screen to another while you are using a website or online service. For example, we use cookies to remember which language you prefer to use during your online services session. The cookies we use do not collect any personal information (such as your Social Insurance Number or date of birth). They do not take any information from your computer. The cookies are automatically deleted from your computer when you close your browser.

6. How do I turn on cookies so I can use the online service?

In most cases, a browser's default setting is set to accept cookies. If the cookies setting has been turned off, you will need to locate the cookie options and choose one that will allow your computer to accept cookies. For instructions for turning on cookies, go to minimum computer requirements or use your browser's "Help" feature.

7. How do I clear my cache?

To protect your security, we recommend that you clear your browser's cache and close down your browser after you have finished with your online session.

The procedures to clear the cache are unique to each browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape, etc.), so we recommend that you refer to your browser's help documentation on memory/disk caching.

8. If I use "ad-blocking" software, will it interfere with my ability to use an online service?

If you are using ad-blocking software, you may experience some difficulty with our applications. You may need to disable the software. For assistance, please contact your service provider and/or your software manufacturer.

9. Why am I having difficulty viewing the entire content of your page?

Our sites are best viewed when your browser is maximized. If your browser is not maximized, you may not be able to see everything on the page. To maximize (or enlarge) the size of your browser window, select the middle of the three small buttons in the extreme upper-right corner (the one with the square on it). To de-maximize it, select the same button again.

You may also have difficulty seeing everything on the page if there are additional toolbars along the edges of the display, or within the browser window. To move these toolbars, select the toolbar with your mouse and drag the toolbar to another location on the page.

10. Why did I receive an error message?

These are common Internet error messages:

  • 403 - Forbidden – You are trying to access a page that you are not allowed to view.
  • 404 - Not Found – You are using an incorrect URL or we are experiencing technical difficulties.
    • Try again in a few minutes. If you get the same message, please contact us.
  • 500 - Server Error – The server may be unavailable.
    • Try again in a few minutes. If you get the same message, please contact us.
  • Unable to Connect – If you are able to connect to other sites, you may be using an incorrect URL. Please go to the Service Canada home page and select the service you want.
  • Too Much Network Traffic – This indicates that there are too many users accessing the service at the same time. Please try again later.
  • The Requested URL Was Not Found – If you are able to connect to other sites, you may be using an incorrect URL. Please go to the Service Canada home page and select the service you want.

If the above suggestions do not help, please contact your Internet service provider.

11. I have a message saying that I need an Acrobat Reader for a PDF file. What is Acrobat Reader and how can I get it?

If you wish to access the PDF files on this website, you may need to install a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader software (if you don't already have it on your computer). A free download of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available online. After installation, you may have to close your browser or reboot your computer for Acrobat Reader to work.

12. I have a message saying that my page has expired. What does this mean and what do I have to do?

This message may appear when you use your browser's "Back" button. It means that the information you are trying to view is no longer available or the session has expired due to 15 minutes or more of inactivity. Try using your browser's "Refresh" button; if you get a message telling you that the page cannot be refreshed select "Retry." If the browser still does not allow you back into the online service, you will have to log in again.

13. I received a message saying that my JavaScript is not enabled. What do I have to do?

You must enable JavaScript in your browser in order to use the online services. For instructions on how to enable JavaScript, go to minimum computer requirements.

14. Why did I not receive a confirmation message that I have successfully logged out of My Service Canada Account?

The reason you did not receive a confirmation message is because you closed the login window before logging out of the service. The login window always appears on your status bar while your session is active. If the login page is closed before you logout of the online service, the logout confirmation message will not be displayed even though your session has successfully ended. Always logout of the online service before closing your browser.

15. I received a "We are temporarily experiencing technical difficulties" message. What does this mean?

You have received this message because we are experiencing technical difficulties with our servers or databases. The problem will be resolved shortly. Please try again later.