Frequently Asked Questions

Content section: 

FAQ v2.0

Questions? Ask Us!

Does the browser have to accept even third-party cookies?

Yes. For the duration of your proxy session, your browser will need to accept all cookies, in order to ensure normal operation and prevent unauthorized access to licensed resources.

If you have configured your browser to block third-party cookies, you may see an error message from the proxy indicating you need to enable cookies, or you may experience unexpected failures because requests for javascript, stylesheets, or images were disallowed.

If you're concerned about the privacy implications of allowing all cookies, please consider the following approaches:

  • Configure your browser to delete cookies on exit, and exit at the end of each web browsing session. You can also delete cookies manually whenever you like. Here are instructions for Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Safari for iPad.
  • Use a different browser when you access licensed resources. Configure it to use the proxy, and to accept all cookies.
  • In a browser that supports profiles, like Firefox, configure one profile for proxy use with all cookies allowed, and one for other use.
  • Instead of the proxy server, use the VPN (Virtual Private Network) system.

Can I access online Library resources using my iPhone or iPad?

Yes, as well as on many other other smartphones and internet-enabled handhelds, but you will usually need to to configure your mobile browser to the Library's Proxy Server. Note: You must be using WiFi to connect to the Library Proxy Server and you must repeat these steps for each WiFi network to which you connect. On the iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Select Wi-Fi.
  3. Select the Wi-Fi Network to which you are connected.
  4. In the Wi-Fi Networks window, tap on the arrow to the right of your Wi-Fi network name.
  5. Your IP Address selection should be DHCP.
  6. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen to HTTP Proxy.
  7. Select Auto.
  8. In the URL text box, enter:
    http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/proxy.pac

    Be sure to include "http://", and do not insert any empty spaces before or after the URL.

  9. If you're using an iPad, your software keyboard is probably still visible. Tap on the bottom right key to hide the keyboard and save the proxy URL setting.
  10. Go back to the home screen and open your web browser. When you come to a UC- or UCB-licensed resource, you will be asked for your CalNet login.

To configure your laptop off-campus or your desktop web browser, read our proxy setup instructions.

How do I remove the Library proxy from my browser?

If you have graduated, or are otherwise no longer affilliated with UC Berkeley, but continue to be prompted for your CalNet ID when trying to access certain online resources, you may need to remove the proxy server from your browser settings.

To turn off the UC Berkeley Library proxy:

  1. Select the setup instructions for your browser and operating system from the Library Proxy Server page.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the instructions and look for the heading, To turn off this setting.
  3. Follow the steps there to reset your browser to no longer use the UC Berkeley Library Proxy Server.

Why does the proxy server reject my username and password?

If you are getting prompted over and over again to enter your username and password, make sure you're using the right username and password!

If you are logging in with a CalNet ID:

  • Make sure that the "Caps Lock" key on your keyboard is not in effect.
  • Test whether your CalNet ID is still valid and log in.
  • Note: To protect your privacy on a shared computer, quit the web browser when your session is finished.

If you are logging in with a library PIN:

  • Make sure that you are using the number printed on your current UCB Library Card or Cal 1 Card.
  • If needed, reset your PIN by clicking on the "Forgot your PIN or don't have a PIN?" link on the Login to My OskiCat screen.
  • Make sure that the email address is the one associated with your Library account. If you're not sure which email address you use for this purpose, log into My OskiCat and use the address displayed there.

If your username and password were accepted but you see a message such as "Proxy authorization failed", your Library privileges may have expired or your affiliation with UC Berkeley may not warrant access to the proxy server.

Only UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff, and some other individuals affiliated with the University, are eligible to use the proxy server. If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Library services, please contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library (510-642-3403).

Who is eligible to use the proxy server?

Eligibility is governed by our license agreements with the vendors of electronic resources. These typically stipulate that the Library can permit off-campus access to authorized users only.

Authorized users:

  • Current UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff
  • Continuing UC Berkeley students who, although unregistered, are in good standing and working towards a degree
  • UC Berkeley emeritus professors and retired academic staff
  • UCOP (University of California Office of the President) staff with valid UC Berkeley library cards
  • UC Extension students with valid UC Berkeley library cards (must be a California resident and apply for the card in person)
  • UC Extension faculty with valid UC Berkeley library cards.
  • Visiting scholars and post-doctoral fellows who are registered with the Visiting Scholars and Postdoc Affairs office.

Off-campus access via the proxy server is not available to alumni, to former employees, to retired non-academic staff, to persons unofficially or only loosely affiliated with UC Berkeley, to associates of other University of California campuses, to those who have purchased a UC Berkeley Library Card, or to the public at large. Please see the Library Proxy Server page for details.

If you have questions concerning your eligibility for Library services, please contact the Privileges Desk in Doe Library (510-642-3403).

However, anyone may come into the Library and use these resources through the "Research Access" option on our public computers.

How do I access a URL that begins with https?

Browsers configured to use the proxy will give an error message such as "Proxy Server Refused Connection" or "Internet Explorer unable to open webpage" when you try to access a resource URL that starts with "https". If you encounter this error, please try accessing a different resource whose URL does NOT begin with "https" (such as the Oxford English Dictionary). You will be asked to log into the proxy. After you've logged in, please access the resource with the "https" URL again. Subsequent access to "https" resources within the same browser session should not trigger this error.

Alternative: use the Virtual Private Network (VPN).

Can a laptop configured with a static UC Berkeley IP use the proxy?

Laptops which are configured with a static UC Berkeley IP address have problems using the proxy server. If you plug your laptop into the UC Berkeley network on campus, and you're not using the DHCP service, then you probably have a static UC Berkeley IP address.

If you're using Windows, you can check by going to Start > Control Panel > Network > TCP/IP > Properties. Look under the IP Address tab to see if there is an IP address specified there.

You can let us know about problems by using our Problem Report Form. Please include the fact that you're using a laptop with a Berkeley IP address.

I followed the setup instructions, why haven't my configuration changes taken effect?

  1. Be sure you have followed the configuration instructions exactly. Check to make sure you have entered the correct "automatic proxy configuration" URL into your browser settings:
    http://proxy.lib.berkeley.edu/proxy.pac
  2. Be sure there are no spaces or extra characters to the left or right of the URL.
  3. Before closing the configuration dialog box, be sure to click the OK, Apply now, or Reload button if provided.
  4. Be sure you are using a browser that supports Automatic Proxy Configuration.

    On a Macintosh, no version of Internet Explorer supports Automatic Proxy Configuration. Use Firefox, Safari, Mozilla, or Netscape for this purpose.

    AOL's browser (a highly customized version of Internet Explorer), will not work with the proxy server. Use a different browser instead.

  5. Make sure that cookies are enabled in the browser.

The proxy server is working very slowly. What should I do?

If you experience a very slow response time when waiting for a login prompt, or after logging in, use the Report a Problem form to make us aware of this issue.

This problem may not last long. However, if you need access quickly, try the campus Virtual Private network (VPN), an alternative method for accessing licensed resources.

Do I have to set up my browser to use the proxy server every time I surf the web?

No. Once you've set up your browser to use the proxy server, the setting will be saved until you change it.

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