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Solved: Coursera iOS App Cannot Log In or Cannot Refresh

So I don’t intend for this to be the tech support blog, but I came across a problem with coursera’s iOS app today, and solved it. And couldn’t find a single reference to it on the web. So I thought posting it here would help some future app user to solve this odd problem.

After starting up the Coursera App, I noticed it wasn’t reflecting the latest info about my courses. Several were showing as “week 2” when I knew they were at least “week 5”. It wasn’t refreshed. Pulling the app down on any of the screens did not seem to change anything. On individual course pages, it says it’s refreshing but instantly does nothing. On the course catalog page, it also says it is refreshing the course catalog but does not.

So, brilliant me, I thought I needed to log out and log back in. Hitting the log out button gives the message that “all course data will be deleted” which was fine by me. I wanted it to be cleared and refreshed. In the end, logging out gave me an error message. But I was logged out.

Trying to log in did not work. I entered my email address and password repeatedly, and it said “sign in error”. Not very much information there. I double and triple checked my password. I actually checked the desktop web site and was able to log out and log in there. I started to Google search this, and found nothing mentioning login problems with coursera’s app. Coursera’s help website mentions emailing them, which I did.

The Coursera iOS App wasn’t updating and I couldn’t log in. 

Just to be sure, I checked my iPod browser to see that I could access the web.  I was on wifi. I could. I checked the App Store to see if I could access that. I got an error. Unable to access the app store. Huh? Was the app store down? Not likely. I tried a few different ways – and yes, I could not access the app store on my iPod either. Now I start thinking it’s not a coursera problem.

I could not access the iOS App Store from the device either.

Doing a web search on not being able to access the app store immediately brings me to a page on Apple Support that says for me to check the clock on the iPod. Aha! I was in a new time zone (on vacation) and perhaps the time was off by a few hours. Worse than that, when I checked System Settings > General Settings > Date and Time… I notice that the system date is Jan 1, 1970. I’m in the wrong generation.

The iPod is set to automatically update it’s date and time. Flipping that switch on and off did nothing. I did a million things to try to fix this, but couldn’t get it to reset. Did a hard reset of the device even. And manually changing the date on an iPod would take roughly 6 hours since it’s a dial control with no option to change the year. Bad design.

Finally, the solution was to change wifi networks. I created a local hotspot from my cell phone, connected to that, and the date/time reset fairly soon. And I could connect to the app store. And I could log in to coursera app. Seems that some wireless networks don’t allow location to be determined.

It could also be as simple as turning on Location Services for System Services in the Privacy Settings tab.

TL;DR; Check the date and time on the device. And if it’s incorrect, fix it. Or allow location services for system services.

Hope this helps you.


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    I can’t log in with the coursera.. please help me

  2. Hi Prima, I wish I had a way to help but I don’t. Did you check the “date” tip above? And then, you’ll have to contact coursera support.

  3. i have ipad1.. off course i not able to download coursera app from appstore becose my ios version is 5.1.1 … but when i tried to open http://www.coursera.org so is web opened… when i clicked on (sign in) the black cover cover the screen and at bottom show coursera app.. what is matter? and how is solved?

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