[SOLVED] eBay Security Key Token Login Error “You have encountered an internal error. Please try again later.”
You have encountered an internal error. Please try again later. (eBay Login error)
Are you having trouble logging into eBay after trying to use your security key code? You are likely getting the error “You have encountered an internal error. Please try again later.” This article will explain the issue and provide solutions to get you logged in.
“You have encountered an internal error. Please try again later.” This is the error the eBay website will display after you enter your password, then enter the 6 digit code from your security key device. You then get the option “To access your account, follow the instructions for the lost, damaged, or forgotten security keys.” However when you click this, you most likely just get another error and a dead-end.
Causes for the “You have encountered an internal error” issue
I started using an eBay and PayPal security token years ago, around 2010 or whenever they were first available. Over the years I’ve experienced this issue several times. Eventually I’ve always gotten around the issue or it just went away, and here are the reasons it seems to have happened:
- Internal eBay System or Server Errors (goes away automatically within a few hours, less than 1 day)
- Error between PayPal and eBay accounts which are somehow linked with the Security Key
- Did you remove the security key from your PayPal account recently?
- Browser Cache Problem
Solutions: How to Fix the Error!
This is an annoying issue certainly. If you run a business through eBay, it can be a major concern. Luckily there are solutions:
Calling eBay is not a solution
This doesn’t help. I once spent nearly an hour on the phone for this issue. The eBay customer service barely seemed to understand what the security key / token was, and they did absolutely nothing to help. Eventually they just disconnected from the call “accidentally.” I am not sure if it would be possible to request a supervisor or specialist, but most likely that would involve a very long hold session and likely still would be of no help.
Solution #1: Remove the Security Key Token from your PayPal account
This is probably the solution for you. If you have your security key active on both your eBay and PayPal accounts, you are probably in luck. Even though you are trying to log into eBay, instead go and log into PayPal. Click on Profile, then My Settings, then Security Keys (update.) Then you can remove the Security Key from your PayPal account. Now try logging into eBay and see if the problem is fixed.
Solution #2: ADD the Security Key Token back onto your PayPal account.
Just recently, the cause of this problem was actually that I removed the security key from my PayPal account (but it was still active in my eBay account.) Right after that when I tried to log into eBay I was getting this error. I went back to PayPal, added the security key back into my PayPal account, then the eBay login error on eBay was instantly fixed.
It seems that the security key has to be active and working on both eBay and PayPal at the same time in order to work. Or at least an error on one platform can cause an error on the other.
Solution #3: Clear your browser’s cache, cookies, and other temporary files
This was the source of the problem some of the time on both eBay and PayPal logins in the past. It may your browser has some outdated or corrupted file associated with login saved, so you need to go and delete it so your browser downloads the new file. You can first try doing a “hard-refresh” which forces your browser to re-download the webpage entirely. Generally this is done by hitting Control+F5.
If that doesn’t work, go into your browser’s application settings and remove the history, cookies, and cache. Generally this is just located in a Settings: Privacy section. Here is a link that covers how to do this in all of the different browsers: clearing your browser’s cache, cookies and history.
Solution #4: Just wait for a few hours, up to one day
The majority of times when I had this issue over the years, I just waited a few hours, up to one day. Eventually the problem just went away. This probably isn’t the solution you want, but it may be best option if you’ve tried the above things already. This is probably caused by some sort of internal error with eBay or PayPal or how they manage the PIN authentication.
Now that you can (hopefully) log into eBay, remove your security key or at least add mobile phone authentication to avoid this in the future!
As of 2017, eBay is moving away from using the Security Keys. Instead for 2 Factor Authentication they are encouraging users to use mobile phone (SMS) authentication. Instead of pushing a button on a little security token device for your 6 digit login code, you receive a text on your phone with the 6 digit code instead.
This seems to work fine and I have yet to have any issues with SMS authentication on eBay, PayPal, or any other website. I would encourage you to remove the security key from your account and instead use your mobile phone to get the PIN when you log in. I would not recommend removing Two Factor Authentication altogether as it is an important security measure. If you use SMS, you should never get the “You have encountered an internal error. Please try again later.” error again.
Hopefully this has helped you get logged into eBay. If you have any questions, or are still looking for help, post about it in the comments below.