Note: This page is pretty out of date and I'll just refer you to the
Problems page for Freecell.
It's a lot more up-to-date. But I'll keep the old info here just for grins.
This section discusses some of the idiosyncrasies that have
been reported and suggests possible solutions or workarounds. If
you don't find the solution to your problem here, read the next
section and consider reporting the
bug to us.
First off, it when visiting for the first time, be patient. It may take
a full minute or more the first time you visit to load the code over a
slow modem. If you have waited for over two minutes and have not seen
the Login window appear, here are some things to try. Sorry if some of
them sound an awful lot like voodoo it's sometimes a dicey proposition
getting browsers to behave properly!
- Try closing your browser, starting it again, and returning to the
Play page. It seems sometimes browsers get confused during the initial
code download. Make sure you remember how to get back before leaving!
- If you've been able to play, but suddenly can't anymore,
try the Cache Clear operation.
This fixes 95% of such problems. If you're running Netscape, you
might try simply holding down the Shift key and clicking the Netscape
Reload button at the same time. Or in Internet Explorer, hold down the Ctrl
key and hit the F5 key.
- Another thing that can cause the game to not work properly or to quit working
is installing anti-virus software or firewall software. Sometimes this software gets a little
overly paranoid and tries to block some of the legitimate things that the game needs to
do to function.
Click here for more suggestions on anti-virus and
Freecell Premium member and still seeing ads? Not a member but seeing way
more ads than normal? You may have an infestation of ad ware or
More info here on how to clean the mess off your system.
- Running Internet Explorer? Try installing the latest version.
For the Java version of our game we recommend you install IE5
Service Pack 2. Say "yes" to all options about Java or
the Microsoft Virtual Machine. If you're running the newer Windows version
of our game, we recommend you install IE6.
Either way, it's a big download but it does make IE
a healthier happier browser. A couple cautions: installing IE6 appears to
break Microsoft's own version of Freecell, and I know of no fix for that other
than to deinstall it.
- Are you using AOL as your Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
Many people seem to have trouble with the default AOL browser.
After connecting to AOL, instead of accessing the Internet the usual
AOL way, go to your Start button (lower left corner of your screen),
select Programs and then select Internet Explorer. Or alternatively,
simply click the icon
on your taskbar (bottom of the screen) or on your desktop. When IE launches,
type www.winnablesolitaire.com into the
address bar to come back to this site and try entering the game.
Things often work much better. Of course
see the hint immediately above about making sure you have the latest
appropriate version of the IE browser.
- Had a virus and now things don't work? Or does it seem like Java is confused?
Try installing Java from Sun's site.
- Got a MacIntosh? Try our section on MacIntosh Idiosyncrasies.
- Again, if you're running a recent version of Internet Explorer,
try checking your Security Settings
Once again, on Internet Explorer, you might try checking your
We no longer support Internet Explorer 4.0 or earlier or Netscape 4.x or earlier.
If you have one of these ancient browsers, please take the time to upgrade. The web
in general is probably starting to look a little funny to you and many other sites will
not work exactly right for you either with such an old browser.
- Try hitting the site starting at this URL:
http://188.8.131.52. This may get
around name server problems associated with some firewalls or proxy servers.
Don't worry-- only the first time load takes long at all. If you're
still having problems, read on. But take heart, thousands of people
play this game every day and the site is very current and well maintained
(even if I do say so myself). You'll eventually get it running and join
the many addicts who frequent this site daily. Likely, the only case
where you might not meet with success is when you are playing from work
or school and they have a particularly tight firewall.
There are many versions of browsers and/or Java environments out there,
and some occasional odd behavior is to be expected. Things have improved
with recent releases of browsers, but things can still get tangled up.
Note: some of the
tips given here may apply to running other Java applets on the web
To find you browser version, click Help
on the top menu bar of the browser
and then click About
(or About Navigator). It should display the browser
name and a version like 4.04, etc. Only the first number really matters
for our purposed, so for Navigator 4.04, think Netscape Navigator 4.
Aka, restoring your browser's sanity...
If your browser starts acting flaky-- you've been able to play and now
suddenly you can't-- you can usually get back to normal by
simply exiting and restarting. But sometimes a browser just seems to
wrap itself around a tree. You can usually prod it back to
sanity by doing the steps described below. You'll first need to
identify your browser version as they keep moving the Cache Clear
option around almost everytime they release a new version, I don't
For Internet Explorer 5 and 6
At the top of the browser, select Tools (or Options or
on browser version).
Then select Internet Options (or Options depending again on the
version you have).
Click the button to delete (clear) your Temporary Internet Files.
This does not remove anything permanently. It
will cause your browser to retrieve all files afresh, so you may
experience some more extended delays as you revisit some of your usual
pages, but that's all.
Immediately exit and restart. IE should come back refreshed and behaving.
For Internet Explorer versions 4 and higher, try going to:
Tools --> Internet Options --> Security
Select the Internet icon,
and click Custom Level. Scroll
down to the section on the Microsoft VM and make sure the High Safety
box is checked. You might try some different options there, but don't leave
it on Low Safety as this might compromise the security of your computer.
On Internet Explorer, you might try going to:
Tools --> Internet Options --> Internet Options
Under the subsection on Temporary Internet Files, click the Settings button and then select the
Everytime you start Internet Explorer option. Close your browser,
reopen, and try the game page.
If you have a Macintosh, particularly an iMac, and have gotten NetCELL
to run, we'd love to hear exactly what you did. We know some Mac users
are able to play the game, but we gather it's a bit dicier proposition
running Java on a Mac than a PC. We'd like to add some hints to this
page for Mac users. Please pass your tips along using the email address
at the bottom of this page. Thanks.
Here is a relatively recent hint:
Just so you know Apples Java 1.4.1 w/
Safari works for Mac OS X users.
Well they now have "rock solid java" with the release of 1.4.1 this
morning. Though so far I've only been able to figure out how to use
it with Safari. It seems that Safari, apples current show piece
browser, is in synch with what gets installed on the system, whereas
Mozilla etc. need a way to manually change their settings.
Here is another person's hint:
Just wanted to let you know I have played freecell successfully with Mozilla
0.9.9 and the fizilla plugin. The fizilla plugin is a little flaky
causing Mozilla to crash every now and then, but with OS X that only
kills the browser and the rest of the machine keeps right on
truckin. I think it crashes less often than when I tried with the OS X
version of MSIE.
And yet another person's hint:
Hi, I got NetCell to run on my Mac.
I have a G3 (actually a PowerMac 6100 with a G3 card), running OS 8.1,
using Netscape 4.7. When trying to load the game, I got the dialogue for
"loading cards" and "processing images" and then nothing--and the bottom
the screen said something about a java applet out of memory error. Giving
more memory to Netscape didn't help, nor did clearing the cache.
However, I noticed that in the Netscape folder on my computer created by
the original Netscape installation, there were two libraries: Java
Extensions folder in the System, restarted, and now the program works just
I hope this works for others. I am enjoying having web access to my
If your browser hangs during the program load, try the steps describe
Restoring Your Browser's Sanity.
Among other things, this will cause your browser to bring down that latest and
greatest Java client code and HTML screens.
Now this may just be superstition, but it seems like you
might want to avoid resizing your browser window or clicking
on other links during program loads. Just sit patiently while
the program loads in. After the program is loaded and
the NetCELL applet is fully initialized, you should have no problems
resizing or following links.
If you've tried all the appropriate hints on this page,
and still cannot get NetCELL to load, contact me and I'll see if I
can help determine the cause. See the bugs section
below for the email address and suggestions about information to include
in your message.
I've attempted to pick colors which are viewable on a wide range of
systems. I've had complaints about viewing problems from black and
white X terminals and made some adjustments. If you still have
problems seeing things in black and white, please drop me a line.
Some anti-virus software seems to cause more problems than it solves. Number
one on my disliked list is the stuff from Norton-- it makes your computer run
unbelievably slow, likes to annoy you with lots of questions, and worst of all
interacts badly with some of the legit coding techniques I use on my site and
in my products. I've also had not so good experiences with MacAfee.
My recomendation is Computer Associates' eTrust. Non-intrusive, fast, solid. It's
what we use at work, and I have to have it on my home machines to connect to the corporate
network. Very reliable and transparent. And no this is not an ad, it's
just a recommendation! My eTrust Personal
Think you've got a nasty infestation of ad-ware or spy-ware on your system?
Symptoms include ads popping up all over the place, even when you're not doing anything,
ads which seem to take control of your system in odd ways,
slow system startup, and unexplainable Internet activity when you're not actually doing anything.
These ad-ware and spy-ware things are somehow not considered viruses but they can
be just as nasty.
Microsoft now has a free anti-spyware package that's quite good.
Get the Microsoft
is a handy tool that will help you identify and scrub these ugly things from your computer.
I've also heard that SpySweeper is good and can even catch some things that
Get SpySweeper here.
You might also consult www.cexx.org
for more resources to assist you in cleaning up the mess. And of course
Google.com will help you keep up-to-date on this. Just
search for "ad ware" or "foist ware".
Final note, be careful: there are even
some sound-alike things that pretend to be Lavasoft's Ad-Aware product but
which actually make your situation worse. Get Ad-Aware directly from Lavasoft!
If you encounter something you feel is a bug, please send email
to me at the address shown at the bottom of this page. You must provide
your operating system (e.g. Windows Me, Windows XP, MacOS 10.0) and your
browser type and version
and also describe the things you've tried from this help section.
Please put something like "Freecell Problem" in the subject of the email.
I will not be able to respond unless you include all the above info.