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Why does the ESPN app say ‘user not authenticated’?

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  • 5 min read

Most streaming services have their own dedicated apps that work pretty well most of the time. However, just like every other piece of tech, these apps also fail from time to time. 

In this article, we’re talking about the ESPN app saying “user not authenticated”, the reasons behind it and what you can do to fix the error. 

Why does this happen?

There are a number of reasons why the ESPN app might not be able to authenticate your credentials. Some popular reasons include:

  • Internet connectivity issues.
  • ESPN servers are down.
  • The app is outdated. 
  • Corrupt cache/app data.

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How to fix this?

Here are seven fixes you can try out. 

Check your internet

When you see an error like this, you should first check if you’re connected to the internet. If you’re on WiFi, ensure a stable signal and an active internet connection. If you’re on mobile data, check to see if it’s enabled and that you have good network coverage.

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Photo by Misha Feshchak

Free up some memory

More often than not, not having enough available memory can cause seemingly random issues with apps. Close all the other apps running in the background to see if that helps with the ESPN app itself. 

Get another activation code

If you’re trying to log in after your activation code has expired, chances are you’ll face authentication errors. From there on, you can head over to the ESPN website to get a new activation code which should just let you log in as usual.

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Update your ESPN app

More often than not, if you’re running an outdated app, it can cause problems. Head over to your respective app store to check if any updates are available. If they are, update your app and try again.

Clear the cache

Clearing the app’s cache can eliminate any corrupt files or data that might interfere with the app’s functionality.

How to fix the 'Instagram notifications not working' issue?
  • Tap on Apps and notifications.
  • Tap on Show all apps and find Instagram from the list. If you’ve recently used ESPN, it’ll show up in the recent apps as well.
  • Tap on ESPN.
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  • Then tap on Storage & cache.
  • Then tap on the Clear Cache button.

This should resolve the problem.

Reinstall the app

Reinstalling your app can fix many issues, including those that cause your notifications to stop working. Regardless of whether you’re on Android or iOS,  try reinstalling the app to see if it resolves the issue.

Try a different device 

Another potential fix for the solution is to try a secondary device. This can also help point out issues in your primary device if any. It’s best if you try this on a device that the ESPN app hasn’t been installed, but it should work just fine whether the app is preinstalled or not. 

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Getting authentication errors on browser

If you’re getting the “user not authenticated” error on your web browser, try these five fixes to see if it helps. 

Clear your browser’s data

Corrupt files in your cache or otherwise can cause this error as well. Clear them out to see if you can get the browser to work.

Step 1: Type in chrome://settings/clearBrowserData in your browser’s address bar and hit Enter.

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Step 2: Select the cache and cookies options and make sure the Time range is set to All time. Click on the Clear now button to clear out all the data. 

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Reset your browser

Resetting Chrome can fix all sorts of random bugs and glitches with the browser. 

Step 1: Head over to chrome://settings/reset. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults.

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Step 2: Chrome will show you a warning prompt. Click on Reset Settings, and your browser will reset to default settings. 

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Try another browser

Sometimes different browsers treat URLs differently, which can cause problems with web apps like ESPN. Try using another browser, Edge, Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Tor or whatever you prefer to visit the site and see if it works. If it does, you’ve got a problem with your browser. Updating it might help. 

Disable VPN

Geo-restrictions often get in the way of software experiences. If you’re the app with a VPN connection, chances are the VPN itself is interfering with it, and there’s a regional conflict in which your IP address is placed due to the VPN and the data the site is sending you. Try disabling the VPN to see if the ESPN app works.

Contact ESPN Support

Last but not least, if nothing else works, your best bet is to contact ESPN support and have them fix the issue for you. You can either reach out to them at ESPN Support Center or call them at 1-888-459-3776.

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Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah Abidi

Yadullah is a Computer Science graduate who writes/edits/shoots/codes all things cybersecurity, gaming, and tech hardware. When he's not, he streams himself racing virtual cars. He's been writing and reporting on tech and cybersecurity with websites like Candid.Technology and MakeUseOf since 2018. You can contact him here: