One of the most common problems is that you'll find one or more of
the cards in the deck has gone completely missing. This is usually
just your browser having a little wedgie. You can force a reload of
the game by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing F5, or clicking the
Reload/Refresh icon up by your browser's address bar (also while holding
down the Ctrl key). This makes the browser re-fetch everything and this
will likely restore the missing card(s).
There are two main kinds of slow. If you're seeing a delay after clicking Play before you get a new deal, or upon completing a game it takes a while for the server to respond, that's probably network delay. The Internet is still highly variable and depending on your current "route" to the server you might have different latencies. The server is running on fast hardware and to my knowledge pretty much always responds almost instantly (in human terms), so if you're having sluggishness like this, it's probably something between you and the server on the 'net that's responsible. traceroute (tracert on Windows) can help you learn more. Use your favorite search engine to learn how to use traceroute/tracert.
The second kind of slow is when the game actually takes a while to draw
cards or respond to mouse/keyboard input. First off, if you're running
Internet Explorer, make sure you're not running in a magnified mode. Look
at the little magnifying glass in the lower right corner of the browser
screen and make sure it's at 100%. Second, some systems seem to have
trouble displaying the new PNG card images but will happily display the
older small GIF versions. Between games there's a dropdown in the upper
right hand corner of the game board. Use that to select "Old Cards."
They won't be as big but hopefully they'll animate faster. Finally, if
neither of those tips work, try Firefox. It always seems to be frisky.
It's a free and easy download from mozilla.com.
If the game doesn't seem to work right in your browser, please make sure
you're using the latest version of either Internet Explorer, Chome, Firefox,
or Safari. I'm just one guy so I can't attempt to support the other
browsers and/or older versions. The game actually
seems to continue to work in older versions of Internet Explorer but
I make no promises. Downloading and installing a new browser is fast
and easy. Just go to a search engine and type "download firefox" (for
Yes, some advertisements can be annoying. Read this whole section if you're getting those ads that pop up and take over your screen.
I don't pick the ads; I simply don't have the time to try to micromanage the ads we're served. Note that in return for the occasional annoyance of this or that advertisement you are indirectly at least generating a little money for charity. If you absolutely can't stand the ads, we do provide Premium service which does nothing except give you an entirely ad-free site.
If you're getting those "take over" ads, those are delivered using something called Flash. What I suggest is configuring a browser without Flash and using that for this site. So for instance, I do most of my browsing with Internet Explorer with Adobe Flash not installed, but when I want to watch a video on youtube or Facebook I launch Mozilla Firefox which has Flash enabled. With the non-Flash browser most of the annoying ads will magically go away. Here's how to disable Flash.
Side note: Flash ads are everywhere. If you visit other ad-supported sites you'll undoubtably run into other annoying ads--it ain't just here by any stretch. But by using a non-Flash enabled browser for your other general browsing of Internet sites you'll be spared, not just here, but everywhere.
Finally, if you're getting pop-ups using this site or other apparently dubious
advertisements, you likely have an infestation of ad-ware. See the
section on that below.
As noted above under the "missing card(s)" section, a quick reliable way
to fix a variety of odd problems is to simply force your browser to reload
everything. While on the game page, hold down the Ctrl key and hit F5,
or else click on the Reload/Refresh icon up by your browser's address bar
(also while holding down the Ctrl key). The makes the browser re-fetch
everything and will often restore sanity to you and your computer.
Viruses and ad-ware were frankly more of a problem in years past as most
folks now do have their computers adequately protected. If you don't,
however, we'd strongly recommend it. If odd things are happening, you've
got browser toolbars you didn't ask for, ads are popping up while using
this site (we never serve pop-ups), or things are just running slow in
general, try installing either a commercial anti-virus program or else
one of the fine free ones.
The Java version is now history.
Java's advantage used to be that it played on every computer system,
not just Windows systems. But these days you can run Firefox on any
system and it does a fine job of running the regular version of the game.
In fact most modern browsers will run the game. Java is no longer installed
on any/many computers and since I'm just one guy I don't have time to try
to support things which have become "fringe."
But if you can't successfully login or are asked every time you come to the site to login, it's probably because we can't save that cookie. Some 3rd party "scrubber" software removes cookies as soon as you close your browser. Often folks seem to have installed such software without really realizing it so you might need to do a little looking to figure out what is providing the unwanted "help".
You can also try adjusting your browser's preferences. Go to Tools --> Internet Options and then click the Security tab. Add freecell.net to your Trusted Sites list.
If that still doesn't get it, trying using your favorite search engine to find info about how to explicitly enable cookies for your browser. I won't attempt to keep up-to-date instructions here when they're so easy to come across on the 'net, again using that good ol' favorite search engine.
Sometimes as a last resort (or even a first resort) try switching
browsers. Whatever has gotten tangled up on your main browser with regard
to cookie configuration will likely not happen with an alternate browser.
If you're using Internet Explorer, try Firefox, or vice versa. Again a
search engine will help you find the downloads.
If you can't resolve your issue you should report your problem on the Discussion Page. This will accomplish two things: it will let the site owner know of the problem and it will also share the problem with the Freecell-playing public here so that they can chime in about their own experiences.
When reporting a bug it's useful to provide (in as much detail as possible) the following information: