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Google Single Sign-On makes logging into Membean a breeze. However, students and teachers sometimes encounter issues with linking their accounts through SSO. When students and teachers receive SSO error messages, the issue needs to be resolved quickly. An SSO error message means that they cannot access their account.

When Do SSO Error Messages Appear?

Errors with SSO linking generally occur when schools activate Google Single Sign-On for the first time. Some students will have created duplicate accounts, one with their school email and the other with their personal. Others will have mis-entered their school email without realizing it. These errors can appear when a student is trying to link a current account either through the login pathway or the enrollment pathway. 

When SSO error messages appear, it's crucial to respond with accurate and complete information and resolve the issue as quickly as possible. Students and teachers encountering an SSO issue cannot access their accounts until it is resolved.

Many Google SSO issues require you to unlink accounts from Google SSO. Before proceeding, make sure you're familiar with How to Unlink Google SSO.

Google Account Doesn't Use Single Sign-On

This error message means that there is no Membean account associated with the email in red. It does not necessarily mean that the student doesn't have a Membean account or that the school does not use Single Sign-On. It can generally be prevented by having students sign in to Membean using their Membean-specific credentials. They will be prompted to link their accounts to their Google account, and once they do, they will not receive this error message. 

To resolve this issue, locate the student's Membean account using their name (do not use the email; this error message means no account with this email exists). If their account has an email linked to SSO, unlink it. Edit the student's email to match the one shown in the error message.

If you cannot find a Membean account for the student, then direct the teacher or student to to create a Membean account.

Email is Already Taken

This error message means that the Google email to which the student or teacher tried to link their account is already taken. This can occur during an SSO transition when students have duplicate accounts, one under their school email and the other under their personal email. Teachers may also encounter this if they have created student accounts using their school Google account.

To resolve this issue, locate the duplicate account using the information provided in the error message. If there is no current training on the account, unlink it from SSO (if linked) and delete the account. Then, update the student's current account with the school email address to make it easy for them to sign in. Once the email on their account matches their school Google account, they can simply click Sign In with Google. If there is current training, ask the teacher which account they prefer to keep. Either account can be updated with the student's correct information.

If a teacher has created a student account using their school Google email, ask the teacher if they want to keep or delete the student account. If they choose to keep it, they should link their Membean account to a personal Gmail. Teachers can link accounts to any Google account they choose; they do not have to use the student domain (with the exception of Boulder Valley School District). If the teacher chooses to delete it, then they can link their account to their school Google email.

Google User ID is Already Taken

This error message means that an email with the same Google user ID is linked to a different account. This usually happens when a student changes their email address due to a name change or error correction. The school alters the email address but not the underlying Google user ID.

If you are unsure what a Google user ID is, you can learn about it in the article How Google SSO Works.

Investigate the account described in the error message. If the student received this message because they are trying to link an existing account, you will need to decide if it is best to unlink and delete the old account, so the student can link their current account to their updated email, or delete the student's newly created account and update the information on their older account. Follow the same guidelines as you would for deciding which duplicate account to keep in any other situation. (If the student has changed their name, make sure you update the name as well as the email if preserving the old account.) If the student received this message while creating an account, then there may not be a duplicate account. In this case, simply unlink the old email and update the account with the new name and email. 

Couldn't Sign You In

If there is no information provided about the conflicting account, look at the SSO information provided when you search for the student. Sometimes, students link their accounts to Google before the school activates Google SSO, or the school updates its Google domain. In this case, you will see an alert next to the username that says "SSO: school domain change."

To resolve the issue, unlink the student's Google account. If the teacher or student has provided the correct school email, then update it. If you do not have the correct school email, reset the student's password and send the temporary credentials. The student will be prompted to link their account when they sign in.

If you do not see the school domain change notification, look through the school roster to see if you can identify any accounts that may be conflicting with SSO linking. If you cannot locate the account, ask the teacher if the student has changed their name or email. This can be tricky because teachers don't always know this change has occurred. You may need to put a detective hat on and take a look at student accounts that share common features with the student's current email, such as first name, last name, or ID number. Restrict your search to the school, so you don't go too far down the rabbit hole. 

If you cannot figure out which account is causing the problem, post it on the support channel for Ragav. He can identify the source of the conflict and provide information to resolve it. Send the teacher or student an email letting them know the engineering team is working on it. Keep an eye out for Ragav's response; remember, they can't login until the issue is resolved.

Enrollment Failed for Unknown Reason

This error message appears as a banner during enrollment and is usually caused by an existing account conflict similar to the Google User ID is Already Taken and Couldn't Sign You In messages. 

To resolve this issue, you will need to identify the account causing the conflict using the same strategies outlined above. If you cannot identify the conflict, post it on the Support channel for Ragav.