I have had the same enquiry twice this week from customers. Something has happened on their computer which has meant they had to exit Sage using Task Manager rather than closing the program fully, then on trying to log back in, they have had a ‘User name already in use’ message which threatens data problems.
This can be quite worrying if you do not expect the message: after all, data checks and corruption are the biggest source of worry for many Sage 50 and Sage Instant account users, especially those who have ever had to send their data off for repair.
When you log out of Sage normally, your name is taken off the current list of logged-in users, which can be seen in the User List in the View Menu. This is the case even in single-user systems where you don’t type a user name in to log in, and the Sage Manager Password is hidden from view: the default username is always Manager with no password unless you have changed the system yourself.
If your computer stops responding and you have to close Sage using the Task Manager, or if you have a power cut and your machine suddenly turns off, your name remains on this list. In this case, you are faced with the user already in use message when you try to go back into Sage. You should click the Close Session button and you will then be logged in to Sage as usual. If you know you were logged into Sage on that machine and there is a reason why you had to exit suddenly then you should not get data problems. I would recommend, though, that you always do a data check in Sage after any such occurrence, just in case there is an underlying data issue causing your problems.
The warning is there to stop a second user in a multi-user environment from trying to log in with the same name that is being used on another machine. If you do this, the first user will be kicked off the system, and if they are in a data entry screen they will lose whatever is in the current window. If you try to log on to a second machine and get the warning, and there is a risk of logging someone out on another machine then you should click Cancel and log in with an alternative username.
For more hints and tips about Good Housekeeping in Sage, and advice about the Sage Manager Password then see my previous blog posts. And don’t panic when you have had a problem and need to log back into Sage: just follow the simple instructions above and you will be back doing your bookkeeping in no time at all.