Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

Why can't I add anything to online shopping carts?


Hi. I’m having trouble adding things to an online shopping basket. No matter
what the shop is, it doesn’t add them. I’m currently running on Vista. I don’t get
any error messages; it just doesn’t add the items that I’m trying to buy. I
hope this is enough information.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #29
, I work through various options to troubleshoot shopping cart


Trouble with shopping carts

Kind of enough information.

There are a couple of things that have to be working properly for shopping carts to work. One is cookies.

Clear cookies

  • So, one of the things I suggest you do is clear the cookies; you can use CCleaner on your PC to clear the cookies in your browser.

That’s one approach. It can sometimes resolve these things.

If cookies are (for whatever reason) messed up, that can prevent shopping carts from working.

Clear the browser cache

That too can often cause odd behavior on any number of different sites and types of technologies.

Try a different browser

And finally, you haven’t mentioned what browser you are using, which is why I hesitated with it being enough information.

  • Regardless of which browser you’re using, try a different browser.

Any of the top three will do: the top three being Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox.

If you’re using any one of those and you’re experiencing this problem… then try one of the others and see what happens. My guess is that your problem will go away.

In fact, my guess is that clearing the cache or clearing the cookies will probably make the problem go away. But if not, you’ve got this as a fall back: try a different browser and see how that operates for this scenario.

Probably these steps will resolve the problem for you quite quickly.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

4 comments on “Why can't I add anything to online shopping carts?”

  1. I have one more suggestion for the ultra-paranoid: Turn ON your cookies for the site in question. If your browser does not accept cookies, your carts will probably not work. If you are ultra-paranoid, you might have disabled all cookies. Not that I would know. ahem.

  2. Was just shopping on Amazon and Mark’s right, it said Javascript must be enabled. But I think in most cases it’s enabled by default, so don’t know how it gets disabled. Awhile back, I could not get a purchase to finalize on Amazon using Firefox, and did find—as suggested—using another browser (Internet Explorer) worked.

  3. It could be a case of an aggressive firewall.
    I know I have had issues while running ZoneAlarm where websites do not function as intended, but work fine if ZoneAlarm is not running (my machine defaulting to the Windows firewall in that case)


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.