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Why did I get the error "Your session has timed out" when making a payment with PayPal Payments Standard buttons?

Issue
The PayPal system dropped your connection, or "timed out," after five minutes of inactivity.

Causes
If the system times out in fewer than five minutes, the cause may be loss of secure connection. This usually occurs due to:
  • Internet congestion.
  • Your browser's cookies or cache.
  • Use of frames on your website.

Solutions
Your computer stores copies of frequently accessed pages in its memory cache or disk cache. If these become corrupt, the PayPal page may display differently and result in longer loading or browser closing times. You can find instructions for clearing the cookies and cache from your computer in your browser's Help menu.

Using frames on your website can also cause timeout errors. Using PayPal logos in frames prevents browsers from displaying the PayPal URL and security lock. PayPal doesn't allow its payment pages to be displayed inside a frame, because this can also cause run time errors for most browsers (if JavaScript is used on the website), or timeout issues when frames are used with payment buttons.

If using frames, add target="paypal" in the <form action> tag of the HTML code to prevent PayPal's payment page from being displayed in a frame. For example, if your webpage uses framing, the first line of code in your PayPal button should look like this:
 
<form target="paypal" action="https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr" method="post">

Linking to a payment session instead of using a payment button or payment link can also cause session timeouts. If the code you're linking to looks like the following example, replace it with the code provided to you in the Button Factory on PayPal.
    
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=YcNoyYwSoDXDI8cC0HKu6vjwFU8EX68oOARLBOgV2kmxyXTRv-amtVypXna&dispatch=5885d80a13c0db1f8e263663d3faee8d6625bf1e8bd269586d425cc639e26c6a

See also:
PayPal Payments Standard and Button Manager: Getting Started
Button Manager API
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