If the user checks the TOS agreement checkbox on a registration form but fails validation (eg. retyped password incorrectly), should the checkbox still be checked on page reload, or should they be required to reconfirm?

I've seen forms online that do require the user to recheck, but I'm not sure if there's a reason for this or if it's just poor UX.

This is related to Automatic agreement to terms of service, but concerns only form resubmit; the user is still required to check the box when initially submitting.

  • 1
    I imagine it's some sort of legal precaution. I.E. The user checked it the first time they saw the form, thus they gave consent. However, upon reload the website checked itself and therefore no consent was given upon actual form submission. I'd check with a lawyer before auto-checking it on reload.
    – DasBeasto
    Commented Aug 18, 2016 at 19:02
  • 1
    To me, the obvious first step would be to try to prevent submitting an invalid form and thus avoiding page reloads (as far as possible). If you do have to do a reload (because you can't do client-side scripting, or a client-side check can't be made), then it probably becomes a legal rather than UX question... like SteveD says, it's annoying if a page reload clears previously entered data/settings, but if the law requires it to be cleared each time, you have no choice.
    – TripeHound
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 12:34

1 Answer 1


I get really annoyed when an error causes a page reload which wipes out other things I entered unrelated to the error. So I recommend you remember what the user had typed or checked.

  • That's normally a good practice, but there are a few exceptions. For instance, we don't preload your password on reload because it's a security risk. I'm wondering if this is one of those exceptions.
    – Mikkel
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 14:26
  • Obviously you don't preload password on reload (your security compliance team will have a fit) but most other fields the user has entered/selected should be ok to remember what was typed/selected (subject to your security team approval) :-)
    – SteveD
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 14:34
  • @Mikkel the topic of including passwords was discussed here. It is possible to remember a password without any security implication.
    – Brendon
    Commented Aug 19, 2016 at 21:54

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