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I am new to Stack Exchange and I hope you can help with my account registration.

  1. I would like to know why I am given random user names like user186934 when I log in with my Google account?

  2. Is this the name I will be known by here at Meta Stack Overflow?

  3. Is there a way for me to change this name to something else?

  4. Will I be able to use this same name on other Stack Exchange websites?

  5. And one last thing, if I would like to register for a regular Stack Exchange account without using Google or Facebook, etc, will I be able to re-use the same e-mail address?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 7 down vote accepted

You can set your display name by going to your profile and clicking edit. You can only change this every 30 days, so make sure that you pick something you like.

You can use a single login across the entire StackExchange network (but sections such as About Me etc. can be different), logging in through the same email address or Google/Facebook account. This has a bonus as once you have reached 200 reputation on any StackExchange then you receive a bonus of 100 rep on every StackExchange - thus removing new user restrictions and allowing you to upvote on every site.

You can add as many login methods as you wish - for example I have the StackExchange Account login and a Google login which both load as this account (and all my other SE accounts).

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So what you're saying is I can't really change the "user186934"? This is sort of like my account ID? This is for practical purposes like typing "user:186934" in the search field to find that user? But I can add a "display name" and this is the one I will be presented as when posting questions and answers? I see that some people are presented with their real name. Is this because they have set their real name as their "display name"? I'm confused because there is a separate field called "real name" on the profile edit page. –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:01
Wow! Look at that, now I'm Rory too! Sorry about that... I didn't mean to steal your name, I was just checking to see if two users can have the same display name. Do I have to wait 30 days now before I can change it to something else?... –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:07
@Rory Yep, for example my actual id is 176080 on MSO. Real name is just a box shown on your public profile page if you fill it in. Display name is what all your posts are, for example you've set yours as Rory too - which I hope is a lucky co-incidence or I've developed a stalker :L –  Rory May 30 '12 at 19:07
@Rory yeahh, 'fraid so :L I think it's site independent though so you can have what you want on SO and other sites –  Rory May 30 '12 at 19:08
Looks like there is no 30 day limit... because I have now changed my display name to Sammy, and I will stick with this one. But what do I have to do to get one single login for all Stack Exchange websites? –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:12
Also, is it too late now to add a Stack Exchange account for this user ID, now that I have already registered with Google? I mean do you actually have to do it in any special order, like registering a Stack Exchange account first, and then adding Google login, Facebook login, etc. if you want it to work across all the Stack Exchange websites? –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:14
@Sammy Fifteen minute grace window designed solely to combat the threat of accidental cloning. You can just click login on a site you want to join then pick the same login method and it will ask you if you want the accounts to be associated. As for the order I doubt it matters, but I'm sure someone else will be able to confirm that. –  Rory May 30 '12 at 19:16
@Sammy You can add any number of OpenID logins to your profile, in any order. You will still have to sign in separately to every site if you don't already have a profile on it, though. If you use the same credentials on different sites, your individual site profiles will be linked to an overall Stack Exchange profile. (Yours is here.) –  Anna Lear May 30 '12 at 19:34
@AnnaLear So if I want to join Super User, all I have to do is go to the site and log in with the same e-mail and password I used here on Meta Stack Overflow? Why is my display name set to "Rory" when I go to the link you provided? Has it not been changed to "Sammy" yet? –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:51
@AnnaLear About the display name, I clicked once on the "Sync with oldest profile (Meta Stack Overflow)" link and now it has changed to "Sammy". So it's OK. –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 19:54
@Sammy To your other question, yes, all you have to do is go to another site and log in with the same email and password. –  Anna Lear May 30 '12 at 20:05
I just signed in at Super User with Google and it recognized me as "Sammy" and I just had to click to confirm it. I think my user ID is 137165 over there. So how does this work now? I am user 137165 at Super User and I am user 186934 here at Meta Stack Overflow, and these two are both linked to my overall Stack Exchange account number 1528948. When I go to stackexchange.com and click the log in link at top it says "welcome back". Why does it log me in automatically? –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 20:12
When I go to stackexchange.com and log in, I go to "my logins" and then "add more logins". If I click "log in with stack exchange" button it asks me for e-mail and password. I don't have that information, and if I type my Google e-mail and password it says "No account with this email found". But how do I create a Stack Exchange account when it automatically logs me in and I don't get the chance to click the "sign up" link? The reason I would like to have a regular StackExchange account is to become independent of Google, Facebook logins, etc. –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 20:29
This appears to be because I didn't have any StackID, the StackExchange OpenID. See openid.stackexchange.com I have now registered for a regular StackExchange account and got a new ID. Now when I log in to Super User or any other website in StackExchange network it actually askes me "Send your Stack Exchange account information to this site?" When you have a regular StackExchange account the login process seems to be more seamless, not to mention you don't depend on Google authorization. Although you can add a Google login if you want. –  sammyg May 30 '12 at 20:53
@Sammy besides that you don't probably like the twitter character limit, it is worth pointing that accounts can be automatically merged together. Try to search around here on meta about that if you feel like this could be a problem. –  ajax333221 May 31 '12 at 2:38

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