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I looked at someone's profile and it said Unregistered User. What does that mean?

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up vote 57 down vote accepted

They haven't registered themselves on the site. They are logged in with a long living cookie tied to a specific PC/webbrowser. They won't be able to login using the same account on other PCs/webbrowsers.

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They can, by carrying around the cookie in a text file. I did that for quite some time before going through the effort of setting up openid. – CodesInChaos Mar 5 '12 at 23:25
In my world, the "effort" of carrying a cookie around in a text file every where I go is substantially greater than the effort required to set up an OpenID. I guess maybe if you don't already have any other presence on the Internet, an OpenID might be difficult to set up... – Cody Gray Mar 6 '12 at 0:34
So if I come here and register as an SO/SE user and login with e-mail and password, what's that? I nowhere see any OpenID from SO/SE that I could use in other place, but my bio doesn't show "Unregistered". – Shegit Brahm Aug 30 '12 at 9:04
@ShegitBrahm Going by your description, you're using Stack Exchange's own OpenID provider. You can use it on other sites by entering the URL – Gilles Nov 16 '14 at 11:26
@CodyGray This can still be useful if your firewall blocks access to the specific OpenID provider. Another trick is to use e.g. portable firefox or chrome and carry it on a stick to the firewalled PC (unless that's also blocked, of course). – Maarten Bodewes Mar 13 at 14:39
@Maarten So use a different OpenID provider? – Cody Gray Mar 14 at 5:18

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