The reason I never used this website is that it has always been impossible to log into. That includes Stack Exchange, which I don't understand at all. I originally signed up with OpenID, but it is a chronic obstacle to log in, so most of the time I just skip it. I am supposed to be able to log into Stack Exchange with OpenID, but there is no way to do it. It seems like everywhere I go (subdomains) on this website new logins are required. Is this normal? can someone explain what I am doing wrong?

migrated from stackoverflow.com Apr 26 '13 at 18:46

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Stack Exchange is an entire network of sites. When you create your first account on any particular site (like Stack Overflow, English Language & Usage, Arqade, etc), you will only automatically get a global network account.

So yes, you will need to create a new account on each site on the network. I believe the reasoning for this is that there are networks where there will be very little crossover - for example, are you ever likely to create an account on Moms 4 Mom? In addition to saving on storage costs, this also keeps everyone's profile pages cleaner (consider if you actually had an account on each site - after the association bonus, it would be very cluttered). In addition, should you automatically get an account for something that goes through Area51? What about proposals that don't end up working out?

In the end, it's a design choice to keep everything simpler - you only create an account on those sites where you yourself have expressed an interest in doing so.

However, once that's done, you'll log-in automatically to all of the sites after you've created an account there (although you may need to refresh a site you haven't visited in a while), and all of your accounts will be linked to your network profile on Stack Exchange.

As well as using direct OpenID credentials, you can also log-in to Stack Exchange from any site that supports OpenID - Google, Facebook, and Twitter all allow you to authenticate your identity by being logged into their site.

In this way, you needn't set up another account and password to forget. This is what the 'My Logins' page is for - it allows you to connect other OpenID accounts to the same Stack Exchange account, if you prefer to log in with Facebook one day and Google the next (or don't even want to be bothered remembering).

  • I see. There is a profile page somewhere that says: (for some reason the return key is not working in this textarea) My Logins Log in or sign up on any Stack Exchange site using these accounts add more logins…<br> Why would I want more logins and what would be the point of that? And why does <br> not line break? – Gnarlodious Apr 26 '13 at 19:09
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    @Gnarlodious Re: return key not working in comment box: meta.stackexchange.com/q/63644/188613 and meta.stackexchange.com/q/63303/188613 – MikeTheLiar Apr 26 '13 at 19:19
  • Just experimenting with the shift-enter feature: Yes it works! Strange nonstandard behavior. Oops, you can insert a newline in the textarea but it is removed before rendering. Weird. – Gnarlodious Apr 26 '13 at 19:33
  • Also, I tried to log in to a subdomain (Judaism) but all I got was a blank page with URL "internal:nothing". Not sure if that is a bug or what. – Gnarlodious Apr 26 '13 at 20:15
  • It also happens when I try to log in at stackexchange.com/users/login all I get is a white page with internal:nothing in the URL bar. Is there a more reliable way to log in? – Gnarlodious Apr 26 '13 at 20:26
  • Line breaks aren't used in comments - it's a design choice to keep things cleaner (see above links from mikeTheLiar). – Hannele Apr 26 '13 at 20:52
  • What kind of log-in are you trying to use? Just straight OpenID, or through another network (Google, Facebook, etc)? – Hannele Apr 26 '13 at 20:53
  • I've also added notes on adding accounts above. – Hannele Apr 26 '13 at 20:58
  • I'm attempting to log in with my OpenID, gnarlodious.myopenid.com. The logins work in Safari but not in my main browser iCab, also a Webkit browser. Wonder why. – Gnarlodious Apr 26 '13 at 22:33
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    @Gnarlodious not all browsers are supported. Use standard browser please. – ShaWiz Apr 26 '13 at 23:20
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    Its worth adding that openid's getting depreciated sooner rather than later. . That said, taking into account google, facebook and SE login methods, this answer is still broadly correct. – Journeyman Geek Apr 9 '18 at 23:50

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