Following myOpenID shuts down February 1, 2014; add an alternative login method to your account, I would like to follow the suggestions and add a new means of logging in, as suggested by the OP of that questions.

However, I am not sure which provider I should pick.

  • Which one is least likely to "pull the plug" so to speak, as Janrain has done with MyOpenID?
  • Are there other things I should consider when choosing a new provider?


I do understand that this question would attract quite a few primarily opinion based answers, and so I would like to ask that you refrain from simply stating "I recommend provider X". Please give objective reason(s) to back your recommendation!

  • 4
    What objective reasons? Is there any possible way to answer this factually? I mean, I highly doubt a Google OpenID will get dropped at any point in the future, but I'm not psychic and can't predict the future...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Jul 26 '13 at 0:42
  • 1
    @animuson State why you think google is more or less likely to drop support for OpenID than provider ABC, and XYZ. Perhaps they are developing their own alternative authentication protocol and are indeed likely. Perhaps there has been a press release by XYZ saying that they believe that OpenID is the way of the future. Et cetera.
    – bguiz
    Jul 26 '13 at 0:47
  • I agree wholeheartedly with @animuson about your question. That said, I still think Yannis has presented a stellar answer. Jul 26 '13 at 1:44
  • Why on earth would a provider as large as Google drop OpenID? Even should they implement another protocol, they're not going to can millions of accounts currently using the service any time soon. Jul 26 '13 at 5:17
  • What is H/W? Homework?
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 6:28
  • @CodyGray "Ho/Wever" ??
    – AakashM
    Jul 26 '13 at 8:09
  • I wouldn't particularly expect Google to pull the plug anytime soon. Granted, as Yannis said, if it's only for Stack Exchange, going with the SE openID is pretty logical
    – Ben Brocka
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:30
  • 10
    @RichChurcher: you obviously weren't a Google Reader user.
    – Wooble
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:41
  • This question appears to be off-topic because it is not about Stack Exchange or any of its sites/services.
    – asheeshr
    Jul 27 '13 at 6:35
  • 1
    While this is a duplicate, the most upvoted answer on the original actually suggest using MyOpenID...
    – SztupY
    Jul 29 '13 at 10:19
  • @Wooble I was, in fact :) I think the point stands though: Reader was a Google application which by their nature and public profile seem to attract a few million users at least, even should Google Belly Button Lint be released through the Labs. OpenID is credentials, a whole other ballgame. Maybe I'm naive, but I'd find it remarkable if Google abandoned their provider status. Never say never, but I think we can safely say "unlikely to drop support before other providers, except in the event of complete financial collapse or extremely localised surgical thermonuclear strike". Aug 23 '13 at 14:12
  • @RichChurcher I think anytime they find, that OpenID is a dead standard not worth supporting (and instead they concentrate on OAuth or something else), they can pull the plug. If this ever happens that will however be a huge nail in OpenID's coffin for sure.
    – SztupY
    Sep 4 '13 at 18:40
  • This is not a duplicate. The other question asks how to switch. This one asks what criteria to take into account when selecting a new provider. Completely different. The answers in the other question touch on some of this but are incomplete. Jan 14 '14 at 15:56
  • @animuson: Note that Google has, in the past, broken people relying on their OpenID implementation for Stack Exchange access [meta.stackexchange.com/questions/54635/… The answer then was to switch which type of Google account you use (specifically to switch to a Google profile account). Google shortly thereafter banished non-public profile accounts. Jan 14 '14 at 15:58

The obvious choice:

enter image description here

Guaranteed to exist and be supported by Stack Exchange for as long as Stack Exchange exists.

  • 3
    Precisely correct! Jul 26 '13 at 1:43
  • 2
    I personally don't understand OpenID very well, but is there a way to use SE's OpenID provider with others that accept OpenID? I have a couple of other accounts I'd like to switch over to SE's if they do. Jul 26 '13 at 3:28
  • 2
    SE's OpenID should work on any site that supports OpenID authentication. Jul 26 '13 at 5:03
  • @NicolBolas On most sites, I think you're going to have to enter the URL of SE's provider manually. For example, on Bitbucket, you have to click the "OpenID" icon (fourth one from the left) and enter the URL into the box.
    – Cody Gray
    Jul 26 '13 at 6:29
  • 2
    @NicolBolas To login to a site that supports OpenID with your SE OpenID credentials, all you need to do is point that site's login thingy to openid.stackexchange.com.
    – yannis
    Jul 26 '13 at 13:42
  • 1
    +1 for retroactively making the original question one of objective fact, rather than an opinion poll.
    – Ben Barden
    Jul 26 '13 at 14:14
  • 1
    Without reading the comment by @RichChurcher I would never have guessed that Stack Exchange is an OpenID provider. Jul 27 '13 at 10:36
  • I tried switching to Stack Exchange's credential service when it first became available, but back then I wasn't able to connect it to my existing account, only to new accounts. Has this been fixed? Jan 14 '14 at 16:01

If you have your own domain and homepage, the best you can do is using that as your OpenID account.

Fortunately you don't need to set up a whole OpenID server there, as OpenID supports delegation. Just register to an OpenID provider which supports delegated accounts (MyOpenID was like this, but fortunately Stack Exchange is also okay), and add the following few lines to the <head> of your homepage (this example is for SE based delgation):

<link rel="openid2.provider" href="https://openid.stackexchange.com/openid/provider">
<link rel="openid2.local_id" href="https://openid.stackexchange.com/user/YOURLOCALID">

Now, until you own your own domain (which you should) you will always have access to your OpenID account. If SE closes it's OpenID provider (or decides to not maintain it anymore) you can simply switch to another one by changing the URLs above. And if all of sudden ALL OpenID providers that support delegation go out of service then you still have the option to set up your own OpenID server.

For example my OpenID is http://sztupy.hu. If you check the source of my homepage's index that it contains this (EDIT: not anymore, it now contains the SE delegation, but this was the old one):

<link rel="openid.server" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server" />
<link rel="openid.delegate" href="http://sztupy2k.myopenid.com/" />
<link rel="openid2.provider" href="http://www.myopenid.com/server" />
<link rel="openid2.local_id" href="http://sztupy2k.myopenid.com/" />

But now, that MyOpenID is apparently not maintained anymore, I'll probably just switch to SE, update the links, and continue using my old OpenID URL.

Here is how you can set up Stack Exchange's OpenID provider for delegation: https://blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/01/using-your-own-url-as-your-openid/


  • Complete control of your own OpenID


  • You need to have a homepage, which you control (you don't actually need a domain for this, but it's much nicer that way)
  • If someone hacks/defaces your page, he can replace the delegation parts, so you're also in charge of the security of your OpenID not just the service you registered on
  • 1
    This is an excellent suggestion!
    – Starfish
    Jul 26 '13 at 17:44
  • MyOpenID is not closed. It works but is no longer actively supported (2013-06-25). Jul 27 '13 at 6:02
  • 1
    @GrahamPerrin True, but it's been going down enough in the last couple of weeks to generate a bunch of support requests for us from folks who can no longer sign into SE sites as a result. It may as well just call a spade a spade and close.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Jul 27 '13 at 6:58
  • 1
    We should not add to potential confusion around OpenID or MyOpenID by stating that a thing is closed when it is not. Jul 27 '13 at 9:24
  • 1
    @GrahamPerrin reworded post
    – SztupY
    Jul 27 '13 at 11:50
  • 1
    Thanks. My down-vote is removed but I'll be a stickler for accuracy under this important question, and not up-vote whilst there's a suggestion of no maintenance at this time. I don't doubt that downtimes were displeasing, but Janrain does apparently maintain the service – at least enough to bring it up with a fix after the late June downtime. Jul 28 '13 at 5:29
  • 2
    @GrahamPerrin: Not anymore unfortunately. It will be closed down on February 2014
    – SztupY
    Sep 4 '13 at 18:35
  • 1
    This is a great suggestion! I think I should also add that if we have our own domain, many decent registrar allow us to set subdomains redirected to other URLs, so we can have our own OpenID page hosted in your ISP web space or Google drive while still using the neat URL. Sep 5 '13 at 16:23

OpenID providers


OpenID providers not listed there include:

Immunity to change

I can't predict such things.

As observed by Yannis and @Arjan:

  • a Stack Exchange account should be supported by Stack Exchange for as long as the service exists.


  • I can't predict whether Stack Exchange will continue to be an OpenID provider throughout that duration.
  • 1
    Indeed, nobody can answer the "immunity to change" question (though Stack Exchange will surely exists as long as, er, Stack Exchange exists). Which is proven by the fact that even MyOpenID was listed on openid.net/get-an-openid, until at least June 29th.
    – Arjan
    Jul 27 '13 at 12:53

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