I'll confess up front: I really don't understand how this StackExchange website operates.

But, I created an account which I've mostly used in one StackExchange site and now I want to use it in another site. I'm trying to log in to the other site with my existing ID, but it says there's no account for my email address.

I've followed the instructions in this question: Can I have a common account across the Stack Exchange family of sites? I've clicked on 'Save and Copy Profile To All Stack Exchange Accounts'. But, that hasn't helped: when I try to log on to another StackExchange site, it still says there's no account for my email address. But, there is an account, obviously - it's this account I'm using to ask this question.

How do I use this existing account to log into a different StackExchange site?


I'll admit, it is slightly confusing when you are brand new, but from an accounts perspective, each Stack Exchange site has a unique account. There is no single account that can log you into any other Stack Exchange site.

So if find a Stack Exchange site you want to join, you need to create a new account on that site.

Top Bar - Signup

Then you'll be greeted by the standard signup page:

Signup/New Account Page

So if you previously created a Stack Exchange Login (which is different than a Stack Exchange Account), then you should click the "Login with Stack Exchange" button

Stack Exchange sites support OpenId, which effectively is method for a common login for multiple websites. So you need to click the specific login you want to use and provide the appropriate credentials.

If you use the same logon and credentials that you used on your other sites, your new account will be automatically associated with your existing accounts.

If you accidentally select a different login, your accounts won't be associated right away, but it is easily fixable by adding new logins to your account. The nice benefit is you can have multiple logins so in case you ever lose a specific login (for example you change your gmail address), you can always get into the site via a different login.

Clicking MyLogins

Adding new logins

To help with the confusion, you have to remember 1 very key point, logins are not the same as accounts. You can have multiple logins associated with the same account so you can have multiple ways to access your account should you lose the credentials for one of your logins.

  • Thanks for your very helpful answer! A few follow-up questions, if I may: " if you previously created a Stack Exchange Login (which is different than a Stack Exchange Account)" How do I tell the difference? How do I know if I've got a Stack Exchange Login or a Stack Exchange Account? What's the difference? Why does it matter? Which one/s should I use where? Jan 31 '14 at 9:34
  • @Algernon_Asimov where you going to ask something about that sentence? Jan 31 '14 at 9:38
  • "If you use the same logon and credentials that you used on your other sites, your new account will be automatically associated with your existing accounts." So I just use the same email address on the second site that I used for the first site? Jan 31 '14 at 9:39
  • "you can have multiple logins" I want to avoid duplicates. Too confusing. I already had too much trouble just changing my email account and accidentally creating accounts I don't want. Jan 31 '14 at 9:40
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    @Algernon_Asimov don't worry about the multiple logins then, I added that in case you wanted too and for other people who read this question. But yes, if you login with the same credentials then the account will be associated. What login type do you use now? Stack Exchange? Gmail? Something else? Jan 31 '14 at 9:44
  • To be honest... I don't know what login type I use now. Every time I come to Stack Exchange, I'm already logged in. I never have to log in, so I don't know what login type I'm using. (This is a VERY confusing system!) How do I find out? Jan 31 '14 at 9:46
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    Go to your profile, and click the mylogins button that I circled above (image #3). It will show you what you are currently logged in with. You'll get a window like I have in image #4. As you can see, I am currently logged in via Google. Jan 31 '14 at 9:49
  • hmm... That was not a good learning. It seems I have TWO logins: a Stack Exchange one AND a Google one. The Stack Exchange one is my OLD email address - the one I wanted to get rid of last week. The Google one is my NEW email address - the one I wanted to change to last week. That was when I accidentally created profiles I didn't want, but I got one of the admins to merge them back. So I thought. Except that it still shows the OLD email that I wanted to get rid of. Did I mention this is a VERY VERY VERY confusing system??? So I have TWO logins and I don't want one of them. Now what? Jan 31 '14 at 9:54
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    You should create a 3rd login (click the add more logins button again) and associate it with your account, then remove the other 2 logins so they go away. Jan 31 '14 at 10:12
  • Associate it with WHICH account? I seem to have two. And I don't know which one I'm logged in as because Stack Exchange always logs me in automatically - even if I deliberately log out and log in again, it happens automatically. Jan 31 '14 at 10:58
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    @Algernon_Asimov you are missing a key point... logins are not accounts. From what you have described, you have 2 different logins (a Stack Exchange one and a Google one) for your account. So to remove them you need to add a 3rd login to this account. I can't explain it any better. If this is still confusing, I suggest you contact the Stack Exchange team using the "contact us" link in the footer and explain it. They can see your login situation better than me and can provide guidance. Jan 31 '14 at 11:02
  • "you are missing a key point... logins are not accounts." Yes, I was missing this key point. Thank you for finally explaining this. This point is not obvious nor clear to a new person. As I've said repeatedly, this whole Stack Exchange system is EXTREMELY confusing to newcomers. However, I just noticed a "remove" button next to the logins, so I removed the one I don't want. And... now I'm going to take your earlier advice and create a login/account/user/identity/access/sign-in/thingamajig for the other Stack Exchange site I want to access. Thank you for your help! Jan 31 '14 at 11:06
  • this is indeed a maze and very confusing. Good thing the main part of the site are not as convoluted.
    – Alain P
    Aug 10 '15 at 15:52

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