Apologies in advance if this question is all over the place. I have no idea how OpenID works and how SE's various login systems are related to eachother.

I am attempting to add a Google OpenID login to my account by performing the following steps:

  1. Go to my profile page on MSE.
  2. Click Edit Profile & Settings.
  3. Click My Logins.
  4. Click add more logins....
  5. Click More login options.
  6. Enter my Google+ profile URL in the box (which this page says to do, it's https://plus.google.com/someidnumber).
  7. Click Submit

I am met with a page that says:

OpenID 2.0 for Google Accounts has gone away

If you've been redirected to this page, it means that you're using a website that doesn't support the latest sign-in standards from Google.

I am confused by the related information I found:

  • "OpenID 2.0 for Google Accounts is going away"; will this affect Stack Exchange?

    • "Stack Exchange is not affected by this deprecation, it is already using one of the recommended APIs." - Confused because it seems to be affected.
    • "StackExchange.com, the Data Explorer, and Area 51 have not yet been updated; you will see the deprecation warning there if you use Google to log in." - Confused because I'm not sure if this is referring to the Google login button (which currently does work on the three listed sites) or Google as an OpenID provider. Also confused because this list of exceptions may be outdated, e.g. Anna Lear said "No plans to update Area 51 as such... but we're working on a new login system that should take care of this as well. Same goes for stackexchange.com, which I believe also still uses the OpenID endpoints." last November.
  • Cannot log into SEDE with Google account - openid was dropped

    • Nick Craver states "OAuth 2 support for Google has been deployed." - Confused because I think this indicates that I should not be seeing the problem that I'm seeing?
    • Also confused because I'm not sure if this is referring to the Google login button or using a Google OpenID URL.

I am thoroughly confused by all this. How do I add a Google OpenID URL login?

The real reason behind this question is I'm trying to interface with SE's chat WebSockets, but I currently use the Google log-in button for my account. All of the existing code I see uses https://openid.stackexchange.com/ to authenticate, so I'm trying to add an OpenID login. But maybe I'm going down the wrong path entirely to begin with, I have no idea how SE OpenID vs. Google OpenID vs. Google Login button fits into the picture here. I'm just pursuing this path because "openid.stackexchange.com" and the "More login options" form both have the words "OpenID" in them and I have no better ideas (I'm not ready to count the inexplicably involved SE OpenID procedure described here as a "better idea" quite yet).

Every time I read another OpenID/Google-related MSE post or web site, a few more drops of my brain drip out my ears. I don't know how to put all the information together.

1 Answer 1


You don't. Google dropped support for OpenID on April 20th.

You can still log into Stack Exchange using Google because we rigged up something to support OAuth - "The New Hotness™" - behind the scenes. It looks like OpenID, mostly, and we make it work for old accounts by virtue of having spent the past few years asking for email addresses along with OpenID when folks logged in using Google... But have no illusions, it is not OpenID. If you were one of those unlucky people who used the raw OpenID string to authenticate using your Google account and you never gave us your email address, then you probably can't access your account now and will have to /contact us and hope we can figure something out.

But that isn't your particular concern. You were still hoping to add a Google OpenID. Well, too bad. You missed the boat on that, just like you probably missed out on Wave, Reader and Buzz. If you want to authenticate using Google, you'll have to fake an OAuth login. In theory, that should actually be easier. In practice it probably isn't. If you already have examples that show you how to do it with SE's OpenID, then use that instead - it's free, and you don't even have to switch up emails.

Years ago, back when Stack Overflow was starting out, OpenID was It - the thing that was gonna save all of us from having to remember 1807 different passwords, including the password for the password manager that helps us remember the other 1806. Then it all went south. I blame Facebook.

  • Beat me to the punch. In regards to the code being referenced, the tl;dr is that it's using the Stack Exchange OpenID login to authenticate a Stack Exchange account and there's no Google anything involved.
    – Tim Stone
    May 20, 2015 at 3:47
  • Anecdotally, as far as OpenID itself goes, the Google login is…kinda(?) OpenID Connect, which is just dressing up OAuth 2 in fancy clothes, with all the headaches that come with OAuth (like registering with the endpoint*, such fun!). (Apparently they realised how many steps backwards this was from OpenID and implemented an dynamic client registration protocol but I have no idea if anyone implements it)
    – Tim Stone
    May 20, 2015 at 3:52
  • 5
    Every time I've tried to implement OAuth for my site because it's The New Best Thing™, I've read pages and pages for hours and hours before finally coming to the conclusion I had no idea what I was doing and giving up. Maybe I'm just security-challenged, but I now have a deep-seated resentment for all things OAuth. ...maybe I should ask a question on Stack Overflow. May 20, 2015 at 3:54
  • This makes way more sense. I think I blurred OAuth and OpenID. An SE OpenID serves my purposes perfectly too, but I tried the Google path because, philosophically, doing this feels like murdering a puppy to me. Is that still the way to add an SE OpenID login to an account, or has an "Add SE OpenID" button been invented somewhere yet?
    – Jason C
    May 20, 2015 at 3:56
  • @TimStone "and there's no Google anything involved" That really helped, thanks. I am blending it all together wrong in my head.
    – Jason C
    May 20, 2015 at 3:57
  • 3
    It's still like that, @JasonC. Unless that broke, in which case may god have mercy on your soul.
    – Shog9
    May 20, 2015 at 4:06

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