Currently, almost every Stack Exchange site has its own login area, meaning the browsers login auto fill doesn't always work.

For example:

Stack Overflow login: stackoverflow.com/users/login Physics Stack Exchange login: physics.stackexchange.com/users/login

If I've saved my login credentials for Stack Overflow, they don't work for Physics Stack Exchange. I have to save them again, and vice-versa.

I propose a solution similar to that of Googles' is implemented,

accounts.stackexchange.com shared by all Stack Exchange sites.


Someone has flagged this as a duplicate of this, but I assure you, it is not. That post is about how sites behave after logging into one of the sites, and this post is about unifying the login experience across all the Stack Exchange sites, so browser login auto-fill only needs to remember one set of credentials for one address: accounts.stackexchange.com


Here's a screenshot of my browsers password manager, ridiculous!!

All the credentials are the same.

Chrome password manager

  • 1
    I still don't understand how you end-up with credentials for all these sites. Did you also disable thirdparty-cookies or is there another reason universal login didn't work for you, leaving you no other option then to login on all those sites again? – rene Apr 20 '19 at 10:17
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    @rene This is about browser-saved passwords. This isn't an issue once you're logged in, but when you're logged out your password is only saved on the specific sites you initially logged in to. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Apr 20 '19 at 10:27
  • I believe that you can login by using Stack Exchange, Google or Facebook; if you don't want to use Google or Facebook you can set up one account on Stack Exchange and use that to login to any of the sites. It would be helpful to include your browser version, OS and password manager. I join new sites regularly (using Google, and no password manager) and it's a few clicks to create a new account. If I'm logged into any one site I'm logged in everywhere that I already have an account (except SEDE). – Rob Apr 20 '19 at 10:36
  • @SonictheWizardWerehog I know how that works. Still don't understand the usage scenario. It must be something like: "Hey, that is an awesome SE site. Let's login because I've never done that before and my cookies didn't persist. Dang, where did I had that credential I used for the other SE site I was on". If the number of logins stored is the problem then this can be mitigated by the user, if they carefully plan on which site they login and then proceed from there. I really doubt if a revisit to unify login again is where the SE tdev team needs to spend time on. – rene Apr 20 '19 at 10:41
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    @Rob Re: "if you don't want to use Google or Facebook you can set up one account on Stack Exchange and use that to log in to any of the sites". I have a Stack Exchange account and yet it doesn't show the user id and password I use to log in to Physics SE, when I try to log in to (say) Stack Overflow. Let me emphasize the OP's point: the issue is not about not getting logged in to Stack Overflow when I log in to Physics SE, but rather about the absence of auto-fill (with the Physics SE log in credentials) when I try to log in to Stack Overflow. This isn't a browser dependent issue. – S.D. Apr 20 '19 at 10:43
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    @Blue is the real problem that the login form does't have the autocomplete attribute set on the input tags? – rene Apr 20 '19 at 10:49
  • @rene Erm, I'm not quite sure what that means (don't really know much about web development). Anyway, I believe the problem is that we don't have a universal all-SE log in i.e. whether a person wishes to log in to Physics SE (https://physics.stackexchange.com/users/login) or they wish to log in to Stack Overflow (https://stackoverflow.com/users/login), they should be redirected to log in through a unified page — something like https://stackexchange.com/users/login. That way we don't have to save our log in credentials for each SE site separately. – S.D. Apr 20 '19 at 10:59
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    @Blue no, it is not enabled. I checked before I posted the comment. – rene Apr 20 '19 at 11:10
  • One of the points of moving away from Global auth (and from StackAuth.com) to Universal login was to get rid of those redirects to different domains and reloads. I leave it to Adam Lear to fill in the exact details what the problems / challenges were but I welcomed the move to universal login. Undoing some of that with the risk of re-instating previous redirect/reload requirements seems counter intuitive. – rene Apr 20 '19 at 11:14
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    @Blue it would solve that you have to re-enter your credentials on each site. It won't solve that the passwordmanager still stores the credentials for each site. But again, with some self-discipline by always login in into stackexchange.com/users/login that would be solved. – rene Apr 20 '19 at 11:20
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    Maybe one day! There are a lot of technical hurdles to something like this in how we route things on the network that would at the moment add a lot of complication. However, on .NET Core we could for example handle the accounts domain routing in middleware and this is much more doable and comparatively way, way simpler. It's on my list as something we'd like to do for other reasons (e.g. de-duping login screen duplication). We plan to look at authentication after the .NET Core port this year, but have no concrete details past that, just lots of thoughts. – Nick Craver Apr 20 '19 at 13:16
  • @NickCraver Awesome, when you get around to doing it, could you also, as part of the change, allow us to have one profile across all SE sites which we can modify in a single place, instead of having the current "copy to all sites" debacle. Thanks. – daka Apr 20 '19 at 13:25
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    @daka Nope :) Because the two aren't at all related. However, that's another project which is very much deep into design phase that will come here to meta as we actually have time to work on it after current items. I think you'll like the new approach - I've been pinged about the architecture to support it along the way and think it'll simplify tremendously for us on the backend and users on the frontend. – Nick Craver Apr 20 '19 at 13:27
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    @NickCraver should we tag this status-review, or is that intended only for shorter-term stuff? – Monica Cellio Apr 21 '19 at 3:00
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    @MEE or in its actual name, status-graveyard. ;) – Shadow The Burning Wizard Apr 21 '19 at 14:02

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