When I click the "logout" link, I am taken to a separate page that contains nothing but a "logout" button. I don't really see the point of this; I suggest removing this page and having the logout link actually log you out.

  • 26
    There's a logout link? Whatever would people use that for?
    – mmyers
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:39
  • @mmyers Just chalk it up to OCD Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:39
  • 20
    "You can log out anytime you like, but you can never leave."
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:57
  • 6
    I actually like this, since I often click on logout by mistake.
    – user27414
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:07
  • It takes two clicks to get to the log out button and then scroll and click to log out. If the log out button is already hidden away then it makes the logout page kinda moot.
    – Mallow
    Commented Dec 26, 2011 at 18:57

5 Answers 5


While we're on this topic, can we please fix the spelling of that text to "log out"? "logout" is a noun, "log out" is a verb.

(This was covered earlier at Use of login/logout is inconsistent and incorrect, so please go upvote that question too.)

  • 1
    And "log out" is what is displayed on the confirmation page, so it should at least be consistent (to say nothing of correctness). Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:07
  • 1
    Actually, you could make the case that "logout" is intended as a noun here, much like "search" and "faq" Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:46
  • 1
    @Michael: I have a "login", but what is a "logout" anyway? The term makes no sense except as a description of the action "to log out".
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:48
  • Actually you can't upvote that question because it is locked. Any idea why they locked it? Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 22:05
  • @Lance: in the absence of other information, I'd assume that Jeff didn't like the amount of comments that post was generating.
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 1:44
  • Yeh, I figured that, just couldn't figure out what kind of comment war would have started over that issue. Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 16:10
  • 1
    @Lance: Jeff doesn't like being told he's wrong, QED.
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 4, 2010 at 16:24

I think I remember a blog post by Jeff talking about adding this so a malicious script didn't do naughty stuff to you, but I can't find it (I don't even remember if it was on codinghorror or the stackoverflow blog)

In any case, I bet you it's there for a reason.

As Arjan says, you'd be logged out if someone includes
<img src="https://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/logout"/> in a post

  • That does seem to ring a bell, but I don't know where it was either.
    – mmyers
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:05
  • 7
    It surely is there for a very good reason: you don't want to be logged out when someone includes <img src="http://meta.stackoverflow.com/users/logout"/> in a post. (Now the bonus question is: does the OP maintain web applications?)
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:53
  • 1
    Right now, to logout, the logout button requires some sort of key, which I assume to be user/session specific, preventing links to auto-log out anyway. This could easily be applied to the first logout button, making this reasoning silly. (Not necessarily wrong though, the truth is frequently silly) Commented Mar 26, 2012 at 16:45
  • I ignore the current status of that, but the common, safe approach is that a GET to /users/logout shows the confirmation page, while a POST actually logs out. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 20:46
  • Then the link does a POST when clicked so you don't have to confirm. But a simple image or link wouldn't work. (clicking the link would display the confirmation page). Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 20:47
  • If someone includes that kind of a logout link in a post, anyone from the community will get logged out, then promptly log back in and edit that post to fix it. Malicious users who continue to insert such links will get banned. StackExchange can also have a script that prevents people from posting such a link. When all these solutions exist, why does someone think that it's still necessary to add an extra logout step?
    – Nav
    Commented Aug 21, 2018 at 4:49

On sites that don't have a confirmation, I do occasionally click the "logout" button and it is a bit of a pain to have to log in again. I am also sure that the majority of the times I have hit the logout button, not just here but other sites, I didn't want to. I have never used this site from a public computer and so the additional step saves me time.

The other issue is it isn't like you never have your mouse near it. The the tools button is right next to it and either too much or too little coffee could lead to me accidently hitting logout rather than tools (and I have done it) a few times.

In other words, some sort of confirmation is definitely required. I must admit the current text is strange.

You're a registered user.

You can log in or out at any time using the OpenID you've already associated with your account.

Something more along the lines of "Are you sure you want to logout" would be much better.

  • Agree with the text change at a minimum being warranted. Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:57
  • 2
    ...Or potentially instead of going to a new page, simply bring up a confirmation dialog, like that which is shown when clicking 'delete'.
    – Ether
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 20:34
  • @Ether yeah, that would IMHO be fine
    – HAL 9000
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 21:01

While I never log out, I would think we'd only need a confirmation popup, just in case we accidentally hit the button.

  • A valid reason to have a pop-up, but logging out of SO is not an action that would result in any irreversible data loss, etc. And the pop-up for leaving a page when you still have unsubmitted data should still apply. Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:42

I have to agree. This is not a damaging function. The page that "logout" displays simply tells you that you are a registered user and that you can log in or log out any time.

To which my response is, "DUH." I know I'm a registered user, I know I'm logged in, and all I want to do is log out. It really should be one-and-only-one click.

  • you changed your name! you cannot change it again for a month! did you really think it through???
    – juan
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 19:58
  • No, I had buyer's remorse immediately. Should have changed it to "name chameleon" (meta.stackexchange.com/questions/40852/…). That said, my current one is pretty much just like the anonymous ones, only in hex. :)
    – John Rudy
    Commented Mar 2, 2010 at 21:09
  • yes, of course... I was about to change mine a few times, but I can't find one I'd like to be stuck for a month! I guess we are losing at Jeff's game...
    – juan
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 0:20
  • @Downvoter, yeah I think that was his goal. :)
    – John Rudy
    Commented Mar 3, 2010 at 14:10

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