This morning when I brought up SO and MSO, I was surprised to see the "First time here? Check the FAQ" bar. I checked and this also happened to me on SU and SF, and it also happened on Chrome (so it wasn't like Firefox just tossed its cookies.) I don't think it was just me, because I looked around Meta and found two questions where people mention that they had to login again today. (Neither specifically asked why it happened.)

What was the reason? Was there some change on the server that prompted this? Has the policy of not expiring sessions changed, or was this a one-time thing?

Edit: Some further information which may or may not be relevant: I mainly surf in Firefox, but also in Chrome. I can't remember ever having to login except after intentionally logging out or after clearing browser cookies. I use my own website's URL as my OpenID, it delegates to MyOpenID. I have Google as a backup, but I don't think I've ever used it except maybe to test something on Meta.

I also have an "alt" that I occasionally use to ask questions I'd be embarrassed to ask under my own name (and have linked to my Careers CV). I always use the alt from IE, using a Google open id, and that session is expired too.

  • 2
    I did not have that problem
    – juan
    Apr 9, 2010 at 18:16
  • 1
    I had this happen at home and at work.
    – Jon Seigel
    Apr 9, 2010 at 18:17
  • When the cookie expires I guess the session expires also. Has Jeff mentioned that SO cookies never expire? Apr 9, 2010 at 18:18
  • 1
    @Ladybug Killer, stackoverflow cookies are 6 months long, and expires date keep updating whenever you surf on site. I dont think thats because of cookies age.
    – YOU
    Apr 9, 2010 at 18:22
  • Confirmed here as well, but only on Meta...
    – Aarobot
    Apr 9, 2010 at 18:38
  • 2
    I had same today as well. OpenId from Google, by the way, maybe it's linked.
    – Gnoupi
    Apr 9, 2010 at 18:41
  • I had it happen to, at home and at work, but I thought it was because Chrome updated itself (new dev version). My brother, running the same Chrome, is still getting kicked out every 20 minutes. Apr 9, 2010 at 19:00
  • I'm not sure if this is SO or Google because Google requested that I reauthorize the site when I logged in. That is not normal. I'm also on Chrome.
    – dlux
    Apr 9, 2010 at 19:00
  • Confirm that this happened at work. I use Firefox. Apr 9, 2010 at 20:04
  • I also have an "alt" that I occasionally use to ask questions I'd be embarrassed to ask under my own name (and have linked to my Careers CV) -- really, only for that reason? I truly fail to understand that.
    – Arjan
    Apr 9, 2010 at 21:20

3 Answers 3


We cleared all db sessions for anyone who has a gmail openid. This is because the nature of this openid requires us to "demand" email address now. (because the urls are domain not global hashes, unlike every other openid provider.)

  • Is www.google.com/profiles exempt of this? Accounts already with an email set?
    – perbert
    Apr 9, 2010 at 20:27

Yeah, Its happening randomly on me too, since this time, it was supposed to be fixed actually, but I looks like its not.


It just happened to me today, had to re-sign into SO, SF and Meta, but not SU. Very Strange.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .