How can I contact another user, if that user has not specified any contact details in their profile?

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  • 3
    If we charge 2 reputation per direct message, that would address some of the concerns listed below.
    – Evorlor
    Apr 20, 2021 at 12:33
  • 2
    @Evorlor I would pay 20 rep for the first message ever, to combat spam and problems. I could wait for that privilege/power. I do not necessarily want any random user to be able to PM me (well, the symbolism of a private message at least) on first pass. Maybe afer the 20 you can revert to 2 if the user is able to make sense enough to pass the filters and has a lot to say, then I would not want to penalize such users for being talkative. That way we preserve the original intent of the authors of Stackexchange, while at the same time giving features that are standard for major social networks. Apr 25, 2021 at 2:01
  • 1
    Maybe even more costly (100 or even more?), but recipients might accept the message as valuable in which case the costs are paid back?
    – Aconcagua
    Oct 26, 2021 at 13:24

4 Answers 4


Instant messaging or private messaging is not available: requests to implement that have been declined to keep focus on questions and answers, and to keep those visible to everyone.

Some users are active in chat, and you might be able to set up a "one-on-one" chat room for you and the user you'd like to contact by visiting their user profile on chat and clicking the "start a new room with this user" button. (Note that the room will not be private -- if you have enough reputation, you can make it so that others cannot post messages in the room, but others will still be able to read the messages):

Random user

Then, if you have at least 1,000 reputation, change the room parameters to Gallery mode. If the user has never logged on to Stack Exchange Chat but has a Stack Overflow profile, you might also try on Stack Overflow Chat.

One might use comment replies to notify a user of a comment. But remember: even comments should be relevant to the post, and can be flagged as noise if they are not, so this is not recommended.

In rare cases where immediate action is necessary (e.g., the user has accidentally left login credentials in a post), you can flag for moderator attention and explain what the urgent matter is about.

On the flip side, if you want to provide a way for people to contact you, leave contact information in your user profile.

See also: How can I start a chat with a particular user?

  • 47
    Sounds needlessly complicated to have to go through all this pain to message someone. Sometimes when I find someone on a site that has a common interest with me, I just want to say hi, not give them an answer that I'm withholding from the rest of the community.
    – Max Li
    Dec 29, 2016 at 19:06
  • 3
    How do we find a user in chat? For instance, if someone visits my profile in Meta SE, how would they find me in chat?
    – Stevoisiak
    Apr 16, 2017 at 17:22
  • Is there a way to tell if a user is currently online? It's hard to coordinate chat if they are offline doing something else.
    – posfan12
    Oct 21, 2017 at 14:57
  • This answer shows a user page, with no indication of how to find that user page. Is there some URL for it? Jun 3, 2018 at 16:04
  • 2
    @MaxLi From my point of view, it's needfully complex. Without exception, every time someone wanted a one-on-one chat with me, it was to request my help solving their programming problem. We already have SO for that. And if it's off topic for SO, chances are I can't help with it anyhow. I consider the difficulty of starting a chat with someone to be a feature. Jun 12, 2018 at 22:16
  • 2
    echoing @StevenM.Vascellaro, I can't figure out how to tell if a particular user uses Chat, if they aren't among the active users at this very moment.
    – Sparr
    Dec 18, 2018 at 4:06
  • 1
    I really don't see any good reason not to have a simple "message" option ... if someone abuses it etc can always have a block option or whatever..
    – SheppLogan
    Nov 23, 2019 at 15:29
  • requests to implement that have been declined to keep focus on questions and answers, and to keep those visible to everyone - that explanation does not make sense because you still can get the answer on chat?
    – Wodzu
    Apr 20 at 13:08

You can still see the "About Me" section of users' profiles. Often, users place links to Twitter, Github, and their personal website. By checking out these links, you can often see email addresses. Also, many users place their emails and Linked In profile links in their publicly available "About Me" section, especially if they are interested in networking.


I once found a way to contact another user in private.

The procedure is simple. We exchanged out twitter accounts in a chat session and followed each other. Then using Twitter's private chat function, we managed to exchange more contact methods.

It's really safe since if someone else followed your Twitter you can simply ignore him and send your message to the one you want to contact.


Exactly because one user may have forgot to fill out contacts details or he/she may have typed a wrong or expired link:

rather I'd suggest to at least place a button in every users profiles: "Request contacts details". Clickable just once.

Let me kindly explain and for my example, we said first that e.g. my stack* user name will be Robert_SE and I'm trying to contact user JhonDoe.

I goto JhonDoe profile but unfortunately he did not filled the possible contacts and or they are wrong/expired.

I'll click the "Send contacts request" button available in his profile page and he will receive this kind email message on the email associated with his/her Stack* account:

"The user Robert_SE (with direct link to my profile) 
wants to contact you.

If they are left blank, Why don't take this occasion to 
fill your social channels details and or contact details? 
(with link for the action)

If you kindly want to get back to user Robert_SE, click his
profile link and you'll find his/her contacts details.

Please note that user Robert_SE can't repeat this request 

Stack* Community"

It will be matter of Mr. John to decide what's next or the request will vanish in a soap bubble:

for the simple fact that, after clicking it once, for me user Robert_SE, the button "Send contacts request" will be grayed disabled.

Needless to say that I'll be smart enough to have double verified that at least one contact channel in my profile is properly filled out ... :-)

EDIT from comments, it is needless to say, in my idea, the button will we shown ONLY to logged users.

If you allow me, this could turn in a cool solution for this long term question.

  • 5
    Most users already feel they get too many emails these days. Adding more emails will just annoy them more. Aug 3, 2017 at 6:27
  • 23
    So, each of 10 million SO users will be able to ping Jon Skeet only once. I'm sure he'll be happy to know that.
    – user315433
    Aug 3, 2017 at 6:45
  • We could simulate how this works by leaving a comment here. Too bad multiple comments get rolled into one ...
    – rene
    Aug 3, 2017 at 6:58
  • @Alex pretty sure suggestion here means send email only once (button will disappear or give message like "request has already been sent" after first click by anyone), but still.. Aug 3, 2017 at 7:32
  • 1
    Hey guys, thank you for your feedback... But please, comment in the right sense. Let's observe what we are. So let's talking about what we are: anonymous Stack* users, if you agree, any of us is not Katy Perry, so try to reason in the right direction, is your account so famous that either some tenth of users would "ping you"???!!! :-), please... have the chance to contact a user will avoid flooding comments.
    – Robert
    Aug 3, 2017 at 10:42
  • And a P.S. : needless to say, that button will show only to logged users. Was this clarification needed? Maybe, I'm gonna edit my proposal.
    – Robert
    Aug 3, 2017 at 10:56
  • relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/71642/… specially his latest edit
    – rene
    Aug 3, 2017 at 11:13
  • 7
    This is a FAQ question/answer. If you have a feature-request you should ask that as a separate question. Aug 3, 2017 at 11:30
  • 1
    @Robert I guarantee you that if your feature were implemented (it won't ever be, but if it were) then Jon would get many, many more requests for contact than Katy Perry would on the site. Maybe not a tenth of the user base (I'm sure Katy Perry would get very few requests, given the site's audience and purpose) but I'm sure Jon would get between several dozen to hundreds of requests a day, every single day.
    – Servy
    Aug 3, 2017 at 20:10
  • @Servy hello! Let me understand how do you use Stack* portals. Given the site's audience, what kind of audience do you think it is? People staying around to see if is it possible to bother someone else? Try to explain the typical situation you imagin/figure out. Why some 15 users today would send you a contact details request? Thank you.
    – Robert
    Aug 4, 2017 at 4:44
  • Unless you don't mean "certain users" (let's call them "gurus"). Well that is a point, But I was thinking about a situation I have seen , where I have found myself discussing a piece of code with another user. As the system suggested, I tried to switch to The chat system but it looks live. A live chat was Not possible because of jet lag. I have written the message in the chat, but it looked to me that the chat is not Skype like and messages go vanish, while it makes sense they stay there until the other user may reply it.
    – Robert
    Aug 4, 2017 at 4:58
  • 1
    @Servy our one is an example. Me and you now have started a sort of discussion. Should we continue this here "flooding" the comments? Obviously is not the same concept, I was thinking about discussing a piece of code where the focus for the general interest goes lost. But you and me are discussing about it. And maybe we have 12 hours jet lag. Instead than a live chat, we need a one to one communication that allows you and me to write each other exactly as here. I supposed the best would be to allow those users (me and you in this example) a manner to switch to common emails.
    – Robert
    Aug 4, 2017 at 5:15
  • 1
    @Robert This is a question and answer site, on SO, for programming questions. So people looking for answers to programming questions are going to be spamming requests to the experts and top answerers in their fields (and perhaps even outside them) begging them to look at their question(s), or to answer their own private questions.
    – Servy
    Aug 4, 2017 at 13:16
  • I understand. Obviously as described I was not considering the thing from this point of view, so under this perspective now I got the point.
    – Robert
    Aug 4, 2017 at 17:07
  • Why does anyone wants to connect personally to another user anyway ?? If the user's has a question which is related to a question, they can post their own comment about any specific details, their own scenarios or ask another while linking that particular questions. Then not only a particular user, the whole community will be there to help..
    – NitinSingh
    Jul 10, 2018 at 5:43

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