This is an unofficial list/changelog of new features and various changes to Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network.

It is maintained by the community, while a Stack Exchange employee changes the accepted answer to ensure that the latest changes remain on top (given default user settings).

To see the list in reverse chronological order (latest entry on top), sort Answers by latest activity first.

For those adding new features here: please post only feature changes that affect the whole network and have some global impact. i.e. bug fixes don't belong here, nor do mobile app updates.

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  • 3
    "sort Answers by latest activity first" doesn't work because people are updating the grammar of past archives bumping them up. Is there a way to sort by post creation date for this thread? – Pacerier Jan 20 '16 at 7:35
  • @Pacerier: Yes, hit "Oldest" and scroll down the list. (Accepted answer will always be on top of course.) – Nathan Tuggy Apr 14 '16 at 0:37
  • why does this have 9 answers and not just one? – user1306322 May 30 '17 at 15:58
  • 1
    So what are the new SQL features in Data Explorer we were promised in May? – Scott Jun 9 '17 at 21:26
  • 1
    @user1306322 because in the beginning, there were too many new features, so it passed the 30k character limit. So it was decided to split it per year. Even though in recent years there are way less changes, this tradition is kept. – Shadow Wizard Jul 22 '17 at 8:41
  • @Scott good question, but even if we knew, not sure it belongs here as SEDE is "external service". Feel free to start a new support or discussion question asking about those new features. :) – Shadow Wizard Jul 22 '17 at 8:42

10 Answers 10

up vote 24 down vote accepted

December 2018

November 2018

  • 2018-11-21: Meta Stack Exchange now has its own set of moderators.

  • 2018-11-01: Support for the Internet Explorer browser has been reduced. Internet Explorer 10 is officially listed as no longer supported, and Internet Explorer 11 support will be discontinued if a new feature is released that cannot be made to work properly with it.

October 2018

September 2018

August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

May 2018

  • 2018-05-25?: Everything related to age and birth dates was removed from the system, including the profile field, what users entered into it, as well as the corresponding fields in Stack Exchange Data Explorer, in order to comply with GDPR.

  • Unknown during May 2018:

    • Cookie warnings were introduced to SE sites, to comply with GDPR rules.
    • A new feature was introduced to allow users to download all prediction data collected from them, as well as disable data collection entirely.

April 2018

  • 2018-04-27: The feature to allow <5 rep users to ask on the per-site meta about their own post was enabled on Stack Overflow.

February 2018

January 2018

  • 1
    @user13107 it's a joke, right? Just do something and the account won't be deleted. What is the point of keeping an inactive account??? – Shadow Wizard Jun 2 at 12:49
  • @ShadowWizard what if people take a 2 year hiatus and return to SO. It can certainly happen. – user13107 Jun 5 at 2:00
  • @user13107 so they create a new account. Nothing to keep in their old account anyway. – Shadow Wizard Jun 5 at 4:10
  • 1
    @ShadowWizard Nothing to keep in their old account anyway Is that so, then I think I misunderstood. I wrongly thought that autodeletion will take place if there is no activity for 2 years (even if there is a lot of activity prior to those two years). It seems to me that the correct way to interprete this feature is - if there is no activity in your account (from the start) then it will be auto deleted. – user13107 Jun 5 at 4:38
  • @user13107 big misunderstanding indeed. Read this answer for the full details. – Shadow Wizard Jun 5 at 6:24
  • 2
    @Sonic the list here is for new features, not for bug fixes. Feel free to start a new "Recent bug fixes in Stack Exchange", but here such things do not fit. – Shadow Wizard Sep 8 at 8:33
  • 1
    @Shadow Please read this post's last bullet. The bug report was previously declined, so there is a feature request asking for it to be changed. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Sep 8 at 17:10
  • @SonictheInclusiveWerehog: The change in the tag warnings also exists on sites that are still running the old design, e.g., try [critique] on Graphic Design. I therefore assume that it is an independent thing. – Wrzlprmft Sep 26 at 16:57
  • @Wrzlprmft That's still the incorrect formatting for "unknown" dates; see the 2017 answer for the proper formatting. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Sep 26 at 16:59
  • @Sonic: I don’t see why it is mandatory to translate the formatting of those events to this case – which is different by nature. In those cases, some way of doing things trickled out, which is naturally fuzzy; here, there is a specific date, which is just unknown. I am pretty confident that the change happened in September (and if somebody knows better or more precise, they can edit to narrow it down – which is most likely going to happen anyway), thus putting it in the actual month is more useful for readers, since it is easier to locate, etc. – Wrzlprmft Sep 26 at 18:19
  • @gnat with all due respect don't you think drawing attention to Sonic and IPS is overkill? Shouldn't this post be concerned with the software that affects every website? Why not wait a week or two and see if IPS is reintroduced in the HNQ? – Mari-Lou A Oct 19 at 10:36
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA this list is heavily used to answer questions about how system works and placing change descriptions here serves exactly this purpose, it has nothing to do with bringing attention – gnat Oct 19 at 11:43
  • @gnat is its exclusion felt net-wide? Does it affect all users? IPS users can refer to their meta if they want answers. The OP says …new features and various changes to Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network.…* Not various changes to IPS – Mari-Lou A Oct 19 at 12:05
  • 2
    @Mari-LouA yes it did, IPS was among top five sites at HNQ both by clicks and distribution so this change is definitely noticeable network wide (while we're at it, whole HNQ feature is meant to be network wide) – gnat Oct 19 at 12:07
  • 1
    @Mari-LouA FYI the second answer on that post gnat linked says that it won't be restored until next year at a minimum. – Sonic the Inclusive Hedgehog Oct 19 at 17:38

December 2011

  • 2011-12-28: There's a tag-wiki-specific "not helpful... does not follow any of our tag wiki guidelines" suggested-edit rejection reason.

  • 2011-12-22: The /reputation page now shows the reputation earned from suggested edits.

  • 2011-12-21: Moderators (and the users themselves) can now see history of past user names (for users that have ever changed their name)

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

  • 2013-10-08: Deleted answers that have had any spam or offensive flags raised against them will not show the answer body but the following text: "This answer was marked as spam or offensive and is therefore not shown - you can see the revision history for details". Where "the revision history" links to the answer revision history. The vote box (with score) and comments will still appear. (source)

  • 2013-10-07: In user history, Moderators can now see if a user is post-blocked, when, and if they've tried to post since being blocked. (source)

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

  • 2013-04-23: Changes to the treatment of deleted content: Deleted questions will be visible to their authors, regardless of those authors' reputation; and delete-voting within two days of closing is disabled on questions scoring -2 or above, regardless of the voter's reputation.

  • 2013-04-22: A new footer is implemented on all sites. It links to a new grid view of all Stack Exchange sites.

  • 2013-04-02: Users are now shown a persistent (but dismissable) banner linking to /about on the site.

March 2013

February 2013

  • 2013-02-21: New image upload is being tested on Meta, adding support for paste and drag-and-drop.

  • 2013-02-20: [About] in comments is now a magic link, translated automatically as a link to the site's about page. (e.g. https://stackoverflow.com/about for Stack Overflow)

  • 2013-02-19: When a comment thread contains a comment by a user whose name starts with a non-ASCII letter (e.g. Я) and you write new comment, just typing @ will bring the tab completer up with that name.

  • 2013-02-18: The revision history of a question that was closed as a duplicate is now showing the chosen originals as part of the "Closed as duplicate" notice.

  • 2013-02-11: If a visitor is not logged in or doesn't have enough reputation to vote, the vote system redirects the vote to the anonymous feedback system, and shows a small blue dialog.

  • 2013-02-06: The auto inserted text for questions closed as duplicates has been changed to "This question already has an answer here:" followed by link to the other question and the number of answers it has. The text is no longer edited into the original question but rather displayed externally. While the question is still open, only the OP sees the message and it becomes visible to everyone once the question gets closed. Questions closed as duplicate prior to this change still have the old "Possible Duplicate:" text in them.

  • 2013-02-06: The close/flag/bounty dialogs lose their border, and are made draggable

  • 2013-02-01: The "close as duplicate" process has been updated: the interface to search for duplicate questions has been improved, and users may no longer vote to close questions as duplicates of questions that do not have an upvoted or accepted answer

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

  • 2012-10-01 (likely earlier): suspension reason "This account is temporarily suspended for asking programming questions on MSO" introduced.

September 2012

  • 2012-09-22: Voting allowed (and encouraged) in First Posts and Late Answers review queues.

  • 2012-09-21: New badges added for completing community review tasks. User can earn Custodian (1 review), Reviewer (250 reviews) and Steward (1000 reviews) once for each review queue (Close Posts, First Posts, Late Answers, Suggested Edits and Low Quality Posts). The previous Reviewer badge (for reviewing posts in the old system) will no longer be awarded.

  • 2012-09-08: You must be a registered user to ask questions on Programmers Stack Exchange. Unregistered users may still answer questions however.

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

Apr 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Jan 2012

December 2014

November 2014

October 2014

  • 2014-10-17: Introduced an option to have a tag-specific popup (aka Tag Warning) to guide question askers and editors.

  • 2014-10-07: New rejection reason for suggested edits that don't make any positive changes to the post: "no improvements whatsoever".

  • 2014-10-01: Intra-word emphasis now works.

September 2014

August 2014

July 2014

June 2014

May 2014

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2015

November 2015

October 2015

September 2015

July 2015

June 2015

May 2015

  • 2015-05-05: "Inappropriate" flag option for posts renamed again, now it is "rude or abusive".

April 2015

March 2015

February 2015

January 2015

December 2016

November 2016

October 2016

September 2016

August 2016

  • 2016-08-02: Cancel misclicked flags feature is implemented and enabled network wide. It works for both Questions and Answers. (not comments)

July 2016

June 2016

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

February 2016

January 2016

  • @gnat where you saw the date 2016-09-29? The date of bluefeet's answer is August 30. (plus it does not mention auto flag, but that might be Shog's error.) – Shadow Wizard Feb 28 '17 at 7:24
  • 2016-09-29 is in the revisions history (Rev 5), when feature request was retagged to status-completed – gnat Feb 28 '17 at 8:48

June 2011

May 2011

Apr 2011

Mar 2011

Feb 2011

  • 2011-02-25: The log out link can now be found by going to your user page.

  • 2011-02-25: Automatic titles of internal links are now also shown in the preview.

  • 2011-02-22: Requirements for achieving the Strunk & White and Copy Editor badges have changed. Now it only counts how many revisions are made, not individual title or body changes. Each requires 80 and 500 revisions respectively.

  • 2011-02-22: Outspoken badge introduced.

  • 2011-02-22: Users can now see their own flag weight on their profile page when it is sufficiently high or low. This value is also visible to moderators.

  • 2011-02-21: You can now embed ads for Area 51 proposals to help support and promote proposals and beta sites.

  • 2011-02-21: A user's flag weight is now considered in adjusting the number of moderator flags a user gets each day. The details can be found here.

  • 2011-02-20: Marking inline code with backticks ` now works almost the same in comments as in questions and answers, and bold & italic is now also possible in comments.

  • 2011-02-18: ANY active mod flag suppresses items from /review, prior to this only YOUR flags were suppressed for YOU. (reference)

  • 2011-02-17: /review pages now present posts in random order, to "get more eyeballs on more posts".

  • 2011-02-11: Stack Exchange API 1.1, and improved App Gallery.

  • 2011-02-10: Vote to delete answers implemented and available to 20K users. Answer must be -1 or lower and needs 3 votes. Vote to delete questions not time limited for 20K users. Again 3 votes required.

  • 2011-02-09: Migration now does tag checks. During migration, tags will be checked (and replaced if found) for tag synonyms on the destination site. Tags that do not exist on the destination site will be stripped from the question. If the previous steps leave a question with no remaining tags, it will be closed as off-topic on the original site and not migrated, unless it had only one tag that also is a "global tag" on the destination site (e.g. questions can be migrated to TeX.se and will be ).

  • 2011-02-09: Flagging for moderator attention now counts for the Citizen Patrol badge. This change applies retroactively.

  • 2011-02-09: Privilege changes: Create tags has been raised from 150 to 300. Retag has been raised from 200 to 500. A new 5k privilege to approve or reject tag wiki edits has been added. A new 15k privilege to protect a question has been added. The question must be older than a day. You can also un-protect a question you protected, but not one that has been protected by someone else. The requirements for editing a tag wiki have been simplified to a 20k rep privilege.

  • 2011-02-08: The Stack Exchange Data Explorer now allows you to view and download query execution plans.

  • 2011-02-07: The Markdown preview area now renders embedded tags (the kind created with[tag:tags] syntax).

  • 2011-02-06: The "all sites" tab in the global inbox is now sorted by your reputation, if above 200.

  • 2011-02-02: Moderators can now send private messages to users, through the website. The addressees will see a top-bar notification, and can reply to the moderators.

  • 2011-02-02: Comments get an inline drop-down mini-help.

  • 2011-02-02: The queue of suggested edits is now visible for 10k users.

  • 2011-02-02: When a suggested edit is approved, the user who suggested it gets +2 reputation.

Jan 2011

  • 2011-01-30: After testing and tweaking, low reputation users can now suggest edits, to be approved by peer review. Edits suggested by unregistered users show as made by Community. People who suggest edits can earn up to 1000 reputation, 2 for each approved edit.

  • 2011-01-27: Area 51 gets an updated design, proposal categories, and a discussion zone. A51 posts are now oneboxed in chat.

  • 2011-01-27: Stack Exchange now uses Lucene instead of SQL Fulltext for search, related questions, and the 'similar questions' in Ask a Question. Option infavorites is no longer supported, some search keys like intitle have changed names, and a new option body is introduced. See the help on the /search pages.

  • 2011-01-21: The three-character requirement for comment @replies has been relaxed for the first word. Like @Jo will now notify Jo Miller, but not John.

  • 2011-01-20: The main list of rooms in chat now displays the global inbox (AKA StackExchange™ MultiCollider SuperDropdown™).

  • 2011-01-18: Sort option "oldest" is back, replacing "newest."

  • 2011-01-14: Tag pop-ups now lists "Followers" which is equal to the number of people who have favorited (marked as interesting) the tag and the number of email subscribers. Subscribing to RSS is not tracked.

  • 2011-01-13: Flag dialog improved. Its "flag for moderator attention" option now provides several default reasons, where appropriate: "not an answer", "low quality" and "should be CW". It allows for longer messages to a moderator. The daily maximum number of flags has been increased. And if a particular user keeps moderator flagging for reasons that are considered invalid, their flag weight decreases. And for those users who continually flag reliably, their flag weight increases.

  • 2011-01-11: Twitter question feeds to publish the most interesting questions on each Stack Exchange site (but not the SOFU trilogy) every three hours. Like: twitter.com/StackProgrammer.

  • 2011-01-11: Authors can now only delete their question if it has zero answers, or only one answer with zero score. In all other cases, voting or flagging is required.

  • 2011-01-08: The "flags" tab in 10k tools was improved; it now shows comment flags in addition to spam/offensive flags, and lets users display the entire post and add their own flag directly from the flags tab. It also preserves the other mod tool tabs.

  • 2011-01-08: When hovering over any tag (like this one: ) a pop-up will appear. From this you can subscribe to email notifications, add the tag to your RSS reader and view the tag wiki excerpt. Where no tag wiki is available an invitation to create the tag wiki appears. The pop-up also includes links to the FAQ, Info & Top Users pages for the tag.

  • 2011-01-07: Chat "whitelists" no longer allow specified users to talk regardless of their rep. Users with less than 20 rep now get only four hours of chat time before being locked out.

  • 2011-01-07: Moderators can now convert answers into comments.

  • 2011-01-07: The vote-to-close panel now has a more prominent close button (for closing the panel itself, not for voting).

  • 2011-01-06: New "faq" tab added to the /questions page, displacing the "hot" tab (but not removing "hot" functionality).

  • 2011-01-06: Comments now support inserting links containing parentheses e.g. [foo](http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms535874(VS.85).aspx)

  • 2011-01-03: Page footers now indicate when a new post has been made to the SO blog.

November 2017

October 2017

August 2017

July 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

Unknown during 2017

  • 1
    @gnat regarding the protocol edit, it is not needed anymore now that MSE is fully HTTPS. Non HTTPS link will just redirect to HTTPS so it doesn't matter. – Shadow Wizard Apr 4 '17 at 5:55

Dec 2010

Nov 2010

  • 2010-11-24: Mouseover of chat messages now highlights any replies to that message.

  • 2010-11-13: The "activity" tab of the user profile now gives the option to dynamically show the content of recently posted answers.

  • 2010-11-09: Questions are now sorted by "amount of interest" on the homepage rather than time of last activity. (Stack Overflow only.)

  • 2010-11-08: The frequency of the notification envelope lighting up has been toned down in favor of the global inbox.

  • 2010-11-07: Behavior of [tag:tags] on meta sites updated to refer to the parent site by default; new syntax introduced for a meta-site's own tags (source).

  • 2010-11-07: Support for the <kbd> tag re-enabled on Meta Stack Overflow.

  • 2010-11-05: Posting links to the very same site now automatically shows the title. So, just insert https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/59445/whatever. to become Recent feature changes to Stack Exchange. The title is not shown in the preview, but inserted when the post is created or edited. The title is not updated when it changes, unless the post is edited. It does not work in comments, nor for links to other SOFU sites. Trailing punctuation marks such as a comma, dot or question mark (without URL parameters) to get a readable sentence work just fine.

  • 2010-11-05: Posting tags inside questions and answers now works. Example: instead of writing [`[tags]`](https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/tags) to display [tags], users can now write [tag:tags] to display .

  • 2010-11-03: Official introduction of tag sets, including wildcard support.

  • 2010-11-02: Revival badge introduced.

  • 2010-11-02: Threshold for Pundit badge changed from "10 comments scoring 10+" to "10 comments scoring 5+".

Oct 2010

Sep 2010

Aug 2010

  • 2010-08-24: Support for shorter URLs, like stackoverflow.com/q/1732348.

  • 2010-08-17: hot questions formula has been tweaked: Succeeding questions from the same site are penalized by increasing amounts. Community wiki questions are penalized. The benefit of many answers is capped at 10, and we only look at the score of the top 3 answers. We only degrade based on question age, and not the last update date on a question.

  • 2010-08-13: An image-upload capability has been added, accessible through the image option in the toolbar.

  • 2010-08-10: Questions from IP addresses or accounts with a history of extremely poor questions are no longer being accepted. Votes on questions are taken into account, and this yields a permanent IP ban, showing "Sorry, we are no longer accepting questions from this account".

  • 2010-08-06: (and other meta-tags) are now banned.

  • 2010-08-03: Searching within favorites is now included in advanced search.

Jul 2010

Jun 2010

May 2010

Apr 2010

  • 2010-04-30: The vote-undo locked text was changed into a more specific "You last voted on this question / Mar 28 at 7:55 / Your vote is now locked in / unless this question is edited", hence also allowing you to see when you voted if your memory fails you.

  • 2010-04-25: A new "Linked" posts column on the right, above the existing "Related" posts. It's limited to 50 links, and ordered to put the "best" related links at the top (score, # answers, # views, answer scores).

  • 2010-04-01: Inline links in comments, [the Markdown way](http://example.com).

Mar 2010

Feb 2010

Jan 2010

Oct/Nov/Dec 2009

  • 2009-12-27: Edit your own comments, within a 5 minute window, yielding the little pencil icon: Edited comment.

  • 2009-11-30: Show up/down vote totals when clicking the vote count: Need a minimum number of reputation points to see this (currently 1,000, though it could vary from site to site).

  • 2009-10-02: Cut off internal links in comments show the question title (actually: the text after the question number in the URL, without the dashes) in the hover text.

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protected by hims056 Sep 3 '13 at 12:10

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