(This is essentially a rebuttal idea to this feature request because as stated, it's not possible to implement.)

What I'd like is the ability to manually control which sites I'm automatically logged in to.

I like to keep my accounts logged out as much as possible. Often I'll open a link to another site for reference, which automatically logs me in to that site. Before I close the tab, I have to remember to manually log out every time. It would be simpler if I was never logged in to start with.

As auto-login is a nice feature for lay-users, I'm not going to suggest removing it entirely (not that that will fly anyway), but for power users like myself, I'd like that extra bit of control over my credentials.

I suggest this feature be implemented as a simple checkbox in the user preferences (which would make it work on a per-site basis). Having it defaulted to enable auto-login, there would be no end-user change from the current state of the system.

  • 1
    Thanks @JonSeigel for suggesting this, +1. See also my comment on Jeff's post on the question I had originally posed - it's supposedly not possible in the way I originally described, but should be doable in some way or another, as I commented.
    – nhinkle
    Jan 2, 2011 at 7:38
  • see also this question
    – nhinkle
    Jan 2, 2011 at 8:10

1 Answer 1


No, we're not going to add a preference for this, it's far too niche*. Down that path lies madness.

You can also pretty easily roll your own.

To do so, either:

  1. Hack up a user script that clears localStorage on document unload (on stackauth.com pages)
  2. Block any of the urls involved in global auth.

For option #2: users/login/global and users/login/global/request on the SE site, auth/global/write, auth/global/read, and auth/global/read-session on stackauth.com.

I suppose you could drop a blanket block on stackauth.com, but that'll probably break some new feature we add in the future. I wouldn't recommend it, but its there if the other options aren't viable.

*Plus trying to control a network-wide behavior with per-site settings is... potentially confusing, to put it mildly.

  • Well, I don't consider any of these to be a real solution for everyone (especially #2 and #3), but I suppose #1 would work for me.
    – Jon Seigel
    Jan 2, 2011 at 8:30
  • @Jon Seigel - from a statistical point of view, despite us forcing logouts at least once in the past, the average SO user will never logout. Ever. It helps to bear this in mind when thinking about logout, especially if you're considering adding any sort of complication that reaches beyond it. Jan 2, 2011 at 8:47
  • 3
    @KevinMontrose - the only reason we don't log out is because it's completely pointless... I would love to log out as well but when I open Chrome back up or someone comes behind me at say the local coffee shop or library (aka public place) they just click on log in and boom! They are on as me. Clearing my cache all the time is crazy. Just my 2 cents. :) I did update the answer with what I ended up doing. I open all my exchange sites up in an incognito window using a great little program for chrome.
    – Arvo Bowen
    Oct 2, 2013 at 23:06
  • If the user is automatically logged in, what is the purpose of the logout button? Oct 20, 2014 at 16:21

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