8 FAQ tagged with preferences

What is my username? Can I change my username?

Your username is whatever name you chose during the signup process and is included in the receipt you received from PayPal. If you can't remember it, please drop us a note at the contact form.

You cannot change the username attached to your account on your own (i.e., the name on your past posts and comments). Usernames are your identity in the community and carry a lot of weight with others that read your comments. If you are changing your username you are effectively disappearing from the site and reappearing anew. Retroactively changing an account's name causes confusion as people mention users by name in discussion. We will change the username attached to an existing account in some situations: MeFites being stalked or harassed, trans MeFites, and some very rare legal issues. Please talk to us if this is your situation.

If you are just unhappy with your username, you can sign up for an all new account and use that for your participation in the future instead (see the FAQ entry on new accounts for more details about when it's okay to make new or second accounts).
(tags: ) March 6, 2006 - permalink - back to questions

How do I post a Mefi post or ask an AskMe question from my phone or tablet?

Metafilter has a lot of display preferences and there are differences among them. One difference is how to post a new question or make a new post from mobile.

On Modern theme Mobile view, the New post/New question link should be under the "person icon" menu at the top right.

On Classic or Plain theme Mobile view, there is no New post/New question function. There are two options if you're in Classic Mobile:
- switch to Modern theme temporarily in your Preferences page on your device, post your question, and then switch back to Classic. (These preferences are set per-device, so it won't switch your preference on your computer.)
- switch to the Standard (i.e. non-mobile) view of the site temporarily by using the link at the very bottom of the page, post your question, and then switch back to Classic Mobile by clicking this link: mobile.metafilter.com
(tags: ) October 27, 2021 - permalink - back to questions

What's with the share buttons everywhere? Can I turn them off?

This feature gives you an easy way to share links on two major sites. The Twitter link will give you a short URL to use for a thread as well. If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off in your preferences. Here's the thread where it was discussed in MetaTalk.
(tags: ) January 14, 2011 - permalink - back to questions

How do MetaFilter display preferences work? Can I customize the fonts and background color?

Your Site Preferences let you choose Modern, Classic, or Plain theme. Modern theme has a white background, but colored backgrounds are available by clicking Dark Mode on the front page. Classic theme has colored backgrounds and Plain theme is white background variant of Classic.

Modern theme is responsive, that is, it will automatically resize on various devices. In Classic or Plain theme, you can choose to switch between standard and mobile versions of the site—for information about switching between mobile and standard views, see this FAQ entry.

Classic and Plain theme allow you to customize the size and font of different text types. You can use any font that's installed in your computer, just enter the name. (If a font name isn't working, try copying the exact name of the font as it appears in your computer's Fonts folder or library.) You can set the fonts to be bigger or smaller, and you can set any font size to 0 (zero) to remove that text from the display. The defaults of Plain and Classic theme are these, in case you want to return to them after changing: Body Font - Verdana; Body Font Size - 10; Byline Font - Verdana; Byline Font Size - 8; Title Font - Arial; Title Font Size - 14.

When you click Save on your site preferences page, the display settings you chose are saved as cookies to your browser. That means you can have different display settings for different browsers. For example, you might use Classic theme on your home computer, but Modern theme on your phone. Keep in mind that adjusting your display settings will change them for the browser you are currently using, but not other browsers. So if you want to update a particular display setting across all of the browsers you use, you'll need to re-save your display preferences on each of them. Be aware that saving your display preferences will make those settings the default choices next time you load the preferences page.
(tags: ) January 10, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

What are MeFi Mail reminders?

MeFi Mail reminders are system messages sent from MetaFilter to your MeFi Mail inbox. The most common messages are reminders to update Ask MetaFilter threads 30 days after posting. You'll also receive messages about new posts you make to any MetaFilter site. Those message include the post URL which can help you find the post again in the future. If you opt-out of MeFi Mail reminders you won't receive these messages.

You can also receive MeFi Mail notifications about meetups happening near you. To set this up, go to your Preferences page. If you have entered a location for yourself, under "Contact Preferences" you will be able to check a box for In Real Life IRL notifications.
(tags: ) March 30, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

Can I change how favorites are displayed for me? Can I hide them entirely?

Yes. You can change how favorites are displayed to you, throughout the site, by changing a setting in your Preferences.

The options are:
- Default: shows a number indicating how many favorites a comment has
- "Has Favorites": only indicates if a comment has favorites or not, does not show a number. If you want to see the number for a given comment, you can reveal it by mousing-over the phrase "has favorites".
- "Hide Favorites": does not display favorites to you at all (however, you can still use the Favorite feature)
(tags: ) December 11, 2012 - permalink - back to questions

How can I switch to the mobile view of the site?

The modern theme, which has been the default since 2014, switches layouts dynamically based on screen size.

Normally if you are browsing from a phone or other small screen in the Classic theme, the mobile view of the site should come up automatically. If it doesn't, you can go to mobile.metafilter.com to tell the site you want the mobile view for this device.

Once you're seeing the mobile view, you can switch back to the standard view by clicking the "Switch to Standard Site" link at the bottom of any page.
(tags: ) March 6, 2013 - permalink - back to questions

What does secure browsing do?

Secure browsing is a basic and now-ubiquitous encryption standard on the web, indicated in urls by "https://" rather than "http://". These days, MetaFilter defaults to secure browsing, using an HTTPS connection for all pages. However, if you have a specific need to use e.g. a 3rd party script or browser add-on that does not correctly support secure connection, you can turn off "Use secure browsing?" option on your preferences page.
(tags: ) April 13, 2015 - permalink - back to questions