Frequently Asked Questions
Login and Registration Issues
- Why do I need to register?
- You may not have to, it is up to the administrator of the board as to whether you need to register in order to post messages. However; registration will give you access to additional features not available to guest users such as definable avatar images, private messaging, emailing of fellow users, usergroup subscription, etc. It only takes a few moments to register so it is recommended you do so.
- What is COPPA?
- COPPA, or the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998, is a law in the United States requiring websites which can potentially collect information from minors under the age of 13 to have written parental consent or some other method of legal guardian acknowledgment, allowing the collection of personally identifiable information from a minor under the age of 13. If you are unsure if this applies to you as someone trying to register or to the website you are trying to register on, contact legal counsel for assistance. Please note that phpBB Limited and the owners of this board cannot provide legal advice and is not a point of contact for legal concerns of any kind, except as outlined in question “Who do I contact about abusive and/or legal matters related to this board?”.
- Why can’t I register?
- It is possible a board administrator has disabled registration to prevent new visitors from signing up. A board administrator could have also banned your IP address or disallowed the username you are attempting to register. Contact a board administrator for assistance.
- I registered but cannot login!
- First, check your username and password. If they are correct, then one of two things may have happened. If COPPA support is enabled and you specified being under 13 years old during registration, you will have to follow the instructions you received. Some boards will also require new registrations to be activated, either by yourself or by an administrator before you can logon; this information was present during registration. If you were sent an email, follow the instructions. If you did not receive an email, you may have provided an incorrect email address or the email may have been picked up by a spam filer. If you are sure the email address you provided is correct, try contacting an administrator.
- Why can’t I login?
- There are several reasons why this could occur. First, ensure your username and password are correct. If they are, contact a board administrator to make sure you haven’t been banned. It is also possible the website owner has a configuration error on their end, and they would need to fix it.
- I registered in the past but cannot login any more?!
- It is possible an administrator has deactivated or deleted your account for some reason. Also, many boards periodically remove users who have not posted for a long time to reduce the size of the database. If this has happened, try registering again and being more involved in discussions.
- I’ve lost my password!
- Don’t panic! While your password cannot be retrieved, it can easily be reset. Visit the login page and click I forgot my password. Follow the instructions and you should be able to log in again shortly.
However, if you are not able to reset your password, contact a board administrator.
- Why do I get logged off automatically?
- If you do not check the Remember me box when you login, the board will only keep you logged in for a preset time. This prevents misuse of your account by anyone else. To stay logged in, check the Remember me box during login. This is not recommended if you access the board from a shared computer, e.g. library, internet cafe, university computer lab, etc. If you do not see this checkbox, it means a board administrator has disabled this feature.
- What does the “Delete cookies” do?
- “Delete cookies” deletes the cookies created by phpBB which keep you authenticated and logged into the board. Cookies also provide functions such as read tracking if they have been enabled by a board administrator. If you are having login or logout problems, deleting board cookies may help.
User Preferences and settings
- How do I change my settings?
- If you are a registered user, all your settings are stored in the board database. To alter them, visit your User Control Panel; a link can usually be found by clicking on your username at the top of board pages. This system will allow you to change all your settings and preferences.
- How do I prevent my username appearing in the online user listings?
- Within your User Control Panel, under “Board preferences”, you will find the option Hide your online status. Enable this option and you will only appear to the administrators, moderators and yourself. You will be counted as a hidden user.
- The times are not correct!
- It is possible the time displayed is from a timezone different from the one you are in. If this is the case, visit your User Control Panel and change your timezone to match your particular area, e.g. London, Paris, New York, Sydney, etc. Please note that changing the timezone, like most settings, can only be done by registered users. If you are not registered, this is a good time to do so.
- I changed the timezone and the time is still wrong!
- If you are sure you have set the timezone correctly and the time is still incorrect, then the time stored on the server clock is incorrect. Please notify an administrator to correct the problem.
- My language is not in the list!
- Either the administrator has not installed your language or nobody has translated this board into your language. Try asking a board administrator if they can install the language pack you need. If the language pack does not exist, feel free to create a new translation. More information can be found at the phpBB® website.
- What are the images next to my username?
- There are two images which may appear along with a username when viewing posts. One of them may be an image associated with your rank, generally in the form of stars, blocks or dots, indicating how many posts you have made or your status on the board. Another, usually larger, image is known as an avatar and is generally unique or personal to each user.
- How do I display an avatar?
- Within your User Control Panel, under “Profile” you can add an avatar by using one of the four following methods: Gravatar, Gallery, Remote or Upload. It is up to the board administrator to enable avatars and to choose the way in which avatars can be made available. If you are unable to use avatars, contact a board administrator.
- What is my rank and how do I change it?
- Ranks, which appear below your username, indicate the number of posts you have made or identify certain users, e.g. moderators and administrators. In general, you cannot directly change the wording of any board ranks as they are set by the board administrator. Please do not abuse the board by posting unnecessarily just to increase your rank. Most boards will not tolerate this and the moderator or administrator will simply lower your post count.
- When I click the email link for a user it asks me to login?
- Only registered users can send email to other users via the built-in email form, and only if the administrator has enabled this feature. This is to prevent malicious use of the email system by anonymous users.
- How do I create a new topic or post a reply?
- To post a new topic in a forum, click "New Topic". To post a reply to a topic, click "Post Reply". You may need to register before you can post a message. A list of your permissions in each forum is available at the bottom of the forum and topic screens. Example: You can post new topics, You can post attachments, etc.
- How do I edit or delete a post?
- Unless you are a board administrator or moderator, you can only edit or delete your own posts. You can edit a post by clicking the edit button for the relevant post, sometimes for only a limited time after the post was made. If someone has already replied to the post, you will find a small piece of text output below the post when you return to the topic which lists the number of times you edited it along with the date and time. This will only appear if someone has made a reply; it will not appear if a moderator or administrator edited the post, though they may leave a note as to why they’ve edited the post at their own discretion. Please note that normal users cannot delete a post once someone has replied.
- How do I add a signature to my post?
- To add a signature to a post you must first create one via your User Control Panel. Once created, you can check the Attach a signature box on the posting form to add your signature. You can also add a signature by default to all your posts by checking the appropriate radio button in the User Control Panel. If you do so, you can still prevent a signature being added to individual posts by un-checking the add signature box within the posting form.
- How do I create a poll?
- When posting a new topic or editing the first post of a topic, click the “Poll creation” tab below the main posting form; if you cannot see this, you do not have appropriate permissions to create polls. Enter a title and at least two options in the appropriate fields, making sure each option is on a separate line in the textarea. You can also set the number of options users may select during voting under “Options per user”, a time limit in days for the poll (0 for infinite duration) and lastly the option to allow users to amend their votes.
- Why can’t I add more poll options?
- The limit for poll options is set by the board administrator. If you feel you need to add more options to your poll than the allowed amount, contact the board administrator.
- How do I edit or delete a poll?
- As with posts, polls can only be edited by the original poster, a moderator or an administrator. To edit a poll, click to edit the first post in the topic; this always has the poll associated with it. If no one has cast a vote, users can delete the poll or edit any poll option. However, if members have already placed votes, only moderators or administrators can edit or delete it. This prevents the poll’s options from being changed mid-way through a poll.
- Why can’t I access a forum?
- Some forums may be limited to certain users or groups. To view, read, post or perform another action you may need special permissions. Contact a moderator or board administrator to grant you access.
- Why can’t I add attachments?
- Attachment permissions are granted on a per forum, per group, or per user basis. The board administrator may not have allowed attachments to be added for the specific forum you are posting in, or perhaps only certain groups can post attachments. Contact the board administrator if you are unsure about why you are unable to add attachments.
- Why did I receive a warning?
- Each board administrator has their own set of rules for their site. If you have broken a rule, you may be issued a warning. Please note that this is the board administrator’s decision, and the phpBB Limited has nothing to do with the warnings on the given site. Contact the board administrator if you are unsure about why you were issued a warning.
- How can I report posts to a moderator?
- If the board administrator has allowed it, you should see a button for reporting posts next to the post you wish to report. Clicking this will walk you through the steps necessary to report the post.
- What is the “Save” button for in topic posting?
- This allows you to save drafts to be completed and submitted at a later date. To reload a saved draft, visit the User Control Panel.
- Why does my post need to be approved?
- The board administrator may have decided that posts in the forum you are posting to require review before submission. It is also possible that the administrator has placed you in a group of users whose posts require review before submission. Please contact the board administrator for further details.
- How do I bump my topic?
- By clicking the “Bump topic” link when you are viewing it, you can “bump” the topic to the top of the forum on the first page. However, if you do not see this, then topic bumping may be disabled or the time allowance between bumps has not yet been reached. It is also possible to bump the topic simply by replying to it, however, be sure to follow the board rules when doing so.
Formatting and Topic Types
- What is BBCode?
- BBCode is a special implementation of HTML, offering great formatting control on particular objects in a post. The use of BBCode is granted by the administrator, but it can also be disabled on a per post basis from the posting form. BBCode itself is similar in style to HTML, but tags are enclosed in square brackets [ and ] rather than < and >. For more information on BBCode see the guide which can be ac