On English Language & Usage SE and now on main on this SE: I am asked to log in, refused entry because I'm not in the database, and then ... on meta, it knows who I am.

And here I am. Asking this same question. I'll link back to this question from the ELU meta Q.

  • 1
    Please see my answer on English Language & Usage Meta. Also, we show that your account uses a Google Gmail account to log in. Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 5:18
  • @JarrodDixon Thanks for the comment. Do you mind adding your answer here too so it can be accepted?
    – Alenanno
    Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 18:49
  • @Alenanno done. Commented Mar 31, 2012 at 19:40
  • Jlawler, consider accepting the answer, so others that have the same problem can see the solution. :)
    – Alenanno
    Commented Apr 1, 2012 at 10:25

2 Answers 2


Currently, we piggy-back on the main site's authentication cookie to initially create your meta cookie. This is why clicking "log in" on a meta site will redirect you to the main site's Log In page.

However, if the main site's cookie is somehow removed, you can still be logged into the meta.

If this happens, just log in again on the main site.

We're going to change how this works to help avoid this duality: if you're logged out of the main site, you'll also be logged out of the meta. This change will go in next week.


In order to see if it's really a bug, try making a hard refresh of the site. Delete the cache, and reload the Main site. It should re-ask you for your login, but if you wait 3-5 seconds, it will automatically log you in again, I think.

And by then it should be fixed. Let me know if this works.

  • I re-loaded Main after deleting the cache. I was not signed in automatically, so I attempted to sign in, and was greeted by the message "No account with this email found". Ditto on ELU.SE.
    – jlawler
    Commented Mar 30, 2012 at 20:41

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