[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA

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By mikef, Retired Senior Moderator on 8th June 2012, 05:26 PM
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This guide is intended to be a starting point for noobs New Users to teach you how to
start out on XDA and have a good experience and be good XDA community members.

XDA is a great place where you can learn a lot about how to make your phone better, have fun talking to
other smart people about your phone and the Android OS or Windows Phone OS, and maybe be
recognized for your efforts. But first there are a few things you need to know about XDA.

I suggest bookmarking any of the links below which might seem helpful since chances are in the future
it will be helpful to you or to someone else and you will have it bookmarked.

~~~Getting Started~~~
First, please start here by registering.
This enables you to post questions and helpful replies to other people's questions and get thanks.

~~~The Rules~~~
Like anything in life, there are rules here.
Here is the short version. Please:
Here is the full version. XDA Forum/Marketplace Rules
Moderators (mods) enforce the rules when necessary. Getting a Moderators help
If you are having problems with XDA or need assistance from an admin for things like name changes,
please check here: XDA Contacts & Help
[Guideline] Behaviour on XDA

The best way to start is not by posting, it is by reading. Read, search, read, search.
If you read an answer that looks helpful or answers a question you might have, bookmark it, and
when you see someone else ask that question you will have the answer for them plus a supporting link.

"Always read lots post little" - mo976

I strongly encourage reading ALL of the stickied notes and guides in the About subforum,
as well as the stickied guides in your device forums.
The stickied guides are pinned to the top of the subforum, you can see a little thumbtack icon to the left.
They are always at the top of the subforum view, even if other threads have newer posts in them.

You might be thinking "What, that's too much!?" or TLDR (too long, didn't read).
It is a lot, true...a lot of very valuable information, questions answered, problems solved,
collected and organized and right there for you to read and learn without having to work to search for it.

Many people have put in countless hours of their personal time to enter in this knowledge
for you to learn it and apply it successfully to your XDA experience and phone, and the mods
have put them at the top of the subforum pages so you don't have to work to find them.
Please don't waste their time or yours.

I know a lot of you are just using the XDA app or Tapatalk or Forum Runner and are not on the website.
This might help: [HOW TO]Make The Most Of The XDA App

When you have a question you don't know the answer to, don't post a new thread when you could post a
question in a relevant open thread, and don't post a question when a few minutes reading and searching
will not only give you an answer, but a feeling of accomplishment that you were able to find it yourself,
and the confidence to remember and repeat the answer with the link to the thread or post with that
answer when you see someone else post that question you didn't have to.

Consider the question you are going to post, pick out the keywords and type them into the search box.
Try a few different searches with slightly different words.
New Members Guide-Get the most out of XDA!!
Search guide video
Help Your Threads Get More Search Hits with Better Titles and Tags! (and improve the XDA search functionality for free!)
Thread naming guide

You can also search XDA with Google. Just add this to your search terms.

If you aren't sure what a term or acronym means, check this excellent Glossary by benjamingwynn or
stempox's very helpful guide Terms Android.

If you are feeling a bit overwhelmed and wondering if you are in over your head, this excellent guide by iElvis
can help you decide. So You Want to Root and Mod Your HTC One X/XL
I highly recommend it for all new users as the content is not specific to the One X/XL despite the title.

[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA - Part 2
Last edited by mikef; 13th April 2013 at 07:11 PM. Reason: add new link
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8th June 2012, 05:26 PM |#2  
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~~~Giving Thanks~~~
Giving thanks is important. It lets people know that their work or answer is appreciated. It is a faster
method of feedback than posting a reply like "Thanks for your answer!" You must have one post to
give thanks, so here is a good place you can do that: The "Say Hi" thread.
You can go do that now and come back and finish here please.

You get 8 thanks per day, and they renew after 24 hours or so. Each thanks is independent of the others,
so if you give someone a thanks at 3, and then another at 4, those will renew at 3 and 4 the next day.
If you run out of thanks, then save that page in a new tab and give thanks later when you have one available.
If you use them all every day you are doing it correctly.

~~~Getting Thanks~~~
You will see that everyone here has a Thanks Meter above their avatar.
Here are the counts needed to get to the next bar.
1st bar - 26
2nd bar - 51
3rd bar - 101
4th bar - 201
bug here, never gets to 5 bars, probably 501 if fixed.
6th bar - 1001
7th bar - 2001
8th bar - 5001
9th bar - 8001
Maxed! - 10000

Not that thanks are an indication of a user's status or stature on XDA. Thanks don't really count for
anything other than as a potentially wildly inaccurate measure of a member's ability to answer your
question correctly. Some of the most important people here have a lot fewer thanks than you might guess.

~~~User Titles~~~
As you go around XDA and encounter people, you may notice that they have different titles
under their avatar. Speaking of which, click here to upload an avatar picture.

Here are the user titles explained by one of our mods.
0 to 29 posts - Junior Member
30 to 99 posts - Member
100 + posts - Senior Member


Originally Posted by juzz86

I'll sum it up for you (or try, anyway!)

There are Junior Members, Members, Senior Members first. These make up the vast majority of XDAs userbase.

Recognised Contributors are nominated by other users and/or Mods/Developers. They are recognised for their contributions which are not specifically Development, such as detailed guides, one-click utilities and other tools/mods.

Recognised Themers are also nominated by users/Mods/Developers, for their work themeing custom ROMs and providing standalone themes for flashing.

Recognised Developers are nominated and approved by the Developer Committee, for their work in Development whether it be ROMs, Root methods, bootloader unlocks etc.

Elite Recognised Developers are again assessed by the Developer Committee, and are deemed to have gone above-and-beyond in providing knowledge/hacks/tools/apps/ROMs for the XDA community.

Forum Moderators are appointed by the Moderator Committee, after submitting an application (see the 'sticky' at the top of this forum - currently applications are not open). They are the first-line of keeping the forums tidy, friendly and orderly.

Senior Moderators are the next step up the ladder, providing site-wide support for Forum Mods and looking after the nitty-gritty issues, as well as areas of XDA not policed by FSMs, such as the Marketplace.

Administrators are next. There are several Admins - each look after a specific part of XDA such as the Portal, the Members and the User Experience of XDA as a whole.

At the top is Mike Channon, who is overall Forum Administrator.

Other titles you may come across:

Moderator Committee - sits on the Mod Committee
Developer Committee - as above, but for Developer Committee
XDA Newswriter - publishes articles for the Portal (front page)
Retired xxxx - have since officially 'left' their XDA position

Hopefully that clears most of them up for you

Contrary to what a lot of people expect, the thanks-meter does not figure at all in determining a users tag.

[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA - Part 3
Last edited by mikef; 3rd January 2013 at 03:20 PM.
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~~~Posting Questions~~~
There are some restrictions on your posting ability when you first start here. For your first 7 posts, there is
a captcha prompt and a time limit in between posts. This is mostly to stop spammers from posting garbage
throughout every thread. There is a 2 minute limit between posting and editing your posts. This stops at
30 posts when you go from Junior Member to Member, so read twice, post once.

OK, you got through all that and you have a question that you need that answer to. You have searched,
and searched again, and searched again with different keywords, but you can't find the answer.
The question is, where do you post it?

The first and best place is to check your device's Q&A forum for a thread posted there,
either a general question thread, or a thread already posted there with a similar question.

When you post into a thread, that thread is then listed at the top of the forum it is in and the title turns
Bolded for everyone else so they know there is a new post. Someone else may see that thread
and know the answer and post it. If you need to open a new thread check here first for helpful advice.

Always remember advice from the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Don't Panic!
Please post ALL relevant information. What ROM/Kernel, What you were doing when the problem surfaced,
What is the actual problem (not my phone won't boot, help!!), Were the planets aligned,...

Simple information can go along way to diagnose the problem/issue and it also prevents the reciprocal
post of "Need more info".

And we have all been there in Panic Mode where you freak out and just want to get some help. Noobs don't
look at these devices as phones or tablets, but rather as investment because well that is what they are at
$500-$800 a throw. I respect my device but that is because I know how to use and recovery it. Noobs don't.
They see a bootloop and it is strikingly similar to the toilet swirling their money down the drain.
That is when Panic Mode sets in.

Don't Panic. Don't be a noob. Be a New User who is smart and reads a lot and knows where things are and
how to find useful and timely information.

Remember, give it some time before reposting. XDA members live around the world and are not going to be
on your time zone and schedule. Wait a day and see if you get a response. If you want a notification of
someone else posting into that thread, click on the Thread Tools button at the top of the thread and choose
Subscribe, or click the Subscribe button at the top of the page.
Please do not simply "bump" the thread up. Add some more information as to additional things you have
tried to resolve the problem since your last post.

~~~Why can't I post in the Dev thread I want to?~~~

Originally Posted by Fallen Spartan

The 10 post rule was put in place to make new users think, and hopefully contribute and help others by
making useful posts rather than the usual crap like "thanks", "kewl" etc or ask questions which have
been asked countless times before. They still have access to dev forums, just cannot post in them.
Its not a massive restriction and to provide 10 useful/helpful posts is not hard.

Fallen Spartan - Moderator Committee

Almost all of XDA is open to you right from the start. You can post into your devices General, Q&A,
Accessories, and Themes and Apps forums. You can learn a lot and help other new users with answers
you have found previously by reading the stickied guides in your device forum and in the
XDA General Discussion forums.

Please feel free to thank the dev several times instead of posting "Thanks for a great ROM".
Rate the dev's thread with 5 stars using the rate dropdown button at the top of every page of the thread.
If you feel that is not sufficient, most devs have a donate button with Paypal.
I promise you that they will remember you and appreciate you far more for donating even a couple of
dollars versus some post, however gushingly approving, on their ROM thread.

Please do not send private messages to the devs saying "Thanks for a great ROM"
instead of posting "Thanks for a great ROM". See above.

If you have read up to this point and still feel it is unfair that you cannot post into a dev forum thread,
please consider it from this perspective:

Is it so much to ask that you read for a bit first, pick up some knowledge and experience, help a few people
in the 90+% of XDA which is completely open to you, to participate with quality posts instead of BS posts,
in return for being able to post into any of the ROM threads from any dev on this site?

What XDA is all about

Also keep in mind that the mods are out there reading your posts, and if they believe you are posting junk
simply to get to 10 posts to post some non-dev comment in a dev thread, you could find all your posts
missing and your account temporarily disabled.

For more tips on how to reach 10 posts in a community acceptable way, please check here:
Postcount limit in developmental fora
Want To Post In Development?

[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA - Part 4
Last edited by mikef; 19th May 2013 at 05:49 AM.
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~~~Getting Flamed or Trolled~~~
When you post something here, many people will see it and possibly post a reply that might be perceived as
funny but not extremely helpful, or trolling. This is mostly due to questions that have been asked and
answered a thousand times, threads/posts being in the wrong forum/thread, or not providing enough info.
This is usually meant as good-natured kidding, so please don't take it wrongly and snap off a reply that
escalates the situation into something you might regret later.

At some point, you are going to get "flamed" by someone who feels that your post is stupid, off-topic,
irrelevant, noobish, whatever, and they are going to post something like "You are an XXXXX who doesn't
know something simple like YYYYY. Don't post here anymore." It is going to happen at some time here,
but the important part is not to respond in kind.
It will not help the situation, or make your e-peen any bigger, or make you any tougher. It might make
you feel better temporarily, but what usually happens is that the forum mod (or a senior mod) will come
in and delete those comments and you might end up on the infraction list, or temporarily disabled,
or banned. Just don't reply to it.

First, consider the question or post you wrote from a different angle. There is no excuse for flaming
someone, but in a multi-cultural environment things may be perceived very differently than you intended.
Try ignoring it.

Second, if the flame is really over the line, don't reply to it. Click on the little triangle in the upper right corner
of the post to report it. Type in a short explanation, choose "Abusive or threatening post" and let the mods handle it.

~~~Reporting Posts~~~
XDA Needs You! to help keep things organized. Please press the little orange triangle button and report
when you see threads that are in the wrong forums. If you see a [Q] thread posted in your device's General
or Development forums, please take a minute to report it and put in "Please move to X device Q&A forum"
as an example reason. Then choose "Thread/Post moving or maintenance" in the drop down box,then Send Report.
This will notify all the mods of that forum and one of them will move the thread to the correct forum.

You can also use this to report spam posts. Since XDA has a lot of members, we are a target for spammers.
If you see threads posted with titles like [WATCH ONLINE NOW][LIVE]Some sports event[LIVE], please
use the report button to let us mods know that we need to delete it.

Making a signature is a very important thing to do since it can help to describe your phone, it's current software,
and any modifications you have installed.

A signature should inform others about your phone when you post a question to avoid follow up questions.
A good signature will include information helpful to others beyond the direct target of the question/reply.
A great signature will inform the community with important information and potentially answer
questions which have not been asked yet, avoiding repetitive posts.

[GUIDE][Noob Friendly]How to make a good signature[Noob Friendly][GUIDE]
Please click here to make a signature (5-8 posts minimum)
It's cool and you will get more help and respect from us.
If you need some ideas for a signature or are willing to share yours, please check here: Share your sig code please.

Please respect other XDA members and avoid using really huge pictures that are several inches tall
with stacked pictures and text, or multi-megabyte videos.

Also, if you copy a picture from someone that you like, please rehost it either in a gallery here on XDA
or on Dropbox or photobucket or whatever service you like.
Don't just copy their image link and paste it into your signature. That is stealing and could also be
turned off at any time if they change or delete the picture, or if the additional bandwidth used goes
over the limits, and you will lose the image completely.

Please remember that signatures are supposed to be that, signatures. Not obnoxious billboards.

Making a donation is neither expected or required, but are always gratefully received and appreciated.
There are "Donate to me" icons above people's avatar, or in their signatures.
You can also donate to XDA by clicking HERE.
When you donate 10 EUROS to XDA,you get rewarded with a STAR which is displayed below your avatar.

If you buy 10 STARS ,you will be rewarded with a .

Remember, always be respectful of other members here and considerate. Most people here are doing
this for nothing more than the feeling of helping people as we have been helped by other people previously,
and sometimes the occasional press of the thanks button. We aren't making money here and this isn't
a job, so please don't tell people what to do or demand things of people such as mods or custom ROM
configs to suit you and you will do just fine here.

~~~Other Helpful Links~~~
Get an extra 5GB at!
Help Your Threads Get More Search Hits with Better Titles and Thread Tags!
[Tutorial] How To Logcat
[GUIDE] How to give constructive feedback to developers
[ADB/FB/APX Driver] Universal Naked Driver 0.7
Chef Central
Android Application Development Videos
[Ultimate Guide]Android App Development - From Scratch
How to Apply for Recognized Developer
XDA Recognized Developer Program Expansion - Do you contribute enough work to be a Recognized Contributor or Recognized Themer?
xda-developers: The History -Part One-
xda-developers: The-History-Part Two/
XDA Through the Years: A Visual History

I am leaving this open for now, but please, in the spirit of what I have written above, please only post
suggestions you feel will improve this guide. I hope this guide helps you and makes your experience
on XDA a better one. I appreciate your thanks, but I will appreciate you even more if you take this guide
to heart and really do it while you are here. Thank you for reading.
Last edited by mikef; 26th May 2013 at 01:52 AM.
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Thumbs up [GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - The Visual Guide (WIP)
A picture is worth a thousand here are a few pictures to ponder.

1. Portal
2. Forum Home
3. Device Home
4. Device Forum
5. User Control Panel
6. Advanced Search

For the text version of this guide and to register here on XDA, please go here:
[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA

1. Many people start out with the XDA Portal.


2. But most continue on to the forums...this is a longie but a goodie.


3. Once you find your device home forum, many people stay for a while.


4. There is a lot of information just by glancing at the device's Q&A forum page.


5. You can change your preferences and more through the User Control Panel.


6. If you know how to use the Advanced Search, you are a power user indeed.


For the text version of this guide and to register here on XDA, please go here:
[GUIDE] - XDA New User Guide - Getting started on XDA

Welcome to XDA!
Last edited by bitpushr; 22nd March 2013 at 05:08 PM. Reason: Updated images to XDA CDN
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9th June 2012, 03:56 AM |#6  
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I cannot stress this more to the Noobs New Users, if you want your experience on XDA to be fruitful and learn to unleash the true potential of your device, please look at and adhere to the above. It makes things so much more productive and that way we can all help each other in an orderly and constructive fashion.

I mean, isn't that why you came to XDA anyways? I'm sure any Google search definitely pulls up links to one thread or another from XDA, so why not register and join and become productive part of the community.
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9th June 2012, 06:49 PM |#7  
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Nice guide. Think n00bs will read it? That is kind of the downside of n00bs, not reading or searching first. So they never find this.

Replace all
"New Users"
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9th June 2012, 07:25 PM |#8  
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Originally Posted by Dblfstr

Nice guide. Think n00bs will read it? That is kind of the downside of n00bs, not reading or searching first. So they never find this.

Replace all
"New Users"

I hope they will, I know what you mean about searching, unfortunately that is not just new people nowadays... I have requested that this thread be stickied, might be tough in this forum however as there are a lot of stickies already, I hate to bump threads up so we will see.
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9th June 2012, 11:58 PM |#9  
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Originally Posted by Dblfstr

Nice guide. Think n00bs will read it? That is kind of the downside of n00bs, not reading or searching first. So they never find this.

Replace all
"New Users"

I totally understand what you are saying my friend, but also in response to it. That is just more of a reason for us as RC's an well as other respectable committed XDA members to make sure to share this as much as we can by re posting it in our respective device forums and other non device specific forums. So if you see a chance to post it in a thread to help answer a question covered in the OP of this thread please do. Vote this thread to be presented on the a Portal, add tags to the thread to help people find it. I personally am going now to add it to my sig along with the ew member guide that is linked in the op and has been linked in my sig ever since the new member guide was created. I also highly recommend every RC link this thread in there sig as well. I mean the more it is linked the higher the chance is that noobs will find the thread.
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10th June 2012, 01:39 AM |#10  
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I totally agree that post. I'm a new junior member, but I don't want to be a noob. I suggest that everyone new member should be forced to read and agree this post before registration.

Sent from my GT-S5360 using xda premium
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10th June 2012, 03:31 AM |#11  
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Originally Posted by mf2112

Getting Started
First, please start here by registering.
This enables you to download the files which are attached to posts.

Just so you know, you don't need to be a member to download attachments
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