I have had many people ask questions about how to use this website, so i thought i would take the time to make a guide to help out newer members that may be confused or overwhelmed by the wealth of information here. Hopefully this will help you to make a quick transition from a new member to an experienced member. I am basing this off of the website version (Dark theme 2015) on PC as it seems to be the most confusing for people. If you are using the mobile site, or app, then some of these options may not be available or may be located in a slightly different place. I have also left a few things out for the sake of simplicity. After reading this thread feel free to ask any questions that you have and i will try my best to clear things up. Some of the things we will discuss are...
~How to set up your profile and preferences
~How to make friends
~How to graduate to a Member, Senior Member, and more
~How to make a signature
~What does my profile look like to others?
~How to change thread display options
~How to change the theme
~How to keep up to date with interesting threads
~How to find your previous posts
~XDA forum rules
~How to search for what you are looking for
~Your device page
~How to find the right download for your device in threads
~How to get help when you cant find the threads or answers that you are looking for
~How to post, reply, give thanks, etc. in threads
~How to rate threads and participate in polls
~How to report bad behavior
~How to attach photos to a thread
~How to donate to developers
~How to start a new thread
~Sending private messages
~How to upload photos to a private message
I think setting this up first is best. Click on settings button near the top right of your screen. Then you will find the XDA control panel on the left. Here you can setup/edit your XDA experience. Now we will take a look at some of the options available in "Settings"...
Edit Your Details
Here you will find a quick link to change the email affiliated with your XDA account or change your password. You can also add information that will show up to others when they view your profile such as your birthday, what device you are using, your personal website link, how to instant message you on other messaging networks, links to your social media accounts, the phone carrier that you are using, what city and country you are from, a short biography of yourself, your interests and hobbies, your work occupation, and how to donate to you (if you think your contributions to XDA will be worth a donation).
Here you can edit what information you will allow others to see about you just in case you would like to keep some information more private.
Edit Profile Picture
Here you can add/edit a profile picture by either uploading a photo from your computer or phone, or entering a link to a photo from another website that you use such as dropbox.
Contacts & Friends
Here you can select XDA users to add to your contacts or friends list. You can also find information on how to delete contacts here.
Here you can search for social groups to join or start your own social group. Social groups are usually a grouping of people that have the same device, same interests, same cultural background, etc.
Pictures & Albums
Here you can add picture albums to upload photos to for sharing with others here on XDA.
Here you can add a photo that will appear under your username whenever you make a post.
Here you can add/edit a signature (text and/or photo) that will appear at the bottom of every post you make. You can hover over edit options with your cursor to see a description of what they do (like change color of text, change size of text, etc.). You can highlight a part of your signature and select an edit option to change only that part. For a complete guide to all the cool things you can do in a signature, go here! Things that would be great to include in your signature would be your device model number, which ROM version you are using (stock is what came on your phone from the store, and custom ROM is like Cyanogenmod or other aftermarket ROM that was flashed by you or previous owner of device), which kernel version you are using, which android version you have (like 4.4.2 or 5.1.1), which baseband version you are using, which recovery version you are using (stock is what came on your phone from the store, and custom recovery is like Clockworkmod, team win recovery project, etc), any additional custom framework or modules that have been added to your device (like Xposed, Lspeed, etc. Do not list apps), or anything else that you think is important related to your device. If you are unsure, most of this info is available in android settings-about phone. Entering this info will help us to quickly answer your questions.
Edit Email & Password
Here you can change the email affiliated with your XDA account, change your password, or connect a Google+ account to your XDA profile.
Here you can find additional privacy options, messaging and notification options to keep up with interesting threads, private messaging options, date and time options, and customize how the website looks to you including the theme.
Edit Ignore List
Here you can add or delete contacts that you wish to ignore during your XDA experience.
Here you can see any private messages that you have received or sent. You can also delete or save messages here as well as change the display options for your message list. An easier way to get to this list is by going into messages from the box labeled "messages" near the top right of your screen.
Here you can view the threads that you have subscribed to in a nice and neat list.
Here you can add/edit folders that you want to keep subscribed threads organized in case you have a lot of them.
Here you can view or delete any attachments that you have attached in previous posts.
You may find that you are unable to post replies or threads in some places at first. Please make 10 meaningful or helpful posts elsewhere first and then you will be able to. You will graduate from a Junior Member to a Member at 30 posts. You will graduate from a Member to a Senior Member at 100 posts. To graduate to a Recognized Contributor, Recognized Developer, or Moderator, please search in the "Search all forums" box near the top middle of the screen, and type "How to become a (which ever one of these I mentioned that you are curious about)"
Near the top right of the screen there will be a button labeled "Notifications". Here you will get quick access to messages, mentions, quotes and statistics (statistics will be shown on same page as quotes. Here you can also find all posts made by you in the past, and all thanked posts made by you in the past), and update alerts for software you are using from subscribed threads. Also towards the right of the screen you will see easy access tabs to quickly view unread messages, and threads that you subscribed to.
Near the top right of the screen you will see the button for "Swappa". This is an online store for buying and selling devices and is recommended by XDA
Next read XDA Forum Rules if you haven't yet before going any further. Scroll all the way down to the bottom of the webpage and you will find a link for this as well as some other useful links. Or you can click here.
Finding The Forums And Threads That You Are Looking For
Now to find the best forums and threads related to your device, click on the search box near the top left of your screen and start typing any identifying words that relate to your device until you find it. Once your device is selected you will find specifications, forums, threads, information on how to root, ROM's, kernels, and tools/utilities that are related to your device. If you are not able to find your device, then use the search box for searching all forums to find forums and threads that may be related to your device. This may be needed if you have a very new, old, or less common device. You may have to select the settings icon to the right of this search box for advanced search options. For a complete guide to using XDA's search features, check out this thread by my friend @TheMerovingian. If you are still not finding the information you need, read below for what to do next.
XDA Assist And How To Start Your Own Thread
If you are still not finding the information you need after following the steps above, then click on the XDA assist tab near the top left of your screen. Here you can start a new thread requesting help to find the information you are looking for. You can find the new thread button near the top left of your screen. If you did find the forum you were looking for, then you can start a thread there the same way by selecting the new thread button near the top left of your screen. If you are unsure if this is the right forum to start your thread, then select the moderator tab near the top middle of the screen and send a private message to one of the moderators telling them what your thread is about, the name of your thread, where you think it should go, and politely ask if that is the right thing to do.
How To Operate Within Threads
Now that you have found a thread that interests you, here is some information on how to utilize your resources to get the most out of it. The original post or OP is where you are going to find the most info and usually any downloads that are related to the thread. This is on the first page of the thread (sdk version is related to which android version you are running. Arm, arm64, and x86 version is related to which processor you have in your device). If you cannot find this info in your android settings, then search for your device specifications online. Read all of the first page now. If you still have questions about the thread, next use the search box at the top of the original post to find specific info within the thread. If you still have questions read through a majority of the thread before posting questions. Unless it is a new thread, most likely the answer to your question is in there somewhere. The newest posts will be towards the last page of the thread. If you still have questions its time to make a post in the thread.
Making A Post In A Thread
At the bottom of the thread page you will see an option for a quick reply. This is a basic reply with limited options. Not many people are going to notice this post especially in a busy thread. If you want a specific person to be alerted that you have made a post then you either need to mention them by adding text in your post like this... @ZipAddict or you need to quote another persons post by selecting the "reply" button at the bottom right of the post that you are replying to. If you would like to alert multiple people that you have posted, then you need to select the "multi-quote" button at the bottom right of each persons post that you are replying to followed by selecting reply. Once again if you hover over edit options at the top of the reply you are making, you will see a description of what each one does (like change the font, or hide text like in my signature). For a complete guide on all the cool things you can do in a post, go here! Additional options are available below the text box and this is where you can add attachments to your post. If you are wanting to post several photos or videos, it can be easier to post a link to an offsite photo gallery like dropbox in your post itself.
Sending Private Messages
To send someone a private message you can either click on their username and select "send message", or you can go to your message list and start a new message by manually entering the username/s of who you wish to send a message to. If you are wanting to send attachments in a private message, then you can include a link to your offsite gallery just like we discussed above.
~If someone has posted something that has helped you, then you are urged to hit the "thanks" button under that post regardless if you post a thank you.
~If someone is breaking the forum rules, then you are urged to hit the "!" button at the bottom left of their post and report them.
~If the thread has a poll (at the top of the thread), then you should participate. It only takes a second, and your opinion matters.
~You should rate the thread (at the top of the thread) immediately if it has helped you a lot. If not, give it a little time before rating and dont be quick to give a bad rating.
~If you benefit from software that you have used here, you should donate to the developer. Any amount is appreciated, and this will motivate them to keep providing the service that you use.
~Be patient and do not make another post about the same thing twice. If no one answers within 24 hours you could send a private message to the maker of the thread politely asking for direction.
This is something I put together real quickly to point new members in the right direction and once again i did not go over every single option or detail. Feel free to ask any questions here, or to request more information regarding a certain topic though. And if you see any mistakes please point them out so that i can correct them. Also, if anyone would like to make photos or videos outlining these things, then i will be happy to add them and give credit. In the meantime i will attach photos as requested. Thank you for reading and good luck on your XDA adventures!
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