A New Users’ Guide to XDA-Developers

We were all once new to XDA-Developers, and it can be daunting to get started on a site as large as XDA is. Hopefully this section of the book will help to address some common questions that new users have, and help you understand a bit more about how XDA-Developers works. If you have any questions which are not addressed in this section, you should take a look in the “About XDA” forum, which is situated at in the General Discussion area at the top of the “All Forums” index list.

If you’re here at XDA to simply read and download files (or attachments), there is no need to actually register on the website – you can just get started. If you’re looking at the Portal (this is the front page of the website with news and articles about current events affecting mobile phone development), you can comment by logging in with most major social media logins (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Disqus etc).

If you would like to post questions, join in the discussion on the forums, or help out other people who are having problems, you will need to register an account on XDA-Developers. This is fast, free, and will only take a couple of minutes to do. During registration, you will be asked to watch a video about XDA-Developers – this explains some basic tips in how to post on the site.

If you do plan on posting, you will need to look at the Forum Rules before posting. These are listed at the top of each forum, in the Announcements section. If you need assistance, check out the “About XDA” area of the forum, where you can find information about getting help from site staff.

Getting Help

Most people come to XDA-Developers to get help with a problem, or ask a question. Before you do so, please remember that this is a huge website, and chances are that your question has been answered many times in the past.

First of all, please read all of the stickied (at the top) threads and guides in “About XDA” and your device’s General, Q&A and Development forums. These threads are stuck at the top for a reason, so there is a very good chance that your question or problem is addressed in these threads! While it may seem like a lot of reading to do, the information contained in these is guaranteed to help you some time, so have a read and take onboard what you can – one day that information will come in useful!

Being a helpful member of XDA-Developers is about reading more than you write. If you join up, and are immediately trying to post, you’re going to find it difficult to get involved at XDA. The users who are helping you will expect you to have read all of this information, regardless of how boring you may feel it is – they have put hundreds of hours into researching and writing it, it’s only fair you put a couple of hours into reading it all. This is as much about learning from others’ experience as it is about finding out the answer to your question now. With the basic knowledge you gain from these informational threads, you will save yourself much more time in future, by knowing what to expect and look out for.

Searching

Before you post anything, you need to search, and see if someone has already asked the same. If your question is about a particular ROM or piece of software, search within that thread. If it’s more general, search in your entire device’s forum. If it’s not an issue specific to just one device, search across the entire forum. More information about how to search is given in the About XDA forums, please take a look there and try a few different searches to get the hang of it. There is a skill to effectively searching, and it’s identifying the right keywords to use. If you have an error message, try using a search engine like Google to look for it.

Using Thanks

Once you find the answer to your question through searching, you should give the user who posted the solution a “thanks” by clicking the button at the bottom left of your post. You need to have one post to do this, but there is a “Say Hi” thread you can introduce yourself in, which will give you 1 post. Users have 8 thanks available per day, and they will be replemished 24 hours after they are used. Use the thanks feature rather than making a post to say “thank you”, as it reduces the amount of needless posts, and helps other users to find the right solution. When a particular posts has a number of thanks, it can be an indicator that it has worked for other people.

Don’t use a user’s thanks count to judge their helpfulness – it is by no means an example of how helpful a user is. Many of the most helpful users on XDA-Developers do not have the largest thanks counts, rather they quietly help out where needed, and don’t post when they have nothing to say.

Where Should I Post?

If you’ve looked through your device’s forums, and used the search feature, and still cannot find an answer to your question, then you should proceed to the Q&A forum for your device, and post your question there. If there is no Q&A forum listed, you should post questions in the General area.

New User Restrictions

Unfortunately, on a forum as large and popular as XDA-Developers, we have to place restrictions on new accounts, which are to prevent automated accounts being used to post unwanted “spam” advertising on the forums. For a user’s first few posts, they need to complete a word verification challenge. There is also a time requirement between posts, to prevent you from quickly posting repeatedly to get a higher post count.

In addition, to encourage you to proof-read your post, and add as much information as possible prior to posting, new users will not be able to edit their posts until 2 minutes after they have made it. Always remember it’s best to put as much information as possible, in a clear and concise way, into your well-written question before posting. It makes it easier for others to find your thread through the search feature.

When you do post, remember not to panic. Be clear, factual, concise, and friendly. Don’t post in an annoying way, and remember to check over your spelling and grammar before posting. As this is a forum where you can only see what someone writes, be sure your tone is appropriate. Don’t be demanding, and don’t leave a post littered with linguistic errors in your writing – it simply reflects badly upon yourself, as people can only form an opinion of you from what you write.

As a new user, you will also be unable to post in development forums at first. This is to prevent spam and questions from building up in threads which are intended for developer use. Once your account has ten useful, quality posts, you may post in the developer areas. Again though, remember that you should not post in development forums asking for help or assistance – you should be developing or assisting development in your posts. If you need help, check out the General and Q&A areas.

Hopefully this section will have given you a few pointers on how to get started at XDA-Developers. Check out the About XDA forum for more information, or if you have any questions not addressed here.