This is an unofficial non-technical guide to using Mastodon and the wider Fediverse. You can search or browse the guide below. There’s a quick mini-version at the top, and the complete version below it.
If you’re totally lost and want to know what the heck Mastodon actually is in really simple terms, watch this video ⧉.
If you just want a tiny list of tips about how to get started on Mastodon:
- Choose a server and sign up
- Choose an app or use your server’s website
- Fill in your profile
- Discover people to follow
- Follow some hashtags
- Use some tips to get your account and posts discovered more easily
- Share your account address with friends so they can follow you
- If you’re an official account for a person or organisation, you might want to verify your account so people know it’s official.
Don’t get stressed about which server you choose, you can always transfer your account to another server later.
Here’s a complete list of all the tips and tutorials on this site organised into categories.
♿ Accessibility Notice: The links below lead to individual pages answering specific questions. Each page has a link at the bottom that leads back to this front page.
An intro to Mastodon and the Fediverse
- What is Mastodon? What is the Fediverse?
- Who owns the Fediverse? Is it owned by a corporation or venture capital firm? Can it be bought out by Google/Facebook/Elon Musk?
- Who sets the rules on the Fediverse? How do I find out what the rules are on my server?
- Who gets to start their own server?
- Why is the Fediverse on so many separate servers?
- What if a server misbehaves? What if it allows its members to do something really bad?
- Does Mastodon or the Fediverse use ads or trackers or algorithms or blockchain/cryptocurrency or anything annoying like that?
- What other kinds of servers are on the Fediverse?
- What are toots? What are boosts? What are CWs? What are instances? What is birdsite?
- What’s that rainbow pentagon thing that everyone seems to use on the Fediverse?
- Are there any other guides to Mastodon and the Fediverse?
Joining Mastodon and the Fediverse
- How do I join?
- Do I need multiple accounts? Do I need to join lots of servers?
- Which server should I join? How do I find out more about a server?
- Choosing a good username for the Fediverse
- Customising and editing your profile page
- Which apps can I use? Should I use the official app or a third party app or a web app?
- How do I log in through my server’s website? Help, my password doesn’t work!
- Using Mastodon and the Fediverse through web apps
- How do I check which version of Mastodon a server is running? What are Mastodon forks?
- How do I stop receiving email notifications from Mastodon?
- What if a server closes down? What happens to my account?
- It’s a really bad idea to join a big server!
- Can I use my account to log in on other servers?
- How do I verify my account?
- My website verfication doesn’t work! The address won’t turn green!
- Inviting people onto the Fediverse
- Using multiple accounts
- Transferring your Mastodon account to another server
- Logging out of your account
- How to delete your account
Posting on Mastodon
- Who can see my posts? How do I send DMs?
- You don’t need link shorteners on Mastodon, all links count as 23 characters
- How do I post images, videos or audio? What can I attach to a post? How do I post GIFs?
- How do I post polls? How do I allow multiple responses in a poll?
- How do I edit my posts?
- Making your posts easier to find in searches
- How do I post a thread on Mastodon?
- How do I get a link preview image to appear in my post?
- What about Likes and Re-Tweets? How do I do those in Mastodon?
- Crossposting between Mastodon and Twitter
- What are custom emoji? How do I access them? Can I add new ones?
- How do I share posts?
- How do I stop seeing the same post boosted again and again?
- Embedding posts on your website or blog
- How do I delete my posts?
- What does the eye icon 👁️ mean above Mastodon post threads?
- Scheduling posts to be automatically posted at a specific time
- Deleting old posts automatically after a certain time period
- How to use the reminder bot
- How do I pin my posts to my profile?
- Why can’t I quote other posts in Mastodon?
- Some people seem to have much bigger character limits than me? What’s going on?
- Favourites vs. Bookmarks in Mastodon
- Customising Mastodon polls to allow multiple selections
- Adjusting photo previews on Mastodon so they look nice
- I’ve written a link but it isn’t clickable. How do I make it clickable?
- It’s a good idea to have at least some followers before posting your best content
- What is a bot account, and how do I mark my account as one?
Discovering interesting people and posts on Mastodon
- How do I search for stuff?
- Where are the trending posts and hashtags?
- How do I find interesting accounts to follow? How do I find my friends?
- How do I get my account discovered by other people?
- What’s my account’s address? How do I follow addresses?
- How do I follow someone on Mastodon? How do I unfollow them?
- How do I follow hashtags? What does hashtag following mean?
- Groups on Mastodon and the Fediverse
- Why are some accounts marked “Automated”?
- Why does it say “Pending” when I try to follow someone on Mastodon?
- What does the padlock 🔒 mean next to people’s names on Mastodon?
- Why does it say “Follow request sent” when the account I want to follow doesn’t have follow requests switched on?
- What kind of accounts can I follow from Mastodon?
- How to be notified when certain accounts post
- How to avoid accidentally unfollowing, boosting or deleting in Mastodon
- What are the Home, Local and Federated timelines? How do I stop them scrolling so quickly?
- How do I browse the Local timelines of other servers? Can I follow other servers’ Local timelines on my account?
- Using the Lists feature on Mastodon
- Browsing the Media tab on Mastodon profiles
- Browsing a Mastodon account’s posts that use a particular hashtag
- Following accounts through RSS
- How do I customise my profile? How do I upload a profile banner? How do I verify my account?
- Customising your Mastodon interface colours
- Customising your notifications
- Filtering your timeline
- Restricting who can follow you
- How to stop receiving email notifications from Mastodon
- Creating themed mini-timelines with the Lists feature
- Making sure you never miss posts by your favourite accounts
Using Mastodon on a computer
- How to activate the Mastodon Advanced Web Interface
- Using Mastodon through a keyboard
- Typing emoji through the keyboard on Mastodon
- Using Mastodon through a CLI or TUI
- Using Mastodon on retro computers from the 1980s and 1990s
Languages and translation options
- Setting your language preferences and filtering out posts in other languages
- Is there a built-in language translation system on Mastodon?
- Language codes used by Mastodon
Federation issues on Mastodon
- What are “original pages”? Why are they so useful? How do I see a post on its own server?
- It keeps asking me to log in again and again! What is “remote following” on the Fediverse? How do I avoid it being so cumbersome?
- When I visited an account the profile was blank with no posts. Is it really blank? I’m sure there are posts there but I can’t see them.
- Which posts and accounts can I see from my server? How do I make my server notice posts and accounts that it can’t currently see?
- Why doesn’t every Fediverse server show all posts ever made by all users from all other servers?
- Do I need to use my real name or real photo?
- How do I report a post? How do I report a person?
- How do I contact the person who runs my server? How do I find out what the rules are on my server?
- Blocking and muting people on Mastodon
- Filtering your timeline
- How do I mute notifications from a thread that I don’t want to take part in?
- Hiding someone’s boosts without blocking or muting them
- Blocking DMs from people you don’t follow
- Restricting who can see your posts
- Opting into or out of full text search on Mastodon
- Making old Mastodon posts self-destruct automatically
- If you @ someone in a Mastodon DM, they will be able to see it
- Restricting who can follow you
- How to hide your follows and followers
- How to hide your posts from search engines
- Using Content Warnings (CWs)
- How do I add a CW to a post I want to share?
- How to prevent your account being suggested to others
- Verification works very differently on the Fediverse
- Using Two Factor Authentication (2FA) on Mastodon
- Is Mastodon end-to-end encrypted?
- Authorized Fetch
- Creating an isolated server
- How do I use Mastodon through a screen reader?
- How do I make posts more accessible to blind people?
- How do I make posts more accessible to deaf people?
- How do I remember to add text descriptions?
- How do I add a text description through Mastodon’s edit feature?
- How can Mastodon server administrators automatically remind their users to add text descriptions?
The Fediverse beyond Mastodon
- Mastodon API: Using Mastodon apps with non-Mastodon accounts
- BookWyrm: A social network for people who enjoy reading
- Friendica: A flexible Fediverse server type with long posts
- GoToSocial: Safe and lightweight
- Kbin: Link aggregation and discussion
- microblog.pub: Fediverse servers for individual users
- Mobilizon: Event organisation and discovery
- OwnCast: Live streaming and chat on the Fediverse
- PeerTube: Video on the Fediverse
- PixelFed: Photo sharing on the Fediverse
- WordPress: Turning your blog into a Fediverse server
- Write Freely: Long-form writing platform for the Fediverse
Running your own server on Mastodon and the Fediverse
- How do I create my own server?
- What do I call my server? What kind of domain name or subdomain should I use?
- Customising your Mastodon server’s appearance
- Adding an extra layer of user safety by activating Authorized Fetch
- Using custom emoji on your server
- Recommending accounts to new users on your server
- Using relays and scripts to quickly expand your server’s view of the Fediverse
- How to block (defederate) another server
- Importing ready-made server blocklists on your own Mastodon server
- Running a Mastodon server with allowlists instead of blocklists
- How organisations and groups can run a Mastodon server collectively
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