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How To Browse 4chan

Updated on March 15, 2011
The 4chan homepage
The 4chan homepage | Source

4chan is an image board. This means that people post pictures related to certain topics - this is called 'to start a thread'. People can then respond with their own pictures and comments. When you go the 4chan homepage you will see a list of different sub-boards, each with its own topic. Select the topic board you want to post in by clicking on it.

How to find and view a thread

As you enter a board you will first see a number of fields and boxes: this is were you can start a new thread by uploading a picture. Below you will see a list of already created threads (divided by thin lines). Only the main picture and the 3 latest replys to that thread are displayed. To see a whole thread, press 'Reply' next to the main thread picture. Once you are viewing an individual thread, press on a picture to view it in full size.

On the bottom of each board you will also find a list of pages that the particular board has.

How to start or reply to a thread

Starting and replying in a thread involves more or less the same steps. To start a thread, do so with the text fields on top of a board. If you wish to reply to a thread, press 'reply' next to the main thread picture to to go the the individual thread (it should say "Posting Mode: Reply" when you are viewing an individual thread). Then do the same as when starting a thread. It is only necessary to upload a picture if you are starting a thread.

Never upload personal or contact information to 4chan!

1. Name

There is no real need to fill in a name. If you do not, you will simply appear as 'anonymous'. If you wish for people in a thread to be able to identify you, you can give your self a name, as well as a tripcode. A tripcode is a sort of pseudo registration.

Simply type in a name, then add a '#', and a password. The password will then be turned into a unique jumble of letters and numbers. For extra security, use 2 '#'!

Example: If you enter 'Person#hubpages12', people will see your name as 'person !DQTD5aDPy6'

2. E-mail

This one is important: fill in 'noko', otherwise you will be redirected back to the board upon replying. Due to the large amount of people posting on 4chan (and their 'bump' system, more on that later), there is no guarantee you will find your thread again. Filling in noko in the email field will allow you to stay and observe the conversations in the thread.

3. Subject

Once again, no real need to fill this out.

4. Comment

Write something related to your picture, or what it is you want to discus with other people on the board. It is a message that will appear next to your uploaded picture. Remember that if you are replying to a thread, it is ok to only reply via a comment.

5. Verification

A simple captcha to prevent spam. Simply retype the distorted words displayed in the field provided.

6. File

This is where you browse for a picture to upload. Press 'Browse...', and find the picture on your computer you wish to upload. Remember that you must upload a picture if you wish to start a thread!

7. Password

This is a password that is used, should you wish to delete a post you made. To delete posts, go to the bottom of a board page. In the right corner is a password field and an option to delete your posts.

How to link to another post

If you are posting a response to a specific comment in a thread, press the post number of that post. This will make a link to that specific post number appear in your 'Comment' box.

You can also manually link to any post by typing '>>(post number)' in your comment. Example:


A post number will appear in the form '1234XXX'. There are scripts which can 'unhide' the last three numbers.

A quick 4chan glossary

  • Anonymous

See the hub called 'Who is Anonymous?'.

  • Get

To get a 'get', is to get a special post number. For example 'dubs' is to get a post ending with two of the same number (e.g. 1234566), and 'trips' is the same but with three of the same.

  • INB4

'In Before', as said before. Often used as a slightly sarcastic remark, when someone is trying to return to the original topic of a thread.

  • ITT

'In This Thread', a prompt as to what the thread should be about (for example, "ITT we discuss hubpages")

  • Meme

A inside joke, or a reference understood by a community or culture.

  • moot

Founder of 4chan (click here to see moot talk about 4chan and anonymity online).

  • Troll

A person who does/says/posts something to create controversy. Never feed the trolls!

Other important things to understand and know

1. 4chan has its own culture, memes, and inside jokes. This Hub only focuses on how to browse 4chan, not on its etiquette and customs (some of which can be very rude or shocking if you are not aware of them). For more information see the hubs called "What is 4chan?" and "Internet Memes".

2. 4chan is very popular, and on some of the popular boards there are multiple posts every few seconds. As a new thread is started, it will appear as the first thread on the first page of a board. Every time someone comments on a thread, it once again returns to this position. This is called 'bumping'. There is however a limited number of pages to each board. Should a thread not be responded to enough, it will eventually vanish as there is no more space for it: the thread has "404d". Some threads only last for a few minutes, some can last for a few hours.

3. There is a reply limit to each thread. Once this limit is read, a thread will not be bumped any more.

4. If you want to reply to a thread but not bump it, put 'sage' in the email field.

5. For more information visit the 4chan FAQs.

6. Always lurk moar!


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    Post Comment
    • profile image


      6 years ago

      This website was how do you say it? Relevant!! edaeekdeedgd

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      yep almost 2014 and NO chan site has a SEARCH function....FAILURE!

    • OpenConnect profile image


      9 years ago from Michigan

      I've always wanted to dive into the community but it was super intimidating...this really helps to get me started on the right track.


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