Something changed at SE, or at least EE.SE in the last few hours. I just logged in, and the same browser window size I had been using doesn't work anymore without very annoying horizontal scrolling. It appears the reason is that the buttons HOME, QUESTIONS, TAGS, USERS, and UNANSWERED are now on the left, using up more window width. These used to be at the top where they weren't really in the way.

On the off chance someone at SE cares, I don't like this because now I can have only one slim window on the screen at the same time, whereas previously more of my screen was left to my uses. I use the browser for various things other than SE, and having to resize the window between uses is a pain. It's also totally unnecessary for SE to require that much window width.

However, the question is, How can I get the old layout back?.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You should complain on meta.stackexchange.com \$\endgroup\$
    – Passerby
    Sep 18, 2018 at 22:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree with you Olin, and I'm too lazy to complain on Meta. It's a little bit nasty to force bad GUI's down our throats. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2018 at 22:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ My guess is that the updated themes are no longer optional. electronics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6688/… \$\endgroup\$
    – W5VO
    Sep 18, 2018 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KingDuken Me no like it. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2018 at 23:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Woops... accidentally deleted my comment... My original comment: "Seems like you have to click on the left side to see questions. Kinda throws me off." \$\endgroup\$
    – user103380
    Sep 18, 2018 at 23:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KingDuken I don't trust like that. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 18, 2018 at 23:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't see the breakdowns because of rep, but the question has a net 203 downvotes! \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 13:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ It occurs to me that our home page is useless, and should just point to the questions page instead. Then, I wouldn't need the silly left bar \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2018 at 1:29

2 Answers 2


The only thing you can do is to "hide left navigation" from user's preference.

"Hide left navigation"

It will move the navigation to the top bar, beside Stack Exchange logo

Expanded navigation

Apart from that, as much as you hate it, no, you can't get the old layout back. (further reading: Ch-ch-ch-changes: Left nav, responsive design, & themes)

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. That worked in reducing the browser window width requirement. However, now there is a extra click required to get QUESTIONS, USERS, and the like. Not ideal, but still better than the wide window. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 10:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Much better than wasting all that space on rarely hit links. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 12:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Scott: Not at all, since "Questions" at least is a frequently-hit link. I sometimes use "Users", very rarely "Tags", pretty much never "Home" or "Unanswered", but "Questions" is probably the single most common fixed link I click on. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 13:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ I just noticed how annoying it is to have the questions link as a two-step process. I agree. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 13:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can't believe how much usability we've lost, given that these people are supposed to be experts at user interfaces. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 13:04

I've once again posted my opinions on the change, this time at https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/315639/274872. I encourage everyone to do the same.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Instead of doing the same, I upvoted yours. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 19, 2018 at 14:00

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