Getting Started

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To get started, you need to:

  • Sign in and Add your group(s)
  • Install the plug-in (needed for anything more than basic features)
  • Choose or setup a configuration (Optional)

Sign In and Add your group(s)

This is explained on this page purely in text. If you are comfortable with finding your way around websites and new systems this is probably all that you need.

If you want more a more detailed explanation, including screen-shots of the various steps, then please go to the detailed Sign in and Add group(s) page.

Before starting you may need to check that you have enough authority on your group to be able to perform all of the steps. As many groups have a small number of moderators and they have all of the authorities that is explained on the Checking Authorities page.

Sign In

Go to and click to sign in.

The very first time that you log in to you will be presented with a Yahoo sign-in screen. Here you specify which Yahoo identity you want to use to access ModTools. Like on any Yahoo sign-in screen, you can specify a Yahoo ID or an email address associated with a Yahoo ID. This needs to be a moderator or owner on the groups you want to use with ModTools.

If you see an error about signing in using Google or Facebook, then (as of October 2013) you will need to create a new Yahoo ID to use with this site.
This is because when you log in this way, Yahoo doesn't always return enough information to ModTools for it to work out who you are.

You will next be presented with a Yahoo screen asking if you want to share data about this Yahoo identity. This is asking if you want Yahoo to give basic information to ModTools. Without that information, ModTools cannot perform many of its functions, so you need to accept this to proceed.

Add your group(s)

Once you've signed in:

  • Go to Settings on the left hand menu.
  • Check your Personal Settings.
    • The name here will appear in messages you send out (via the $myname substitution string) so you might want to change it.
    • The email address is the one Yahoo returns for your Yahoo ID, but you might want to change it to your main email address.
  • Click on the Groups tab, then click Add a new Group.
    • A list of the groups that are associated with this user will be obtained and then shown to you. Select the group name at the end of your group URL. For example, for you will just see and select EdinburghFreegle.
  • In order for ModTools to work on your group, it has to check that you are a moderator of that group and the user modtools @ has to be added to your group as a moderator (not as an owner). A confirmation screen that you are happy for this to happen is displayed.
  • This can take a little while so a notice is displayed while this is going on. When this is complete a confirmation screen is displayed.

If adding modtools as a moderator seems to be running indefinitely then there is a problem. This is explained, and recovery information is available here.

Install the plugin

Below the menu bar on the left are the icons for Firefox and for Chrome

To install the browser plugin, click on the relevant icon.

You need to moderate from a machine with this installed at least once a day, though you can use a mobile device as well.


You need to choose a configuration to use on the group (this is like a modplugin configuration set).

  • Go to Settings->Configuration. You will see your group listed there.
  • Click on the drop-down list next to the group. If another moderator has used ModTools on your group, you may see a configuration listed there which you can choose. If you're just getting started, it's best to use that before setting up one of your own.
  • If there are no configurations available, click on Add a new Configuration and set up one. You can find out more at Configurations.

That's it!

You can now moderate your group using ModTools.