The threads below have not been updated since your last visit but still contain unread posts.

This must have been explained many time.

What’s the purpose?

Shouldn’t there almost always be posts that have not been updated since my last visit?

Shouldn’t there almost always be unread posts?

Why should I want them identified?

Some people like to follow threads, and subscribe to them. They then like to check in on all the threads they are following. They use the “updated” ticks to help keep track of what they read.

But when you update a page - refresh, etc - it will get rid of the highlights for things that were highlighted the last time you pulled up the page but have not been updated since.

Say there’s a thread on Potato Chips. You post, go away, someone posts, you come back and pull up a list that includes the Pototo Chips thread. That thread is highlighted that it has new content. You read other threads on that page, but don’t get to that thread. Then refresh the list. Nobody else has posted to that thread since you pulled up your list, so it hasn’t updated, so the highlighting goes away.

But you haven’t read the last comment made. That heading seems to be indicating threads like my Potato Chips example - someone has posted since you last read the thread, but you’ve updated the forum list and so it doesn’t show highlighted.

By the way, I’ve never seen that message. How did you get it?

I don’t know how I get this message. I rarely see it. Perhaps two browsing sessions this year but if it appears once I usually see it several times during that particular session.

Discovered one situation where the message appears. I was here browsing messages and someone rang the doorbell. It turned out to be an important interruption so I was away from the computer for about two hours but SDMB was still open and on my screen. When I returned the message appeared on all subsequent pages I opened.

What’s weird about this is that this is always the case. If you leave for more than 20 minutes, it assumes you didn’t want to read anything and marks them all as read. But it never seems to need a message for that–at least, for me.

You get that message when your session times out. A time out happens after you’ve been idle for a while (I’m not sure what the default is set at, an hour probably) and it can do a time out randomly when you are active (server hiccup maybe). Some forums automatically mark threads read when you log out, others save your settings between sessions, so you might not have noticed this on other forums if they were set up differently. When the system times you out it marks all the threads read the same way it does if you log out. The warning message is to tell you that you may not have actually read the new posts in those marked threads. If you have ‘Remember me’ ticked as a log in option then when you do anything on the forum page that is still displayed on your computer it should automatically log you back in so you probably didn’t even realize you were logged out.

If you want to see this in action, log out. When you log back in wait a few minutes then do the Today’s Posts search under the Quick Links tab, you’ll see the message and all the threads below it (from before you logged out) will be marked read.

But, again, I do this all the time and I never get a message. Are you saying it only happens when you use the “Today’s posts” link instead of just going to whichever forum directly? If so, why?

If you are using the New Posts link it won’t display any posts made before you logged out, since they are all marked read. To say that another way, the New Posts search is only looking for unmarked posts and only displays threads with unmarked posts.

If you are browsing by subforum you’ll notice that all the threads are marked read (unbolded), but there won’t be any message, you only get the message with the search.

This time out/marked read action is why sometimes you click on a thread with unread posts only to discover that there are actually unread posts above where you ended up in the thread. At some point the forum timed you out and marked the thread read so now it’s landed you in the thread at the newest post since that time out.

If you want to mark threads read as some sort of navigation tool, you can use the option under Quick Links. I’ve only used that when I was moderating a forum. When returning from being away for a long period of time and someone else was keeping tabs on the forum then marking it read would let me start fresh, or when I was sharing the moderation a subforum with someone and we split up the workload by time of day, then I didn’t have to read the posts from their “shift”. I’m not sure how it would be very useful for a regular user.

Damn edit window. I guess I should specify that this assumes that you are using the “Go to first new post” shortcut to access threads. It’s the down arrow symbol right in front of the thread title and it only displays on threads with new posts. Or you can also get there once you click on a thread title by using the “View First Unread” shortcut above the first post inside a thread.

If you are navigating through threads by clicking on the thread title and scrolling down through the thread or if you are clicking on the arrow next to the last poster in the thread and scrolling backwards up the thread to read it then none of this applies.

Ok, I’m done talking to myself.

I just got the " The threads below have not been updated since your last visit but still contain unread posts." and there was only one thread below, and it was dated 2006.

What was the date of the last post in the thread? Was it, like, yesterday, I.e. from prior to this log in but still recent, as opposed to 6 years ago?

I guess I know why I never see that message. I never browse using Today’s Posts.