This article is about questions frequently asked about Scratch. For FAQ (disambiguation), see Frequently Asked Questions (disambiguation).


Contents

General Questions

What is the purpose of Scratch?

Scratch is a block-based programming language designed to be easy to use. Scratch is designed for those who are between the age of 8 to 16 years old, but anyone can use it. Scratch is often used as a beginning language, to teach people to code, after knowing Scratch they can learn other languages starting with a bit more experience. Learn more »

Why should I use Scratch?

Scratch is easy to use because programming is done by dragging blocks rather than by typing, and there is no way to make a "syntax error". Scratch cannot be used to access computer files, does not provide first class lists, etc. but projects can be shared with the large online community. Learn more »

Where is Scratch made?

Scratch is made at the MIT Media Lab by the Scratch Team. MIT is located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
Learn more »

Who created Scratch?

Mitchel Resnick and Andrés Monroy-Hernández created Scratch so that people (especially children) all over the world could learn how to code. The Scratch Team also maintains and develops Scratch. Learn more »

Is Scratch free?

Yes! Scratch is free, has always been free, and will always be free. This is made possible by donations to the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT. Learn more »

Is Scratch secure?

Scratch is indeed mostly secure, though that is not to say that there have not been security breaches in the past, nor that it is completely foolproof against all attacks. Learn more »

What license are Scratch projects under?

Scratch projects uploaded and shared at the website are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 2.0 (CC BY-SA 2.0). If a project is never uploaded to the website, the creator can put whatever license they want on it. Learn more »

Can I sell my Scratch projects?

It is possible to sell Scratch projects. The creator can then attach any license they wish to the code. Just remember that once a project is shared in Scratch, anyone can download, remix, reuse, and sell it as told in the terms of the CC-BY-SA 2.0 license. This means that you might want to un-share your project from Scratch if you are or plan on selling your project, but the Creative Commons License can never be canceled. It is probably the most practical to sell either a CD with the project or a compiled EXE/APP. Selling copies of the Scratch program itself is not allowed, but according to GPLv2, the program generated by the source code can be sold with its source code. Learn more »

Community Guidelines Questions

How do I report inappropriate content?

To report an inappropriate project, click the "Report this" link below the project. When reporting a comment, a link will be below the comment. For a forum post, click the Report link beneath the post. For a user, the report button is below the "What I've Been Doing" section of their user page. For a studio, the report button is underneath the thumbnail.
Learn more »

What does the Scratch Team do if they find something inappropriate?

In all cases, the inappropriate material is removed and an alert is sent to the user that had posted the inappropriate content. If the account has recently posted other inappropriate content, they get banned. The amount of time depends on how many offenses they have committed in the past. Creating alternate accounts to get around the ban is not allowed, and those accounts will be banned. Learn more »

What do I do about someone who is copying my projects?

Scratch supports remixing, taking a project and modifying it. If someone copies your project exactly, it is OK to report it, making sure to mention that it is an exact copy and posting a link to the original project. Learn more »

What do I do if I see a Scratcher violating the Community Guidelines?

If you find a Scratcher or group of Scratchers doing something against the Community Guidelines, you should report them to the Scratch Team by using the Contact Us link found at the bottom of every page on Scratch or using the report button next to the post or comment. Learn more »

How do I report a user?

If a user must be reported, it can be done through clicking the "Report this user" button at the bottom right hand of the "What I'm Doing" section of their user page. Learn more »

Why are some users blocked from accessing the Scratch Website?

If a user was not following the Community Guidelines after repeated warnings, their account will be banned from the website. Sometimes it is more severe, with an entire IP Address or range being banned. Learn more »

What information can I share on the Scratch website?

You can say things that you like to do, but personal information should not be shared. This includes real last names, schools, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses. Comments and posts containing these should be reported. Learn more »

What is SEO spam?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO spam is used to improve a site's ranking on search engines like Google, which rank based on links toward the site. SEO spam is not allowed on the Scratch site and should be reported. Learn more »

What is phishing?

Phishing is a scam where somebody tricks a user into giving sensitive information such as passwords and usernames away. If this ever happens, contact the Scratch Team by clicking the Contact Us link at the bottom of the page on every page of the Scratch website.
Learn more »

Scratch Program Questions

What is the current version of Scratch?

Scratch 3.0 (0.1.0) is the current version of Scratch.[1] The current version of the offline editor is 3.4.0.[2] Learn more »

What are the system requirements for Scratch?

Running Scratch 3.0 requires a relatively new web browser: Chrome 63 or higher, Edge 15 or higher, Firefox 57 or higher, Safari 11 or higher, Mobile Chrome 63 or higher, Mobile Safari 11 or higher. Internet Explorer is NOT supported.[3]
Learn more »

How do I create a new project?

To make a new project while a Scratch page other than the editor is open, click "Create" at the top of the website navigation bar. This will make a blank project with an "Untitled-(# here) title and the default Scratch Cat sprite. From there, the project can be designed in the Scratch 2.0 Online Editor. In the offline editor, access File > New project to create a new project. Learn more »

How do I create a new sprite?

To create a new sprite, either import one, take a picture with the webcam or draw a new one. There are buttons to do this below the Stage. Learn more »

Is there an eraser in Vector Mode?

Yes, in the Scratch 3.0 vector editor there is an eraser. However, it does not work the same way as the Bitmap eraser and many do not know about it. Learn more »

How do I put things in my backpack?

To put a sprite, script, sound, or backdrop into the backpack, the user must drag them into the backpack area. Remember that the offline editor does not have a backpack yet, so one will have to do it online. Learn more »

How do I organize my project's scripts?

After you have created your scripts in the editor, right-click the background and select "Clean up Blocks". Your scripts should move so that each is a set space apart, with a script in the top left corner of the script editor. Alternatively, you could simply drag them around the editor and organize them whatever way you want. Learn more »

What sound formats can I import into Scratch?

Scratch can import uncompressed Windows WAV files, some MP3s, AIFF files, and AU files (but not with a 24 bits per sample rate format). If you have a sound in another format you want to use, you can also convert it so Scratch can import it. Some Scratchers have also made MIDI audio formats. Learn more »

Can Scratch's project resolution be changed?

No, it cannot be changed. However, the project can be shown in a larger space full screen mode. When using vector graphics, this will not reduce the quality or cause pixelation. The Scratch Team is also considering a 16:9 option for Scratch 3.0.[4] Learn more »

Is there a file size limit for a project?

In Scratch 3.0, you can only share projects on the Scratch website that are smaller than 50 MB. If you get a message saying that your project is too large, try compressing or removing long sounds, like music. Also, if you are working in Scratch 1.4 or Scratch 2.0, try opening Scratch 3.0 and uploading your project from there.[5] Learn more »

How do I get help about a block?

Open the tips window on the far right side of the Scripts Area in the Scratch editor and select the block you want help for via the "Block" sub-tab. This produces information which explains how the blocks work and gives examples on how to use them. Another alternative is to select the "?" tool at the top of the programming window and click on the desired block. Learn more »

Why don't my projects work correctly online?

Archive.png This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.

When a project is running online, it is actually running in an application called the Flash Player. These players are completely different applications from the Scratch program. They sometimes behave a bit differently from the Scratch Program, which might cause problems for some projects. Learn more »

What is Scratch made with?

Scratch 3.0 runs with HTML5. Scratch 2.0 ran with Adobe Flash Player, but not anymore in 3.0. Learn more »

Programming Questions

What is programming?

Programming is the process of writing instructions (called code) for a computer and placing it in a file (called a program). Learn more »

What can I use variables for?

A variable can be used any time a value must be stored, be it a score, name, or option. Variables can also be used to easily create text on the Stage. Learn more »

How do I stop variables from resetting to their default positions?

Archive.png This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.

In Scratch 1.x, Variables that are hidden when the project is shared lose their locations. The cure is to make sure that all variables are visible and in the correct location when the project is shared, then have a green flag script hide the ones that need to be hidden when the project starts up. Learn more »

Why does my sprite appear upside-down when rotating?

Due to the default rotation style, sprites rotating will appear upside-down. You can change the rotation style using the buttons near the top of the middle pane of the screen. "Left-right" is most likely the best for this. Learn more »

Why can't I save my costumes or sounds?

When the costume's or the sound's name includes a special symbol like :, the save prompt might not open. To solve this, remove the character from the name. Learn more »

Website Questions

How many people use Scratch?

There are a huge variety of New Scratchers and Scratchers. Currently, there are almost 45 million users, as of July 23, 2019.[6] Learn more »

How do I remix a project?

To remix a project, click the green Remix button next to the See inside button in the top right corner of the project page. Alternately, on the project page click See Inside and in the top-right of the project editor, click on the Remix button to upload the project as a remix from your account. Learn more »

How do I unshare a project?

To unshare a project, one must go to their My Stuff page, and click unshare next to the project that they want to unshare. The project will not delete so if the user would like to reshare the project they just unshared, they can - and the unshare button will be replace the share button. Learn more »

How do I delete a project?

To delete a project from the website, go to your My Stuff page (make sure that you're logged in). Scroll down until you see the projects that you want to delete. If your project is shared, click "unshare" next to the project, then click "delete." If your project is already unshared, you just have to click "delete." To permanently delete it, go to your trash and click the Empty Trash button, then confirm your password. And remember, what is emptied is now permanently gone! To delete projects from your hard drive, delete the .sb or .sb2 file like any other. Learn more »

How do I create a studio?

To create a new studio, go your My Stuff page, and click the grey "New Studio" button near the upper right corner.
Learn more »

How do I delete a studio?

To delete a studio, go to your My Stuff page (while logged in). Select the Studios tab and look for the studio that you want to delete. When you find it, click "Delete" next to the studio name. Please note that you can only delete your own studios. Learn more »

How do I decline a studio invitation?

There is no official button to decline a studio invitation. The only thing to do is to ignore it. Learn more »

How do I add a curator to a studio I curate?

To add a curator to a studio you curate, you must be a manager of the studio. First, go to the "Curators" tab and press the button that says "Invite Curators." From there, click on a user from the bar at the bottom of the page that contains all the users you are following, or type the username in the box below the button. If they have already been invited or they are already a curator of the studio, then it will give you an error message. The user you have selected will get a notification asking them if they would like to curate that studio, in which they can choose whether they want to curate the studio or not. You cannot invite someone twice. Learn more »

Why can't I invite someone to a studio?

There are multiple reasons you may not be able to invite a Scratcher to a Studio. One reason could be that the Scratcher has not confirmed their email address used with that account. Another possible reason is that you already invited the user. If it is none of those, then it is also possible that you spelled their name wrong, and the user that you spelled does not exist on Scratch.

Learn more »

How do I promote someone to manager?

The button to promote a curator to a manager.

If you are a manager of a studio, then you can promote any other curator of the studio to manager by hovering over their icon on the curators tab and clicking "Promote." Learn more »

Can I update my existing project with a new one?

Not yet, unfortunately. It is only possible to create a new project from a file. The Scratch Team has announced that this will be fixed soon, but for the moment it is not possible. Learn more »

What should I do about unfriendly comments?

If a comment is found which sounds rude/mean/unfriendly or seems like spam, click on the 'Report' link to the top right of every comment that breaks the Community Guidelines. This will report the comment to the Scratch Team so they can review it. If the comments continue, and nothing changes, one can use the "contact us" link found at the bottom of every page. Never make a forum post, project, studio, or comment to say that someone made a mean comment to the user.
Learn more »

Why do new users have to wait between comments?

The rule requiring New Scratchers to wait 30 seconds between comments exists mainly to prevent spam caused by New Scratchers. Once someone becomes a Scratcher, this rule is disabled. Learn more »

Will Scratch ever get private messaging?

No. Private messaging goes against Scratch's model of having all site activity public. This has been suggested and rejected several times. Learn more »

How do I get my projects to become popular?

Appropriately advertising is one of the best ways. This includes a topic in the Show and Tell forum, and a link and/or banner in your signature. Click Learn more for more methods. Learn more »

How can I get my project featured?

You cannot request your own projects to featured, though you can suggest someone else's project to be featured.
Learn more »

Why don't items show up in a search?

The Scratch Website uses its own engine; as this engine takes up to a few days to add new pages, it consequently does not show new projects. All of these should show up in at most a week. Sometimes if a project is censored or marked NFE, it also will not show up. Learn more »

Can I still upload projects created in older versions of Scratch?

Yes, you can still upload projects to the Scratch Website which are created in Scratch 2.0 or older, and will also be compatible with Scratch 3.0. However, projects created in Scratch 3.0 will not work in 1.4 or 2.0 as 3.0 has many features previous versions do not support. Learn more »

How do some Scratchers get special roles in Scratch?

Most special roles in Scratch can only be obtained through Scratch Team invitation. However, there are several that can be applied for. Note that Scratcher status is needed to do any of these. Learn more »

Accounts Questions

How can I reset my password?

Open the Scratch website and click the Sign in link — this is where a user enters their password to log in to the Scratch website. At the bottom-right of the login menu is a "Forgot password?" link, which directs you to a page where you can enter information to recover the forgotten password. Then there are two options: enter your username or enter the email address associated with it. Once the information is filled out, click the light-grey "Send me a password reset link!" button, which will automatically send an email in which you can reset and view your password. You can also press resend to resend the email. If you choose to enter your username, it will send the email to the linked email account, and vise versa. Learn more »

I forgot my username. How can I get it back?

If you forgot your username, you can search for the titles of projects you shared, forum topics and studios you created, or projects you commented on, and see if you can recover it from there. If you email the Scratch Team from the address you signed up with, they may be able to find your username. You can also go to the password reset page and enter the email address you registered with, and your username will be emailed to you. Learn more »

How do I change my user icon?

Go to your profile page, hover over your current icon and click "Change". Find an image on your hard drive and choose it. Learn more »

Can I have more than one account?

Yes, it is allowed, as long as they are not being used to violate the Community Guidelines and not being used to evade a ban on another account. Note that you are only allowed to have one account on the Scratch Wiki unless it is a bot, as it is otherwise known as sockpuppeting. Learn more »

Is it possible to change my username?

No. The only way to change your username is to open an entirely new account, but please note that data such as projects, studios, followers, and forum posts will not be transferred. If this feature were added, it could cause confusion about who is whom and lag the servers. If a username reveals personal information or if it causes arguments and Flame Wars, you should contact the Scratch Team about getting it changed. The Scratch Team will then transfer all projects, loves, favorites, and other information to a new account with a different username. Very few usernames have ever been changed.[7] Learn more »

How do I change my email address?

Login to your Scratch account, and click on your username in the top right corner. A drop-down menu will appear. Click the "account settings" button. On the left of the page, you will see three tabs. "Account", "Password" and "Email". Click the "Email" tab. Find the "Type new Email" box, and enter the email address you want to change to. Click the "Change email" button, and you're done! Learn more »

Forum Questions

How do I become a Scratcher?

To be upgraded from New Scratcher to Scratcher, you must have at least two projects, several comments, love and favorite projects, and have been on Scratch for at least 2 weeks.[8] You will receive a notification when you meet the qualifications. Learn more »

What is the difference between a Scratcher and a New Scratcher?

The differences between being a Scratcher and being a New Scratcher are quite minor differences. Scratchers have the 60-Second Rule when posting, while New Scratchers have the 120-Second Rule which was originally 1000 seconds but was lowered slowly. Learn more »

How do I create a signature?

Access the main home page of the Scratch forums. Scroll down to near the footer and click the blue link with the text "Change your signature". Alternatively, go to https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/settings/USERNAME replacing "USERNAME" with one's username. Learn more »

How do I change my forum signature?

Access the main home page of the Scratch forums. Scroll down to near the footer and click the blue link with the text "Change your signature". Alternatively, go to https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/settings/USERNAME replacing "USERNAME" with one's username. Learn more »

Why are there some forums I can not post in?

Only the Scratch Team and moderators can post new topics in the Announcements forum. However, all community members can post replies. This is to prevent false official-looking topics. Only the Scratch Team and Scratch Mentors can post new topics in the Scratch Helper Groups forum. Note that anyone can still post in these forums. Learn more »

How can I be a Scratch Team member?

There are many requirements to being a member of the Scratch Team. You must be very good with technology/programming (this means you should know some programming languages), and at least 18 years old. You must also be trusted and responsible for the material of Scratch and MIT to be a Scratch Team member. Learn more »

Which forum should my post go in?

Sometimes there is confusion as to what forum to put your post into. The general rule is to follow the guidelines in the forum description. If a topic is posted in the wrong forum, it will likely be moved by a moderator. Learn more »

How do I close a forum topic I created?

To close a forum topic that you created, it must be more than 24 hours old. If it is, you can press the "close topic" button which is below the button to submit your post. You must also have the "Scratcher" status to close a topic. If it is under 24 hours old or you are not of "Scratcher" status, you can use the report button to ask for it to be closed. A member of the Scratch Team will then close the topic for you. If your topic is closed and you want to open it again, you can report it and request for it to be re-opened again. Learn more »

How can I see how many posts I have?

Scroll down to the bottom of the Discuss page and click on "Show your posts". There will be a notice near the top of the page that says, "Found (# of posts here) posts". Learn more »

What is forcefitting?

Forcefitting is when you try to force a topic into a forum where it does not belong because it does not fit in any of the forums. It mostly happens in the Things I'm Making and Creating and Things I'm Reading and Playing forums.
Learn more »

Do most users use the forums?

Less than 1% of Scratchers use the Scratch Discussion Forums.[9] The majority of Scratchers only use the main website to share and view projects with some not creating any projects at all. The removal of the header link does not seem to have had a significant impact on the number of users who access the forums.[10] Learn more »

Scratch Modification Questions

What license is the Scratch source code under?

The Scratch Source Code is available under two licenses: the GPL v2, and the Scratch Source Code License. To create a Scratch modification, it is recommended to start with the SSC Licensed version, which does not contain media trademarked to Scratch, or the ability to upload projects to the official Scratch website. Learn more »

What is a Scratch Modification?

A Scratch Modification (often shortened to 'mod') is an edited version of the Scratch program made by community members. There are a wide range, with each having a unique design goal. Learn more »

What is the point of Scratch modifications?

Each modification has its own design goal and reason for creation. Some, such as Snap!, add complex data structures. Others add lots of new blocks. Each provides a unique experience, and aims to change Scratch, for the better. Learn more »

How can I create my own Scratch modification?

You must know Squeak to create your own Scratch modification. However, some modifications have spots on their teams that do not require Squeak knowledge, such as graphic designer or brainstormer. Learn more »

Why can't projects made in Scratch modifications be shared to the Scratch website?

Sharing projects to the official Scratch website from Scratch Modifications is against the Scratch license. Even if it weren't, they would still be incompatible. Learn more »

Miscellaneous

What is advertising?

Advertising is when a Scratcher posts a link to something they have created (such as a project or studio) on someone else's profile, projects, or studio. Learn more »

What is the Scratch Conference?

The annual Scratch Conference offers an opportunity to explore the creative ways that people are programming and learning with Scratch. Join us to share ideas, discuss strategies, and participate in hands-on workshops with educators, developers, and researchers in the worldwide Scratch community.

The conference is held at the MIT Media Lab, the birthplace of Scratch, in even-numbered years. In odd-numbered years, the conference takes place at another location around the globe. Learn more »

References

  1. https://github.com/LLK/scratch-gui/blob/develop/package.json#L3
  2. https://github.com/LLK/scratch-desktop/blob/develop/package.json#L6
  3. https://scratch.mit.edu/info/faq/#about-scratch
  4. https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/199574/?page=25#post-2090971
  5. https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/post/3056585/
  6. https://scratch.mit.edu/statistics/
  7. https://scratch.mit.edu/users/Paddle2See/#comments-51377931
  8. https://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/54436/
  9. https://scratch.mit.edu/users/thisandagain/#comments-20828933
  10. https://scratch.mit.edu/users/Paddle2See/#comments-50868898