Advertise activity in a private category (discourse-category-lockdown)

This plugin allows you to restrict access to topic pages in a category. Topic titles will still show up in topic lists, search, user activity & digest emails. This is a great way to advertise the activity in a “members-only” category, which may charge for access.

It IS NOT designed to keep the contents of the category 100% private - if someone is determined enough they will be able to piece together the content from search results.

Each category has a couple of new settings:

“Locked down” topics will show a (configurable) icon in the topic list if the user does not have access:

Once clicked, unauthorised users will be redirected to a defined URL (e.g. your payment gateway). This link can be internal or external. The static pages plugin works great for this.

Plugin repository:

Thanks to for funding the development of this plugin.

Authored by @david
Now maintained by @fzngagan


Hello. I have a question. How important is it to use quotes, for example:

category_lockdown_enabled: "Enable discourse-category-lockdown?" in this file?

When the translation fits in one line, quotes are optional.


Hi @david this plugin doesn’t appear to work with Discourse 2.1 anymore.

I’m running the latest tests-passed version of Discourse with this plugin and not seeing any issues. Can you describe the issue you’re seeing in more detail? Are you seeing any errors at /logs/?

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The issue is although I set everything correctly, it just doesn’t work. Guests cannot see the private post topic titles. It was working about a month ago on Discourse 2.0.0 then we did a fresh install of Discourse and 2.1.0 popped up. By the time I got around to trying the plugin again it didn’t work. Same with Joe’s dl-teaser (similar plugin). As a matter of fact, it appeared that some of your settings were still showing up in Joe’s plugin setting for the category even though it was uninstalled.

I just see this:

For this plugin to work, the category needs to be visible to the public in the ‘security’ tab. It sounds like you might have it set up as a secure category. Can you post a screenshot of the ‘security’ tab for the category?


You’re right David. I don’t think I had it set to visible for public in the security tab. My bad. Thank you for the help!

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just checked in on this plugin (which looks exactly like what i’ve been looking for) and it looks like the build is failing. anyone using in production?

what should be put for Groups?

Just wondering: why is this plugin in #plugin:broken-plugin ? We’re using it without any issues.

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Not sure but @david probably did that for a reason back in mid-2019?

Remember 2019? :woozy_face:

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Hmm, I think I moved it because

I’ll move it back to #plugin since it sounds like it’s working :slight_smile:

I don’t use or maintain this plugin any more, and it’s not official. If anyone would like to adopt it, let me know.


I’m willing to adopt this, as I’m doing some work for @davidkingham on this.


Great, thanks for taking this on @fzngagan. I’ve re-assigned the OP to you, and started the GitHub transfer.


Thanks for all of that David. :slight_smile:

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I just installed this plugin and noticed that it allows users to create new topics in a locked down category. Can this be fixed?

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You need to change your category’s security settings so everyone can ‘see’ but only those in the correct group can create topics, here’s how mine is set up:



Ah, okay, so I change “everyone” to see only and then grant my “paid member” group the full permissions. Got it. Thank you!


With the Discourse Subscriptions plugin advancing in development, I’d love to see a tight integration with the Category Lockdown plugin.

Testing now with latest, a user who is not a member of the specified group can see the category and posts in it.

The plugin is active and the category security setting is this:

If I remove the everyone can see setting, the category is no longer visible to the non-member user. So, the behavior is as if there was no Category Lockdown plugin active.

There are no errors in the log. Could it be that I’m missing another setting to get this to work?