Configuring our Support category for email-only topic creation


We run a technical support category in our community and use Typeform to ensure new topics contain the necessary info our team and other members need to offer help. It’s a two-step flow:

  1. Users submit support requests via a Typeform survey
  2. These submissions are automatically converted into new topics by sending them to the handle_mail API endpoint

This approach has significantly improved the quality and completeness of the information provided in new support requests. However, users can still skip the Typeform and create topics directly in the support category.

We’re looking to restrict new topic creation to the handle_mail endpoint only, while still allowing replies from all community members. Currently, disabling create permissions blocks the handle_mail endpoint with an ‘Access Denied’ error.

Is there a way to configure Discourse to allow new topics to be created exclusively via the handle_mail endpoint?

Any guidance, workarounds, or insights into how we can achieve this setup would be greatly appreciated!


In the category settings, just under the place where you set the email address, there should be a Accept emails from anonymous users with no accounts setting. In my testing that allows me to send an email that isn’t registered to a private category.

Unfortunately, it appears this doesn’t work for emails that are registered:

Maybe form templates would help? It would mean duplicating the Typeform survey (maybe imperfectly), but people would not be able to create free-form topics.

Is this too big of a problem that it can’t be solved with social pressure? Maybe just remove topics that don’t have the right format and send them a message about how to do it the right way.