Default Tracking Options for New Members

Hello Discourse!

I am setting up a number of new users on my Discourse forum. Iw ant to set up new users to receive email notifications by default when they register for a new account. Our specific use case is to have this be a private team discussion location and notifications are key for us.

After reviewing some old topics and feature requests I was still a little lost on whether or not there is a way to set up new users with automatic email notifications for new topics in general and/or in specific categories at this time?

… If not, please feel free to merge this topic with existing feature requests on this topic.
… If it is, I am completely missing the setting where this can be set and any help as to finding it would be great!

Thank you!


There are definitely topics about this out there, but I’m not sure if there is one that concisely answers your specific question.

The site setting you’re looking for is default categories watching first post. Adding categories to that setting will cause all users who sign up after you modify the setting to receive notifications (and thus emails) for new topics in each category you add to that setting. If you want users to receive emails for all new topics on the forum, add all the categories (and subcategories). If you want to set specific categories. only add those.

Keep in mind, users will only receive emails for new topics, not any subsequent replies. If you’re looking for users to receive replies by default too, add categories to the default categories watching site setting instead.

Lastly, if you have existing users and want to modify their preferences, see How do I set category tracking level defaults historically.


Awesome! This is what I was looking for, I saw it but wasn’t sure if it would do what I wanted (though I actually messed up which of the first post vs. watching was correct. An additional question here though, if I have certain categories that are only visible to certain groups, will adding them all cause a conflict, or will they just receive notifications for new topics in the categories that they can view?

Category view permissions are respected, yes. For more details, see User watching categories despite not having access.

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Awesome! Thanks, Josh!

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@jomaxro, actually one quick follow up, what is the difference between the above settings and the default email mailing list mode setting?

default categories watching first post only sends emails for new topics, not replies. It is also selective, you can choose which categories you want emails to be sent for.

default email mailing list mode is the firehose. It’s similar to default categories watching, except non-selective. Emails will be sent for everything a user can view on the site - new topics and all replies, in all categories.


Got it. Definitely not what I want in this case. Thank you!

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