Disable Reply Via Email

Is there a way to disable the ability for users to reply via email? I find that it disjoints discussions (their reply only shows up in email) and discourages actual interaction within the Discourse community. For example, if there is a public thread and someone replies via email…only the person they are directly replying to will receive the reply (via email…rather than in the public thread). Others will think that no one is interacting.

An alternative solution would be allowing them to still reply via email, but also make all email replies show up in the associated Discourse community thread as well.

Search for reply by email enabled in the admin, but…

this is not how it’s supposed to work. When the setup is correct, replies by email are threaded into the Discourse topic just like those made via browser.

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Thanks @omarfilip ! @pfaffman any ideas on how we can go about getting this fixed based on the initial installation?

See these #howto topics and check that your setup is correct:

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I don’t know how that could be true, as Discourse doesn’t reveal email addresses. The more common complaint is that people reply to a message from Discourse thinking that it’s going to one person and it goes to the forum.


Hmm, I looked into it and it seems that it’s allowing them to reply indirectly via our company email associated with Discourse email notifications…so it always says the sender is < user name > followed by our company email.

@omarfilip do you see any downsides to disabling this? Will it still show the “Visit Message” button for them to visit the community to respond?

Ah, so they see the email notification, and then manually edit the reply-to with the person’s actual email because they know it?

Perhaps you should turn on private email (Don’t include content from posts or topics in emails for extra privacy.)

Then they’d have to visit discourse to see what it said.

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Wouldn’t VERP change the email address of the recipient?

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My guess is that they are replying directly via email by manually editing the To: line after they hit reply. This is only possible because they know the user’s email address (since they’re in the same company). It’s the only explanation I can think of for how they are able to reply directly to users.

So if I’m right, VERP don’t matter.


I don’t think that’s the case. The people who are reply via email notifications aren’t part of our company and I don’t think they are editing the To Line. I think that the company email is being used to send all email notifications (from user to user, us to user) and any replies to those email notifications are redirected by our company email…back to the person who caused the notification (s knowing a user’s email is not necessary to communicate with them via email notifications).

Sounds like you have a bum install, to me.

If you don’t want “accidental” replies to go anywhere be sure you specify an inactive do-not-reply@forum.example.com return email address in your site settings.


I’d like to disable reply-by-email - is there a way for administrators to do this?

Following this thread it looks like the original question wasn’t answered

Hey @Nina_11

I think the original topic was honestly about a different problem, the OP was suggesting that replies were being sent directly via email, rather than back to the Discourse site. Discourse never discloses the email address of other users, so it’s not possible from a technical perspective.

Assuming you want to stop email replies appearing in Discourse though, the setting is called reply by email enabled. Uncheck the box and replies will no longer be routed back to their respective topics.

Email sent after that switch is toggled will no longer tell the user that response by email is an option, but if your users have already gotten into that habit you may want to also announce the change.