Disabling categories

I would love ability to disable categories. My forum has only around 3-5 new topics a day. There is just not enough traffic to justify categorization of new topics.

So basically I’m thinking of some switch in settings that would allow to hide Category column, All Categories button and basically any UI element to do with categories. I know I could do it with CSS but there is no guarantee future updates don’t break it.

Would you agree that for small forums, category feature is unnecessary overhead and contributor to unjustified UI clutter?


I agree completely that on a small forum (and to be honest even the medium sized ones) categories are pointless mental overhead. The common risk is over-categorization more so than not enough:

But hiding the topic list category column in css should be fine and I cannot think of any reason that would easily break in the future.

Glad I’m not the only one. I’ve added following CSS definition to my stylesheet to hide categories.

ul#category-filter li:last-of-type
{ display: none !important; }

You mean as a customization in the admin panel, not editing the stylesheets… right?\


Yeah, I’ve inserted CSS through admin panel.

I can’t get @lubos’s solution to work with the current Discourse version. The reason is that pinned topics has:

  • no category column,
  • a first column with colspan=2.

So when hiding td.category, the resulting table has pinned topic’s rows larger than other rows.

I’ve tried to hide the second column with td:nth-child(2), but it has the drawback of hiding pinned topic’s authors (plus maybe it’ll break on mobile).

Since 2014, has another solution to disable categories on small forums been implemented or figured out?

Hi @jack2, try this to disabling categoriers on the topic list and on the hamburger menu:

.topic-list .category.sortable, .topic-list .category, .category-links.clearfix {
    display: none;

If you want to disable the category box when a user open a new topic add this element too:

.select-box .select-box-header


Thanks @Trash, but it doesn’t work well for the reason I’ve explained earlier. Here is what your CSS looks like with a pinned topic:

Mmm I don’t see that issue with pinned topics. Let me see in my test site, where I have the Welcome topic…

@jack2 that particular topic is without category (uncategorized).
The simplest fix is to move it in a category otherwise you have to create other css code for targeting pinned topics without category


Hi @Trash,

How can I disable the categories menu too?


.list-controls .category-breadcrumb .has-drop.box { display: none; }


Does anyone knows how to hide categories for all users but staff. Use case: a new site without a lot of posts, but the admin can start categorizing posts right away, for the future.

There is a .staff class in the body tag. I was trying using the : not (X) property but I wasn’t able tho achieve it.

Maybe using SCSS?

Hi @dax, the only one of these working is removing categories from the hamburger, otherwise they’re not working. Any suggestions?

In two years the classes and targets used in the CSS above will be changed. Try with

.topic-list .topic-category {
    display: none;

to hide the categories from the homepage.


Has someone managed to tailor the native CSS…as opposed to supplementing the native CSS with user-defined CSS to hide the unwanted parts?

Interested to hear anyone’s experience or guidance. I suppose that approach would save me some bytes on the front-end but require me to work deep in Discourse’s gut after every software upgrade?

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