Enable and configure anonymous mode

When anonymous mode is enabled, logged in users are able to switch from their normal account to an anonymous account. This allows users to create topics and replies without any details being displayed in the Discourse user interface to connect the anonymous user with its associated account.

:information_source: See also: Use anonymous mode to reply or create topics

Enable anonymous mode

For self-hosted sites, enable anonymous mode by selecting the allow anonymous posting site setting. For sites on our hosting, send a message to our support team. We will enable anonymous posting for you.

Configure anonymous mode

The anonymous posting min trust level site setting sets the minimum trust level that is required to enter anonymous mode.

The anonymous account duration minutes site setting sets the period of time that an anonymous account will remain in place after a user has entered and then exited anonymous mode.

This setting defaults to 10080 minutes (7 days.) With the default value for this setting, if a user exits anonymous mode and then re-enters it within 7 days, they will be logged back into their previous anonymous account. If the user waits longer than 7 days before re-entering anonymous mode, a new anonymous account will be created for them.

Finding an anonymous user’s regular account

It’s worth noting that while anonymous mode gives users anonymity in the Discourse user interface, anonymous accounts can be associated with their regular user accounts via the Discourse database. Here is an example of a Data Explorer query that can be used for that:

SELECT a.username AS anonymous_username, u.username AS original_username
FROM users u
       JOIN anonymous_users au ON (u.id = au.master_user_id)
       JOIN users a ON (a.id = au.user_id)