Enabling public access

I have a private Discourse and we’re now going to create a category that, like Meta, will allow our customers to get support via our Discourse.

I’ve moved all the existing categories to be private with security to require a group members.

And now I want the open categories to be readable by the public and to allow people to join the forum to respond or post.

I got stuck here:

I asked the bot, but it didn’t match what I could do…

  1. Enable Public Access to Topics and Categories
  • Open the Discourse Admin panel by navigating to /admin on your site.
  • Go to “Settings” and then select the “Security” tab.
  • Look for the setting named login_required and ensure it’s unchecked. This setting controls whether users must log in to see the site’s content. Unchecking it will make your site’s content visible to the public.

Alas, my settings don’t show that option.

Thanks all


Is the Forum hosted by Discourse? Note that the basic plan does not provide public access.


face plant


will fix


This is a fairly common occurrence. It’s hard to tell that the setting your looking for is missing.


For instance, I encountered this issue when I was reading:

I couldn’t find this specific setting on my hosted instance. This made me wonder how administrators are supposed to become aware of this limit. They might visit this forum to discover that others had the same problem[1] and might stumble upon a comment suggesting, “I believe the limit is 10,000,” which references a post from 2018. However, this still leaves uncertainty regarding any changes to the setting since then.

It would significantly improve user experience if settings that are not permitted to be altered were still visible. This way, users would be informed about their configuration and understand that these settings are fixed, rather than being left with the impression that they are unable to locate a specific setting.

  1. ↩︎


Thanks, Moin! I appreciate you pointing this out. It’s actually on our list already to make this change and it helps to have the nudge! We are actively working on making it easier to understand which features are not available on your current plan and to upgrade to get features that you need.