How do I disable outgoing email partially?


I want Discourse to send outgoing e-mail only for

  • resetting password
  • nothing else.

Why? Most on going notifications are already covered by Push Notifications. Therefore, it’s not important.

Thanks & Regards,

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I’ve looked into this before but there is no plan that I know of for it. You can disable all except for staff actions only, but not disable all except for password resets.

The only solution for you would be to bulk change the user notification preferences for all users so they are not sent the email summary and are not notified when mentioned or messaged etc. Like screenshot below. But if they decided later they wanted to change this you would not be able to stop them.


To limit digest

To limit frequent e-mail

Would be helpful?


Brilliant! You can set email time window mins to 2000000000, which is a pretty long time. It’s the same max for personal email time window seconds, but that’s still a pretty long time. Your current users will all be dead by then (well, not for the PMS, some will probably be alive in 63 years). And you can just disable digests.


no those are unrelated.

if this is a new site, you can set default user preferences via the admin settings.

if not, you can do it via the rails console. Edit a user setting for all Discourse users

Won’t email time window wait that long before sending a notification email? I think that changing those settings and disabling summary emails would do it.

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This is two years old site. I feel most users who want to be active they come automatically. Rest from search engine.

I think that’s certainly an idea worth trying… but it seems like an abuse of that setting. :slight_smile:

Question: if a mentioned user who would be emailed is online, do they get notified immediately or does it wait for the ninja edit window time to elapse?

I don’t really understand how they will know to come if they are not getting email.

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Are you not using reply by email?

We do not prefer e-mail reply but using web medium only.

Right. I am pretty sure that many users return to the site because they get email notifications of something happening on the site that they care about. Discourse does a good job of guessing what people care about. I think it’s a bad idea not to send email notifications. And I’d assumed that it would be really hard, because it’s such a bad idea, but maxing out those notification windows will do it, I think. :wink:


I do think there are sometimes circumstances when you want to turn off email notifications, even temporarily while setting up new communities or testing, while still allowing members to log in and use the forum. I have a case for that right now, in fact. I’ve been slow to set up a neighborhood forum to replace a yahoo group because I have already imported everybody but don’t want to start sending email notifications before turning off the yahoo group.

I wonder if a plugin could add an option to the disable emails admin setting for e.g. “reset passwords only”.

Screen Shot 2020-04-02 at 11.37.59 AM

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Disablinge-mails with “no” settings return this notice which can make user afraid.

All outgoing email has been globally disabled by an administrator. No email notifications of any kind will be sent.

So I would like to keep a balanced solution as minimal possible, limited to critical e-mail and some weekly digest e-mail for visitors who returned in past 60 days, before it was 1 year.

Well then my advice at the top is your answer. Bulk change user prefs to set their notifications to not send email.


I don’t agree with this, you need to know email is working and you need to understand the impact on email when your community goes live.

We have had a few support topics here on this very matter, people migrate quickly, don’t test email at all, then end up sending thousands of messages. All of a sudden we’re the bad guys because their tests ignored it.

It’s why tools like mailhog exists, and it’s a vital part of my migration toolkit. Best of all you can run it in Docker, so you can spin it up/down on-demand. You can see everything arrive in a browser, and if you want to you can release messages to real SMTP servers to be delivered.

For good reason, Discourse can’t be used in that state, it’s designed to be temporary, so the message is very obvious. No emails are sent, including password reset requests.


My main goal of doing this is not repeat “Push notifications” content with e-mail.

I want my user to feel greeted, happy with important e-mail notifications.

Push notifications are only sent if a user has been active in the last 10 minutes.

Email notifications are only sent if the user hasn’t been active for 10 minutes:

They shouldn’t double up at all, if they are it’s because you’ve changed your preferences.


This is good advice - thanks! Maybe the answer to my own use case anyway is to bulk deactivate the imported users so only users who decide to come and log in are ever notified about replies to past and current discussions.

I’m not sure this is the case :thinking:

I should have clarified that I meant browser notifications, CDCK-hosted notifications to the app arrive regardless.

I don’t think I ever see them double up between app and desktop, but maybe I’m not attentive enough!

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