How to assign users to groups

In the founder’s analogy of dining at a restaurant:

  • Can we assign users to a particular room, at a particular table (and ensure no one else not at that table can join the conversation)?
  • Can users at one table interact with users at another table, within the same room (and ensure no one else from different rooms can join the conversation)?
  • Can a user at one table interact with specified users at different tables, in different rooms (and ensure no one else can enter that conversation)?
    Importantly, can the admin assign users to these groups described above?

Thanks for all help / feedback!


So yes, there are Groups, so you could put all users at a table in a group.

You can then create a category setting the permissions so only that group can create/reply/see topics in it. (scenario 1?)

You can create categories that permit 2 or more groups to be able to create/reply/see topics in it. (scenario 2?)

Scenario 3, sounds like a good position for Moderator/Admin, where they are sort of like the Manager walking around ensuring all patrons are having a good time? If so, then assigning that user as an Admin (or Moderator – if they don’t need that much access), would resolve that (you may have to setup a category permission for staff on each category)


Hi cpradio,

Thanks for the information. I have created 1 group and have added 1 user to that group. I can only see that group and user in the Admin page after I click on Groups. See screenshot below.

My questions are:

  1. Is there another place where I can see my group I created within Discourse instead of the admin page. I can’t seem to find it.
  2. How can I start adding categories and topics within the group I just created?


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There is no groups “index” page, And other than getting to a group page from a link in a Profile, you need to know the group name.
The URL is like
eg. Discourse Meta

On that page there are

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I found it. When I go to my profile, I can see the groups that I’m in highlighted in blue.

Now that I’m on the group page, can I post a topic within the group or do I have to do that on the index page? Is the admin of the group the only person that can post a topic?


AFAIK the group admin was created to allow non-group members to admin the group. eg. add members, remove members.
I don’t fully understand the need for this, but others asked for it and now it’s there.

The groups pages are more like the Users page except they currently have no filtering or ordering functions. That is, more for display / navigation than anything else.

As far as a “topic within the group” I think the usual practice is to create a Category and grant permissions to only the group members.
The category is then in effect a “private” category for that group alone, unless you give permissions to other groups as well. (eg. staff)

You can control who can start topics / post replies with the categories “create, reply, see” settings


Perhaps this is now broken but you cannot grant access to a catagory based on groups, only by trust level.

You definitely can grant category access based on groups, I’m using it right now.

After creating a group, you need to go to the category’s preferences, then the “security” tab

Strange. That’s exactly what I did but groups don’t show only trust levels.

Oh. OK. Seems the category must exist first and can’t be new, then it works. My bad.

If that’s the case I would assume it’s a #bug. Just to verify, you are saying that if you make a new category, the security tab only shows trust levels 0-4, everyone, admin, moderators, and staff, but if you go to Edit a category you then see all the above plus custom groups?

Edit: Just tested and I can confirm that the security tab works as expected. All custom groups appear regardless of whether I am creating a new category or editing an existing one. So, not a bug.

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The tab ‘Groups’ in admin has disappeared since the last update. Any solution?


It’s in the hamburger menu now. Look for groups :wink:


It’s true, my failure. Thanks!! :smile:

A post was split to a new topic: How do I add lots of users to a group efficiently?

Edit: This page should help.

I recently installed Discourse 2.6.0.beta1 on Ubuntu using the DigitalOcean One-Click image. It seems great, but I’m not seeing how to add a member to the Moderator group or Staff group. For those groups, there is no such button.

Admins should always be able to add members to any group, right?

I notice that I’m listed as “Owner” of these groups in the multi-tile Groups view. (There is a green “Owner (shield icon)”.) That should also let me add members to the group, right?

What might I have done wrong?

You don’t add them to a group, you grant them the moderator or admin privilege from their user page under the wrench / admin section.


No way to add new members to groups?

As @rehe mentioned, the tab ‘Groups’ in admin has disappeared. OK, I found it in the hamburger, but before it disappeared from the admin page, it was possible to add news users right here. See below.

Now, when I access “Groups” from the hamburger, I can’t find any link/button allowing me to add new users to a group. See below.

Can somebody, please help?

Staff is an automatic group, users cannot be added to it directly. A user will be added to that particular group if you if you grant moderation or admin to that user.

If you view the admin page for a group that you have created yourself, that group will have an option to add users.


thank you, @Simon_Manning !