How to create private categories using category security settings

This video explains how you can use group permissions to create private categories (or private “forums”). Scroll down for written instructions.

The Security tab on the category edit page is used to control both the visibility of categories and what users can do in a category. This is done by defining an access list of groups that associate a group name with an access level. The default permission for a new category is that the group everyone can Create/Reply/See. This means that all users on your forum, including anonymous users, have access to the category. You can change this state by adding or removing groups and changing their permissions.

Adding groups

To add a group to the list, click the Add a group button. On a new forum, the group dropdown will have the everyone, admins, staff, and moderators groups, as well as a group for each of the four Discourse trust levels. If you have added a custom group to your forum, that group will appear in the group dropdown menu.

Once the group is added, you can select between three levels of access: See, Reply and Create. Create is the permission to create a topic in the category. Reply is the permission to post in a topic. See is the permission to see the category’s content. Combining groups with permission levels gives you control over what users can do in a category.

Removing groups

To remove a group, click the :wastebasket: button.

Category visibility

If a group cannot See a category, that category will not appear in the user interface for its members. Members of groups who have access to a category that can’t be seen by everyone will see a padlock icon next to the category’s badge.

A group that can See a category, but can’t Create or Reply will have the category badge and content displayed normally in their user interface. On the category’s page, the New Topic button will be greyed out and disabled for them. The category will also not be available for them in the composer’s category dropdown menu. Users who can only See a category can still receive notifications for the category and have the category’s content included in their digest email.

Permissions for Admins and Moderators

Admins are always able to Create/Reply/See in a category. Moderators do not have default access to a category - for moderators to access a category they must be included in a permission rule. Moderators are in the staff and moderators groups, they can also gain access to a category by being a member of a custom group.

The difference between the everyone group and Trust Level 0

The everyone group is made up of all users, including anonymous users. The Trust Level 0 group is all users who have created an account and are logged into your forum. You can disallow anonymous access to a category by setting the group to trust_level_0 instead of everyone.

Examples:

Limiting access to a category to members of a custom group

Allowing all users to see a category, but only group members to create content

Allowing all users to reply in a category, but only group members to create topics

Allowing all users except anonymous users to access a category

28 Likes
Setting up a private category
Restricting Access to categories
Private Topics - are they supported?
What are the 'Private spaces'? What difference with 'Categories'?
How to configure a group to receive notifications and emails for a private category
Creating private groups
Difficulty of Tiered-access forum
Adding users to the "staff" group
Group permissions for specific subcategory
Is it possible to create a private categories
Create user automatically from user creation on our website
Permissions for specific users
Setting Security Parameters: Log-In, Read-Only, Protected Groups
Red spot to indicate new users to review
Can a group be used to contain users to viewing specific categories?
Custom Guest Mode
Private room/category for specific User group?
Mirrored topic: same topic in two categories
Configuring Patreon integration with Discourse
Difference between “member” and “staff user”
Can I add a group of users to a PM without inviting them?
Pin topics only for specific groups?
Configuring Patreon integration with Discourse
Private Group Facebook Like
Private Group Facebook Like
Category Previews
Configuring Patreon integration with Discourse
Category Previews
Category Previews
Several questions about management right
How we put people in a category?
Questions à propos des groupes
Setting up Trust Levels along with Groups
Understanding Discourse
Allow only posting to subcategories
Ability to disable trust level auto-promotion?
The ability to post answers anonymously
Disable New Topic
What can user groups be used for?
Limit discussion to certain people
Importing / migrating from vBulletin 4
Help with auto-close topic?
Discourse for self hosting
How to create a group in Discourse
How to create a category in Discourse
What can user groups be used for?
Limiting visibility and access to forums by profile
Create a topic where only chosen people can post and see posts
Topic that only the original author can post in?
How to Admin or the person who create the topic can only post
Looking for vBulletin alternatives (self hosted)
Trying to bring paying members from wp to discourse
WP (SSO) + LMS + Discourse Advice/Best Practices?
Can we prevent an admin from seeing a private category?
Help! Making two different channels in my discourse
Discourse New User Guide
Is this a use case for user custom fields?
Limiting Users to Certain Threads
Confidentiality of Posts, Public/private/onlyForAdmins
Using Discourse For Course Community
Patreon members only can create a New Topic?