Make new watched/tracked topics also unread

New posts that are watched/tracked (which I assume can only be done through watching/tracking the whole category) should also show an unread counter, and appear in Unread and Suggested Topics.

At the moment, since they don’t, there’s nothing to differentiate them from any other new post - which shouldn’t be the case, because the user has said these posts are more important by watching/tracking the category they’re in.


This is already the way it works. What you are requesting exists today.

Perhaps you are tracking a category and meant to watch it instead?

(Note that all old topics in the target category will not have their state changed at the time of toggle; this will only affect newly created topics in that category.)

I’m not seeing it.

Is it possible some whole-site or user config change has messed it up?

Is the “Inviting Reps to Help” a new topic in a category you are watching? A topic cannot be both new and unread at the same time, it’s either new or… not-new.

In this case the ‘new status’ had been cleared from the New page, but it was still new in that I hadn’t yet opened it. (And the problem is the same even if the topic still has new status).

Why not? Surely if a topic is new it’s also entirely unread, rather than not unread (which is the same as being read, but it’s new… so it definitely hasn’t been read: it’s unread).

Unread means there are unread replies to the topic. New means the whole topic is new to you. A topic can never be both new and unread at the same time. Impossible. For a topic to have unread replies it must have been visited at least once, meaning it is no longer a new topic to you.

So I think this is just a misunderstanding about semantics, since I am guessing this topic you are referring to does show up on the unread tab which you did not show a screenshot of.

Another way to think of it:

  • if every single post in the topic is new to you it is a new topic since you have not visited it, at all, ever.

  • if there is a mixture of new posts and previously read posts in the topic it is an unread topic, in the sense that you have previously visited this topic, but there are some posts you have not yet read in it.

Basically “everything here is new” takes precedence.

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Which is what I’m asking be changed, because otherwise there’s no distinction between new topics from around the site and new topics which you’ve asked be watched/tracked (and which are supposed to show ‘a count of new replies’ - which it currently only does if some of the topic has been read, despite an entirely unread topic [with replies] having new replies).

I assume you mean the new tab, because my first screenshot shows the unread tab where it doesn’t show up. And it appearing in the new tab along with everything else new across the site highlights the exact problem.

Another place where this problem pops up is in the Suggested Topics area - new topics which are not watched/tracked will be shown in place of those which are, despite there being a clear indication that I care more about those which are.


Hmm, I see what you mean. I guess there is a subtle difference there. I’m not sure why but this has never come up before.


I get the problem, it is subtle, when you watch a topic you still get a blue notification (blue bubble on avatar) for every reply regardless of it being new or not. However it only gets a new badge and does not show in unread. Technically it is new to you… you have not seen it.

How exactly do you propose this is changed (mockup please)

One way would be to escalate all automatically tracked/watched topics (i.e. by Watching a category) to Unread instead of New.

I follow a few categories on Meta and I wouldn’t mind those automatically ending up in my Unread queue. Then New essentially becomes my “let’s see if there’s anything interesting here”-queue while Unread becomes my de-facto reading-list. However, this might be an annoyance to others with a different workflow.


I encountered something related to this recently when I was using BoingBoing to test our e-mail notifications. I followed a category for a while, so I quickly racked up 50 watched topics. After unwatching the category the topic subscriptions remain.

The topics that I’m subscribed to show up alongside other new topics in “New”. If the ones I’m Watching showed up in Unread, I’d be able to click “Dismiss + Stop tracking”.

I don’t think it’s related at all… I think you are looking for this:

Apologies for thread necro, but our users who have migrated over from phpBB are having some of the same confusion. I understand that Discourse has different and non-overlapping definitions of “Unread” vs “New”.

The conclusion I’m coming to is that our users are used to the definition of Unread as a combination of both new and continuing replies to threads. Am I correct in interpreting that the actual indication of this is whether the topic title in a list is darker black (has fresh posts in it for the user personally) or faded out (there is nothing new for you personally here) ?

If so, is there a CSS method to make the “fresh for you” topics vs exhausted topics (which are now black vs. not so black) more clearly differentiated, say with italics or underline or bold or a more obvious color?

Thank you in advance!


Yes, the CSS styles are defined on the topic titles, so you can go for a stronger styling here if you like via Admin, Customize.