Notifications not received for private messages I'm invited to

I was recently invited to a PM conversation involving a moderator and member of my site.

This turned into quite an important conversation because the member was discussing paying for advertising on my forum (and had just paid, and wanted to know if I’d received the payment).

Unfortunately I never saw her most recent PM message. Discourse never alerted me to it in any way. I only found it when I saw an unexpected payment in my bank account from that member! Eventually I browsed to my messages page, and there was the message.

IMO when I’m invited into a PM chain, I should be notified of new messages in that chain.

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I believe @jomaxro is looking at this.


Was looking at a different PM notification issue, I’ll add this to my list.


@codinghorror @jomaxro thank you, both.

I suspect this is the same issue based on the description.

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Just tested this. I did receive a notification that I was invited to a PM. However, my notification state remained normal, so I indeed was not notified of future messages. @codinghorror, my opinion is that being invited to a PM should set my notification state to watching, and users can change that if wanted. I think defaulting to normal (and thus not easily knowing that there are more messages) is not ideal.

Edit: To emphasize, this suggestion is for message invites only. Topics are visible in /latest so it’s not a major concern. PMs are quite hidden if you’re not notified.


What are your feelings on this @sam

Yeah I think this is buggy, when you are invited to a PM you should automatically watch it, anything else is unexpected imo.

Furthermore I think people should be able to opt to get an email when they are invited to a PM in case they are not heavy website users.


Kind of annoying to be forced to watch a topic the minute you are invited. That’s actually griefing…

I say you should only watch once you VISIT the topic and implictly “accept” the invite.


Keep in mind that PM invites are “blue” notifications not “green”, so if you get a lot of notifications all at the same time, it’s possible to miss it.

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Perhaps if we change the flow it would make more sense:

Invite to a PM:

  1. Triggers an invite email, “Bob invited you to XYZ conversation, with a summary of the last few posts, would you like to accept” (email notification if you are not on site, green notification if you are out of the box)

  2. You click accept and are added into the PM as watching

I do agree that the “I can just silently add people to a PM if they want to or not” as any user is a problem, we need a different flow for people being pulled in to a discussion vs people who are there from get go.


We support

  1. Change it so you “watch at message” as soon as you visit it OR reply to it. (not before) … default on.

    • amend copy of invite to explain that this must happen for you to watch the message.
  2. Add a site setting for “closed groups” that allows you to opt the entire site to “watch as soon as invited”. “watch_messages_on_invite” default off.

@tgxworld can you take this as it popped up a few times now, would be better just to close it for good.


This is implemented in

I need to clarify what we actually want here because we’re currently setting the notification level to tracking once a user replies to any topic. Is the intention to update the code such that the notification level is watching for PM and tracking for normal topics?

I’m not sure which copy we’re referring to here. Is this for the mailer?

I need to clarify this feature as well. Is this for closed groups only or is this a site wide setting? What is the difference between “watch as soon as invited” and “watch_messages_on_invite”?


@sam Hmm should automatically watching the PM be applied to groups?

I think for groups it should use the user’s notification level of that group instead of “watching”.


Good point :+1: , I totally forgot that groups have a default_notification_level field. Fixed in