Please add option to send only one notification email per Watched post per user until he returns

Hi there,

I have a fairly active forum (not running Discourse yet) in which the users heavily depend on email notifications of new activity in their watched threads. However, some threads get really long, really fast, and if it sends a notification for every reply to a user’s post while the user is offline, the user’s inbox will be spammed with far too many notifications. In fact, my forum used to work that way, and many users complained about receiving a notification for every new reply to their posts while they were offline. So I have my current forum configured to only send one notification email per user per thread until the user returns to view the thread. The notification says: “There are one or more updates to this thread:” with a link to the first post the user didn’t read.

Is there any way I can configure this functionality in Discourse? If not, would it be possible to add it?



It already does this out of the box: if there are multiple new posts in the email delay window on a Watched topic, it will send you one email with all the replies! :wink:


Well sort of but the email delay window is 10 minutes. You could increase that but it will slow down email notifies for everyone. If you’re Ok with that, have at it in site settings.

Thanks guys for the reply. Hmm, I was thinking of a more common situation where the user goes to bed or whatever, and comes back after 8 hours. In that lapse of time, there can easily be 50 replies to a hot topic, which means 50 notifications. This really irritated the users of my non-Discourse forum, and they pretty much nagged me to death until I hacked together a system to make it only send one notification until they return. I think it’s a critically important option for Discourse as well, at least for some communities.

8 hours × 60 minutes / hour × 1 / 50 replies = 9.6 minutes / reply

It’ll certainly help, and activity is usually even more clustered than that.

Hmm, maybe I’m not understanding something. The delay window is the time after the user’s last activity on the forum, during which it groups replies in one notification email? Or it accumulates all replies together in 10 minute increments, sending out a notification maximum of every 10 minutes during the whole time the user is absent?

They really should just change the status on those categories to “tracking” or not worry too much since all the messages will be threaded together.

The thing is, there’s no way of knowing if a topic will get popular or not. Sometimes a user makes a post, logs off, and then comes back hours later to find it has exploded. Other times not. So to avoid irritated users, I think that it’s best to send a maximum of 1 notification while the user is gone.

In general you have to take extra effort to watch a topic though. By default, generally you are only tracking topics that you have read or posted in. The exception is topics that you have created.

My experience has been that the default notification options for discourse work pretty well. I think its worth living with it first and seeing whether there really in a problem here.


I have to agree with @sb56637

Try to watch a category on turtle rock. Topics there easily get over 100 posts, and it does clog up the (even google) Inbox. I rather not watch anything but if I had an option to “get 1 notification per watched post” on such high traffic categories I sure would.

Hi there, sorry for the necro bump. Has anything changed in Discourse in this respect? Thanks a lot.

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Are you actually running Discourse at this point though? :thinking:

There is a built in limit of how many times Discourse will mail someone in a day. Probably new since you wrote the original post. Modify it in your site settings to a lower value than the default, which I think is 100?