Preventing/Limiting Group Message Archiving

Hello! I help run an education forum in which we have a help group where students can message staff members for specific assignment questions.

Recently we’ve been seeing most of the messages in the group get archived, so they don’t show up in the regular group inbox. Despite the “Archive” tooltip saying “Move message to your archive”, it archives the message for the entire group.

Is there a way to disable archiving for group messages or to limit this action to staff members?

EDIT: For clarification, we think that staff members are archiving the message after viewing/responding, but we would rather keep the message thread open so the other 100+ staff members can still see the thread.

Maybe you want a private category instead of group messaging? I find group messaging is best for a helpdesk type scenario, where messages get archived once resolved.


This sounds like more of a need to adhere to a process for handling these messages than a need for a new feature.

We use group inboxes here to handle support for our hosting customers and we archive when a message has been handled. That message will pop back into the inbox of there’s another reply, though.

I have a few thoughts that might help —

  • archived messages will still show as unread for any user who has not read them. A possible workflow is to have users browse the archive for unread messages.
  • some of us here want to keep up on all the message history, and one way we do that is through setting the group inbox to Watching. This will notify you of every message added to those topics. Then each user can use their notifications tab in their user profile to catch up on unread topics.

You could also explore using a private category as well like @tobiaseigen suggested.

Hope that helps!


We considered this, but students shouldn’t be able to see help messages posted by other students (due to these types of posts tending to contain assignment content, which can’t be shared). AFAIK, there’s no way to set up a private category where users can post topics and see their own posts, but not see or contribute towards other posts unless they are a certain trust level.

I didn’t know this, thank you!

Some of the staff members do make use of this (myself included), but lots of them are less active and choose a lower notification level. The archiving issue we’ve been having hasn’t been going on for very long so I’m not sure how much it’s affecting staff with a lower notification level. I’ll try to find out :slight_smile:


I think I’m beginning to understand your use case a little better - it’s not so different from my own. The main difference is that our helpdesk team only has about 5 people in it (goes up and down throughout the year as staff come and go) and otherwise we discourage the use of discourse group messaging for everyone else even our staff of 150+. For those we use private categories. We also invite specific colleagues from time to time in messages to get help responding to helpdesk messages.

The reason for this is that people tend to confuse discourse group messaging with email - even though it is similar it is different enough that people get confused and even a bit frustrated. That said, group messaging is improving and I am understanding better how it works and what it is good for, so maybe at some point we’ll expand its use in our organization.

Recently I delegated the helpdesk to colleagues, and changed my own notification level from watching to tracking. Watching turned out to be a bit much - once you get more than a few people responding to group messages your notifications (and maybe your head) will explode. :exploding_head:

Now I make a point of looking in the group inbox and archive once or twice a day, and look for the blue dot next to the messages I haven’t seen yet - works great. I can spot check the messages and add any follow up that might be needed. My colleagues might mention me in a whisper or assign a message to me and then I can respond more quickly. They can also add more people to the message and ask them to respond.

Since you have 100+ people expected to monitor the group messages, you could also have them track the messages and remind them to look in the archive.

Another idea would be to create some more groups to separate out the people who are doing most of the answering and archiving. 100 people is alot to have in one group anyway if you want them to feel accountable and engaged. We have one “all staff” group of 150+ and only really use that for announcements and to give access to a few private categories.