Private category


we are now testing Discourse.

All our categories will be open to all to see and post but there will be a few categories that will be accessible only to users who request access to them.

I have created a user group “private1” (as we’ll have about 3 private categories). In the category to be private, lets say “private1 Cat”, if I remove the “everyone” group, they won’t see the category at all, if I give them , “see” rights, they will be able to see its content. What we need is that people can see the category but not see its content. This way they can know it is there and then request access to it.

So far I have only managed to make categories invisible to everyone who is not allowed to see them. or that everyone can read the content and this is no good for us.


You can make the group visible and make it known that the group gets access to the category.


There is no way to currently do what you require. If you can see a category you can see its content.

Jay’s suggestion is the best I can think of also.


If 100% privacy is not be required, you may be interested in this plugin:


Thanks guys.

I tried Jay’s suggestion and it works.
I have added an open category with a note in description with the title of the private areas and a link to the groups so user can request membership.

Taylor, thanks for the suggestion but so far I want to see what the software can do without plugins.

Take care.


Open a category, say Secrets, with everyone See.

Pin a notice there saying this is restricted etc.

Create actual secret categories as subcategories to this.

1 Like

No, because subcategories do not inherit settings from parent.

I know. What I mean is have the subcategories set to proper security restrictions, so non-paid users won’t see them.

And put list of the categories in the top category, so people know they are there, just hidden. Maybe one topic for each hidden category.

Actually doesn’t have to make them subcategories; regular categories can also work.



I have set category Private Sections and subcategories subCat1, subCat2, etc.
In the Private Sections category I have pinned a topic with all the categories one can find and a link to the groups page so users can request access.

It is the suggestion that @schungx mentioned earlier and the only solution I have found .

Actually, it would be nice to be able to add a title without it having to be a category, for example, we have a section for Anniversaries and a list of months. A title with Anniversaries and then categories for each month would be good instead of having to have a category for Anniversaries which is not really necessary.

1 Like

Categories don’t cost anything so there is no harm having a parent there… Unless you have hundreds of them and you are desperate to reduce the number…

1 Like