Query on how to create a category which can be seen, but posts can't

Hello all,

I wondered if it possible to have categories where users can see the category, but they can’t see posts within unless they are of a certain group?

The use case is a large membership site which has multiple interest groups or regional groups which would be organised by category - people may not know the interest group exists if they can’t see the category, and the idea being they would then request access and be approved, then being able to view all the posts within.

I’ve tried searching but not coming up with answers, possibly using the wrong phrases!

Thanks in advance!


Hi Ruth, you can not do what you asked for, but there is a possible workaround.

Create a parent category “Foo”, edit the permissions so everyone can see, create a subcategory of Foo, let’s say “Bar” and set the permission to your-custom-group can see-reply-create (or see-reply, it depends on your needs).
Everyone can see the Foo category, but only the custom group can open topic and see posts in the Bar subcategory


You cant do this with category’s per say but groups will provide you with what you need.

You can create a public group where members can apply for membership and you that to prevent regular members from accessing the category

Thanks folks, I’d considered both these options - also came across a plugin but it’s been inactive for the past 2 years so unsure if it would still work: https://github.com/rilla/discourse-show-private-categories.

I think I’ll have to set expectations that people use ‘groups’ to find the interest groups which are available and set them all as allowing people to join. At least with a bit of user-education people should be able to figure that out!


Hmm … what about making “Groups” more prominent with

Then it’s clear what groups exist and you can easily ask for membership from there.

That’s great, thanks so much for sharing! I’ll have a poke about and see how it goes!


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The discourse-show-private-categories plugin won’t work, but you can easily make it work by changing the layout of the templates. You can see what templates are changed in this plugin.


But, I reworked the plugin for my tasks. So, what I have it won’t work as you need. Copy it to yourself and make changes to the templates the way you want by comparing 2 plugins.