Send only system emails when disable email setting is on

@codinghorror @sam Just want to understand if there is a plan to have a setting of “Yes. Only System Emails allowed” in the disable emails setting.


By “Yes. Only System Emails allowed”, allowing only the basic emails like Forgot Password, Account Confirmation emails which are required for users to work.

Why it matters - When we disable emails completely (present - yes option), any new user trying to signup is completely locked out to proceed further as they don’t receive confirmation email

Where it matters - It makes sense for the communities, who would like to send newsletters instead of “digest email/ activity summary” emails or per topic/post email notifications. They still need the users to signup via emails (need for confirmation email)

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No, there are no plans for this. I don’t even understand the request.

ok. I have updated the earlier post for clarity. Please let me know which part is not clear.

I’m sorry, I still don’t understand this request at all. So the answer is no.

That setting isn’t intended for running Discourse with email shut off, it’s there for sites who are migrating across users and data so that they aren’t bombarded with unwanted notifications during the migration.


So I have been through this!
Sometimes, the forum does not want to send the interaction and notification email but they still want the users to be able to create and use their account.

What happens with the given setting is that even the New account creation and password reset emails are blocked. There is a need for such a setting to exist that allows users to create and confirm their account, get important system notification e.g. account suspension. And let rest of the emails disabled. I know it’s possible on a per-user basis but it’s always welcome to have a global control for the same.

The request seems fairly obvious.


I completely disagree, every user is unique and it’s far easier to educate people how to turn email notifications off when they don’t want them than the converse.

Communities live and die by engagement, email is still a huge part of that. For highly-engaged communities little email is sent because they’re on the site regularly enough that notifications can be delivered in-browser, for the rest email is there to keep users coming back.

Any community that really doesn’t want any form of notification can do so at the database level.

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There are Use cases :slight_smile:
Think of these engagement notifications filling up the inboxes of closed groups that use discourse as a discussion board because they don’t want long email threads in their inbox.

That’s why each and every user has the ability to manage their own preferences.

It would be quite confusing to disable email for everyone via /admin and not give them the option to receive it.

But again, if your users are visiting regularly they won’t see the emails, if they aren’t then how do they know there’s new content to review? There’s no situation where they’re visiting regularly and get emails about every post, and the activity summary happens once per week.


In addition to what @stephen said, you could certainly default all those settings to off when you launched the site, effectively meaning no users get emails.

Or run a command line query to force the email preferences off for all current users, if you’re doing it after the fact.

In general, Discourse doesn’t email you unless

  • someone is speaking directly to you
  • you haven’t visited the site in a week, you’ll get one digest email, for up to 52 weeks if you continue not visiting