Share single topics / categories with unregistered users

Hey there!

We have a closed (login required) discourse instance but would like to make some topics accessible (read-only) by link for non registered users (just as it would look like for open discourse instances).

Is there some way to achieve this?

Thank you
Kind Regards


I’m looking for something very similar: the hability to keep visible only some sticked posts in a closed section.

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Please am new here how is it like i will really need your help don’t understand how it work

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Edit category permissions as necessary to make this happen. Visit the category, then press the edit button at upper right, then select the security tab.


I’m sorry but I don’t see how to change those permissions for a category on a discourse instance with “login required” setting in a way to make topics inside it visible to the non registered public.

Could you please elaborate?

As far as I can see any link to any topic on a “login required” discourse instance will always redirect to the login page and never show the topic - is there a way around that?

I guess one could go the opposite way to remove the login required but restrict all other categories read permissions so that only the one / few that should be visible to non registered users are…

But that would also make visible a lot of other stuff to non registered users, like the list of registered users and non-hidden groups and who knows what else… right?

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When I site is set to ‘login required’, there is no way to allow non-registered users to see any of its content through the Discourse user interface. To grant access to some of your site’s categories to non-registered users while at the same time preventing non-registered users from seeing content in other categories, you will need to first setup category permissions that limit access to the categories that you want to protect. Then you will need to disable the ‘login required’ site setting to open the site up to non-registered users.

For an overview of category security settings, see [Video] How to create a private category using group permissions.


Thanks Simon. Discourse can only show pinned items to all users from a “only registered” category?

I try to do it and I couldn’t but I’m new. Maybe the option is right there and I don’t see it.

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This cannot be done on Discourse. Topics in protected categories cannot be seen at all by users who do not have access to the category. The only way I know of to get around this is to pull the protected content to another site with the Discourse API. The content can be displayed on the external site, but setting this up would not make sense for most cases.


Well I want to show the welcome and rules messages for this category in order to motivates users to take care about their habits (just keep civilized discussion and gain trust levels).

It’s a feature that I use a long time ago in VBulletin. I’ll try to manage it from Discourse API but at the moment I can’t install Ruby and dependencies to put it working.

With or without that feature, Discourse is really awesome. Thanks for the follow up Simon.


@renguer0 (replied to wrong person)

I am not 100% sure if this would work. But I think @codinghorror might mean something like this.

Change site permission to not require Login.

A category you want viewable from outside set security to Everyone See.

For all other Categories set Security to:

  • Trust Level 0 See/create/Reply. - Note 1
  • Repeat for Trust Level 1 to 4

Note 1:
The first Security setting for Trust Level 0 could also be set to just “See” or “See/reply” With About Category telling a user needs to upgrade Trust level to X before can Create Topic and/or reply.

  • This alternative may work as well to keep login required and allow lower trust levels to view a category but not create and/or post until they upgrade trust level.

Is the second step necessary? I thought higher TL have access to anything lower TL have access to.

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Probably not. But haven’t used Trust Levels myself in Category settings. So your probably correct that only a min level needed to be set for full access to a category.

But may need to set 2. Ie

Trust Level 0 - See
Trust Level 1 - See/create/reply

Thanks for your follow up Heliosurge but I want to hide the other posts and only keep one visible.

The purpose is: “that’s the trust 3 forum, if you want to join, you need to contribute and keep civilized”. I think that keeping it visible could be motivational, including post count but not the content of the category.

I’ll try to work that with Discourse API but at the moment I need to finish and publish the site. Maybe we can work on that together (with any interested), my programing skills are very limited but I can do my best and help with ideas, testing or something else.

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I am still learning a lot myself. But can offer help and ideas.

Not sure on Having A topic counter. But you could have a Category that is set to Everyone See and have Staff set to see/create/reply

Topic or Topics could have Category Directory with Descriptions, Rules and required min Trust Level Required to access.

There is likely I am guessing a way to do this with a custom theme/theme component or a plugin but would require someone with more advanced knowledge than myself.

They do have a marketplace here depending on your budget someone might be able to create exactly what your looking for.

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Thanks for your replies! Does anybody have any info on this?

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Your welcome. With scss I believe you could hide Hamburger menu items to Anonymous users.

So hide Groups, Users etc…

This plugin might be of interest to checkout

Though Author said he’s not maintaining it.

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Thanks but in that case all titles of level 3 category will be showed and we don’t want to motivate users to post here and there just to keep lvl 3… We want to motivate intrinsically not from desire.

I browsed and moderated in a couple of communitys from almost 15 years ago (and worked as admin in some of that, old software and very limited skills in coding but sharing ideas and a lot of will) and I think that show only pinned posts is a good implementation.

Not peek-a-boo game, you know.

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The plugin might be able to be adapted to your needs. However from what you have said. I would reccommend a category as mentioned earlier that serves as a directory with Descriptions and requirements to access them.

With using Things like Hide Details and Bbcode extensions and other extenstions you can create a very nice directory.

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