Staged users unable to join the forum via invite, sign-up, or login

The workflow of asking people to email in to get an invite is broken.

When a staged user (created after an email exchange with our support group via email-in) attempts to use an invitation, they get this:

Screenshot 2022-08-10 15.08.24

I discovered this after attempting a workaround to allow both public registrations and lower friction invites after this tightening up of user approvals:

I can do another workaround by having them email in to an address that isn’t managed by the forum, but having to use workarounds for faulty workarounds probably isn’t what you guys are going for!!!


Further to this, staged users don’t seem to be able to Sign Up or Login either.

When trying to Sign Up I get a message saying that the email address already exists and to try the email login link.

When trying to Login using that link, I get a message saying that my account does not exist.

Something is awry!!! Can someone else please test this?

In the meantime I’ll delete all my staged users so they can sign up.


I have just given this a run-through on my test site and I could signup with a staged user:

  • Configure @support group to accept email-in
  • Send email to @support group from unknown email address to generate a staged user
  • Create an account with staged user’s email
  • Activate and confirm
  • Staged user is now full user

Is there something I could try differently?

(I’ll attempt the invite one now as well)



I have now tried it with an invite email and it’s working for me:

  • Send another email to @support group from a new unknown email address to generate a new staged user
  • Create a simple invite from /invite/pending page and send to staged user’s email address
  • Redeem invite in different browser as staged user
  • Staged user becomes full user

Any differences in your flow that could make a difference?

(also attempted with must approve users enabled, and works as expected)


Is there a traceback in /logs/ after the Internal Server Error?

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Thanks for taking the deep dive and testing it out!

I’m glad that it seems to be only my instance.

I’ll take a deeper look this weekend and get back to you.


An update on this:

It was a rogue Theme Component: 👨‍👨‍👧‍👦 Groups Widget (Layouts Plugin)

@keegan, would you be willing to take a look at it? Where would you like me to post more details? The topic here in Meta or in


The problem was I had the widget active for trust_level_0 users, which I now know includes Staged Users. Bumping it up to trust_level_1 should have fixed my problem.