Subcategory permissions cannot be less restrictive than parent's

Hi. We have a Discouse installation that has been active for a couple years.

I’m trying to make changes to a parent category and keep getting this message:

Subcategory permissions cannot be less restrictive than parent’s

No matter what type of permissions change I’m trying to make – making it more restrictive or less restrictive.

It won’t even let me change the name of the category, without giving me this error message.

Thoughts on what could be causing this?

This indictates the category was set up prior to us implementing this check: Subcategories do not inherit permissions from parent category

To recover, ensure all permissions for the subcategory are first added to the parent.


I have the same message on my forum for a few days, is not it a bug of the last update?

As long as you are on latest, the check is valid – it means the permissions on the child category are less restrictive than the parent category, which is kinda busted.

I understand the message, but it appears then that it should not, on all my categories when I want to change the security.
On the same categories, I did not have the message before the update.

The fix is above as supermathie mentioned. The check is new, but less restrictive subcategories have never worked correctly. The check prevents sites from ending up in an inconsistent state.


Thanks a lot for your answers. You are right, and I understood the problem now.
I found the categories that had problems.


Thanks everyone. I’ve resolved my issue. I had to add all groups applied to any child categories to the parent category all at the same time. I was trying to add them one at a time and then hit “save” and that wasn’t working. All set now!

Also, I think the error message’s meaning would be clearer if the wording was changed to: Parent category permissions cannot be more restrictive than subcategory permissions.


Thanks Jill, I believe @simon is looking at improving the copy so it is less confusing for future Discourse travelers.


The error message has been updated to: Any group that is allowed to access a subcategory must also be allowed to access the parent category.


This is remarkably unclear to me as in it states there is a problem, states what the problem is and yet I know thought the description of the problem was wrong.

I have a parent category with lots of permissions, the subcategory has less permissions, and each permission it has is in the parent … and yet I got this error message.

There was missing permission in the parent category.

It would make way more sense if I was told what permissions are supposedly wrong.


Just had the new dialog coming up stating what permission needed to be added :slight_smile:

Way easier to administer.

Cheers and thanks :slight_smile: