The difference between Closed, Unlisted and Archived topics

How do “Archiving” vs. “Closing” a topic compare?

Common to both

  • Displays a “lock” icon next to topic in lists
  • Disables replying to topic
  • Disables “Invite” button at bottom of topic.
  • Closing or archiving a topic does not bump its last activity date.

Specific to Archived topics

  • Disables users ability to a delete a post.
  • Disables likes.
  • Disabled poll based voting (effectively closing polls).
  • Disables display of topic on the /top page
  • Disables inclusion in digest emails.
  • Disables display of topic in “random” topics list in footer of topic page.
  • Continues to allow flagging of topic or posts.
  • Continues to allow bookmarking.
  • Continues to be displayed in the Unread list (i.e. you see the post marking it as Archived, this is by design).

Noteworthy

  • Admins, Moderators and Trust Level 4 (TL4) users are not impacted by all these limitations and continue to be able to post in and edit posts in both archived and closed topics.
  • Closing a topic previously also closed any open polls, this is no longer the case.
  • Polls are now only closed by closing the poll itself or archiving the topic.
  • You cannot now use the topic “auto-close” functionality to close the poll at a specific time and date.

Where do topics go when archived?

  • You can see archived topics via the status=archived query string parameter: https://meta.discourse.org/?status=archived
  • You can still see archived topics when browsing to a specific category.
  • You can use the status:archived filter to search specifically for archived topics.

Unlisted

When a topic is “Unlisted” this has the following impact:

  • Prevents the inclusion of the topic for normal users in “lists”, this includes:
    • Homepage / “latest” list.
    • Unread topics list.
    • Search results
  • Disables inclusion in digest emails.
  • Can only be accessed via a direct link of an unlisted topic.
  • Is not Google-indexable (but if it has already been indexed it may remain available for weeks or even months depending on Google’s crawler)

A topic can be a combination of all three states “Closed”, “Archived” and “Unlisted”.

Additional reading

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