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.
  • Continues to allow flagging of topic or posts.
  • Continues to allow bookmarking.

Specific to Archived topics

  • Disables users ability to 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 be displayed in the Unread list (i.e. you see the post marking it as Archived, this is by design).


  • 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:
  • 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.


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


3 posts were split to a new topic: How to hide archived topics from latests but show them in other pages?

3 posts were split to a new topic: Providing more visual distinction between Closed and Archives topics

Hello! First time posting here - thank you all for your wonderful work :slight_smile: I love discourse !!

I have a question based on this that I’m still trying to grasp.

Am I able to unlist a series of categories, sub-categories, and topics, and make a post which links to these unlisted categories, sub-categories, and topics, and allows anyone to view the posts within the unlisted categories, sub-categories, and topics? I.e., the only way to view these unlisted posts would be via links found within this new post? I want these posts to remain on the forum, but I generally don’t want them to be searchable or come up easily.

My specific reason for wanting this is posterity with our community, so we aren’t removing old community posts, but also we are making it more difficult for this old information to surface so our community members don’t get confused about old / outdated information. Does this make sense?

The other option I’ve thought about is exporting the specific categories, sub-categories, and topics as HTML files and uploading these in a public google drive link. I’ve tried to find the best answer this in the forums, but would love anyone’s thoughts, or if anyone has experienced this themselves.

Thanks all - love discourse and all the work you all do :pray: