Unable to Restrict Users from Editing Navigation Bar

Hello Discourse Community,

I’m encountering an issue with the navigation bar settings in my Discourse forum and would appreciate any assistance or guidance you can provide.

Issue: I am looking to restrict regular users from modifying the navigation bar in our community forum. However, I’m unable to find the specific setting to disable this permission in the admin settings. I’ve checked the usual sections under “Settings” and “Customize” but haven’t had any luck.

Additional Details:

Our community primarily uses the latest version of Discourse.
The goal is to ensure that only admins can change the navigation bar settings.
This might be a potential bug, as the expected functionality is not aligning with the admin interface.
Has anyone else experienced this issue, or can offer advice on how to resolve it? If this is a known bug, could you guide me on how to report it or if there’s an existing workaround?

1 Like

I’m afraid this isn’t a bug. The navigation menu is specifically designed to allow individual users to customise it according to what they would find useful.

Is there a reason why you would not want this to be the case?


But you should be able to guide the pencil with CSS.

1 Like

@pfaffman is totally right,

go to Admin > Customize

choose your Theme than Edit CSS/HTML
Zrzut ekranu 2023-12-21 o 01.26.22

and add something like:

.sidebar-section-header-button {
    display: none;

save it and reload page , the pencile should be gone :wink:


Is there a reason to keep users from editing the sidebar? Users cannot affect other users’ sidebar layouts, only their own.


Just an FYI, it’s generally recommended to make that kind of change in a small theme component so it can be used with remote themes, as well as being attached to multiple without editing each separately.

Though I think it’s worth checking whether this is a sensible limitation to apply in the first place. Having a customisable navigation menu per user so they can adapt it to their own tastes (or leave the site default in place if preferred) seems like a massive plus point.


The other question is “do you have evidence that users are editing this in ways that are causing you or them problems?”

Pretending for a minute that users might make these changes that you think you don’t want them to, are they doing that? Are you solving a problem that doesn’t exist?


If any of your users have already customized their own categories and tags, hiding that pencil isn’t going to reset what they have already selected for their own menus. As others have pointed out, user customization of those sections is intended to be encouraged.

Just in case you may not be aware, users also have the ability to create their own personal menu sections with their own links by clicking the + at the bottom of the navigation sidebar menu. However, if you as an admin create a custom menu section that is visible to everyone, non-admins cannot change any of it.