Users unable to add others to a personal message

Our regular non-admin/non-mod users are unable to add other users to a personal message. I’ve impersonated, changed themes, poked through settings… in none of the cases will clicking the “Add or Remove …” button at the top of a PM thread do anything at all when impersonating. This is across browsers and without any type of ad blocking.

Any idea what’s going on? I didn’t see a setting to restrict adding others to PMs…

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Have you disabled personal messages for non-admins?

There is an admin setting: enable personal messages which would disable this across the board, except for Staff

Is this just modifying existing PM topics? Are they able to create new PMs?


They are able to create new personal messages and include whomever they like. They are not, however, able to add new users to personal messages, or remove them, after the initial creation.

Hey @clay, users will need to be TL2 in order to add other users to an existing PM. Adding a user to a PM is considered an invite, which is a TL2 privilege.

The fact that the button appears and does nothing is a bug. Further, I can’t seem to remove myself from a PM as a non-admin user. That also seems like a bug.

@awesomerobot, could this be related to your PM participant layout work?


This might be functionality we need to clarify. You still need a button as TL1 because you should be able to remove yourself from a message (but you can’t add or remove others)…

Maybe we should show something else other than the add/remove button for users under TL2… just show the [x] next to your own username (and no add/remove button)?

I was able to remove myself from a PM as a non-admin TL1 in my local dev instance… so I’m not seeing that issue.


It’s possible this regressed a bit when we did the revamp of the UI here with @joffreyjaffeux. I believe on the target forum in this specific case they have disabled all trust level progression (beyond TL1).


Thanks for the information, everybody.

That’s correct, but armed with the info provided above, we changed the settings to cap everybody at TL2. While it doesn’t fix the UI issues, etc. mentioned by @jomaxro, it addresses our immediate usability issue. Thanks!


Revisiting this, I’m on TPM and have a group pm going with others, everyone is at TL2 and the option to add/remove shows up but when you click on it it only allows you to remove yourself by placing an x next to your id in the group list.

Is there any other setting that would prevent this feature? We can add as many users on the initial invite, but cannot add more later…

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Can we repro this @tshenry ?


This had my curiosity going. We have a PM with several members, so I checked to see if we have any problem. None. This was a PM with several people invited, and at different times. But the difference is we do not have any groups set. All buttons show up and are functional, tested all. The above problem must only be related to groups and the “Add or Remove …” and the “+” buttons are missing for groups?
Clicking on the “+” sign opens the send invite pop-up as expected.


Here is a screen grab of how it looks for us, this is just a two person PM, I click on the add or remove button and all it does is put an x next to my username, no ability to add someone else…

That’s why I was wondering if there is a setting somewhere that TPM is missing?


TPM is on Discourse version 2.3.0. If there’s an issue with adding users to PMs, it’s likely it’s been fixed on the latest Discourse release.


They just did a full site upgrade in late summer/early fall of last year. I thought they had moved to the latest version…

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2.3.0 was released in mid-2019 and there have been a lot of changes to the latest stable version 2.3.8 and the version used here, 2.4.0.beta10, in the six months since then. The 2.4 release is less than a month away.


Thanks, so it sounds like a bug of some sort that might be particular to TPM in some manner…

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This does not appear to be a bug because it is consistent with the description of personal messages (PM) in this post:

So users can add receivers by:

  • creating a new message with the new list of receivers
  • using groups so adding a new group member automatically adds them to group PMs

I can see why moderation is required to alter recipients for existing messages. It avoids many opportunities for chicanery…

Which users can edit an existing PM recipients/receivers?

User Type Role Remove Self Remove Sender Remove Receiver Add Receiver
Admin Sender / Receiver :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
Moderator Sender / Receiver :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark: :heavy_check_mark:
TL2+ user with min trust to send messages Sender :x: :x: :x: :heavy_check_mark:
TL2+ user with min trust to send messages Receiver :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x: :heavy_check_mark:
TL1 user with min trust to send messages Sender :x: :x: :x: :x:
TL1 user with min trust to send messages Receiver :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x: :x:
User without min trust to send messages Sender na na na na
User without min trust to send messages Receiver :heavy_check_mark: :x: :x: :x:


  • This table has been updated to reflect the greater capability of TL2+ users (TL2 is the default to use PMs) over TL1 users.
  • Note that new users can be manually promoted to a higher TL but will not receive these rights until the daily job runs and places them on the User list.
  • A receiver can be a group provided that the sender is enabled to message the group in the group setting Interaction > Who can message this group?
  • To remove a member from a group PM you delete them from the group which makes them a separate receiver in the message. :+1:
  • Removing a member from a group required a page refresh in Firefox on Windows 10. :-1:

Ok, so that sounds like the answer is grouping members, is that done automatically. TPM separates the front boards from the member forums, perhaps they just need to group those into separate groups?

I don’t doubt that this is a configuration issue with TPM, just trying to get to the bottom of what it is exactly so I can go back to them with what is needed to make this work…

Ok looking at the settings, it appears that setting the sender to be able to add receiver is what needs to be set. Is that wrong?

AFAIK, there is no setting to allow this which is what that other topic is about.

Groups might be the better option. The issue you might have with groups is that only admins create groups. But group managers who are not admins can be added to the group and those group managers can then add or remove group members.

I don’t think this is correct at all. You can add and remove people to a PM at TL2 as the PM topic starter.

As I indicated in the referenced post, in some other forum software you can indicate if a PM is “open”, meaning anyone can be added later, or “closed”, meaning that the list of recipients can’t be changed once started. We don’t have that.

We’ll have to wait until Monday when @tshenry is around to test this out further, because I can’t think of any reason a TL2 user who is the PM topic creator couldn’t edit the PM participants… but perhaps @laughingriver is confusing PM owner with PM participants…


It is correct for existing PMs which I’ve made now clearer in the table title above.

The context is that laughingriver is not creating a new PM but attempting to add recipients to an existing PM:

Edit: The table was incorrect based on TL1s enabled to send PMs but TL2+ users can add additional recipients. The table has been updated to reflect this.

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