Watching group PMs by default

I noticed there’s been some work around groups recently. But there’s a glaring omission still to make group PMs useful for my community: email notifications are turned off by default.

Is there a way to make users watch group PMs by default instead of just tracking them?

Users are already notified by email when a group is @mentioned – why not do the same for group PMs? Either by a site-wide setting or, ideally, on a per-group basis.


I’m pretty sure there’s a #feature request for this flying around somewhere…

I also find this pretty lacking, especially because a user cannot actually track a group inbox as long as no message has been sent to it.


Owie, that hadn’t even occurred to me. The UI around group PMs is clearly incomplete :frowning:

(And last time I checked email notifications for group PMs were still confusing.)

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This problem has already been addressed at least twice, but there is not yet a solution. I would pretty much be in favour of a setting in the admin board to make people watch per default groups right after they joined.


Please Discourse @team, consider this feauture for your todo list.

This is the behaviour expected from other networks, e.g. Facebook. As soon as one gets a group message, it is pushed to the user.

Proposed spec:

  • add option to settings (either globally or per group): default notification level as a drop down with all levels to choose from
  • as a user is added to a group, the notification level is set the the configured value

Sure I support this feature #pr-welcome


A hearty :heavy_plus_sign: :one: for anyone willing to work on this. Tracking by default is not useful for any of the scenarios we can see. Watching is the way to go!


As long as we do not have a pull request, one could maybe find the one-liner to monkey patch the source using pups.

I didn’t even realise this was a thing. It explains why a group member I talk to is so tardy with replies (because he mostly uses email to interact with discourse). Seems crazy to me not to be the default!


Same here. I thought I was just surrounded by slackers but they didn’t even know they had a message waiting for them. :wink:

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@codinghorror what if I turn the default volume up for now and default to watching, it seems less bad than the alternative of people confused why groups don’t get emails.

I can special case moderators to tracking

Otherwise we need to add a global default and group default, not against it, but its more work.


Sure there seems to be consensus here.


I am happy about this development but concerned because the group messaging UI is otherwise still a work in progress. It just doesn’t seem ready to me for use by ordinary civilians.

We have many groups we use for mentioning already and prefer not to encourage people to use for messaging.

My main issues, documented elsewhere, (will add links to relevant meta topics when I get to a computerupdate: added links when I got to a computer…) are…


I see that there is room to push things even further, but I do not see why the proposed change in this topic should be postponed. Nobody has to send messages to groups.


I agree. No need to wait but don’t forget this feature on email notification footer so users know it’s a group PM


I can add my support for improving this, after I had to deal with some confused users. I also note that in my case (rather small group) I would have been happy to change tracking state manually, but that doesn’t seem to work, as per:


Unless I missed it, I don’t believe this happened. The concern about missing emails just came up again:


Yeah, this is on my list and assigned to me… I will get to it.



All groups except the “moderators” group have default tracking state of watched, in admin groups you can customize this to whatever.

Note, the default applies when people are added to the group, to apply retroactively simplest thing to do is add/remove user from group, or visit user profile page and change it there.


Wohoo, thank you so much :tada:

Note that this will not work right now: