What is a staged user?

I am struggling to find any resource on what a staged user is, what makes them different from a regular user and how this is beneficial to the community, the admin or the stages user themselves.

What is/are staged users? :confused:


You can find more about other user states here:


Hi Maja,

I did read this page, but it didn’t make much sense to me regarding the applications of staged users.

Am I correct in assuming you don’t set up a stage user?

A very oversimplified explanation of a staged user:
A user that probably exists in real life but has never registered to your site but has somehow managed to create a topic (usually through the email in option)

The only use case for a staged user that I’m aware of is when someone has an email ID which is set up in discourse to allow topics in email and allowed the creation of a staged user account for any emails that do not have an account associated with discourse.

The benefit it has is that people who want to create a topic but don’t have an account can still send in their topics without going through the process of registering an account and then creating a topic.

Use case 1: anonymous posting from throwaway email (not sure how it’ll work but still)
Use case 2: creating a support email and using discourse to keep track of it (we use it)
Use case 3: Mailing list (again, Not sure)


If the enable staged users and the email in Site Settings are enabled on your forum, staged users are created automatically when they send an email to create a topic on your forum. For details about the email in Site Setting, see: Start a New Topic via Email ✉.

On the meta forum, the Discourse team has enabled incoming emails to be posted a group. When emails are sent to our group’s incoming email address, staged users are created.

The benefit of this is that it allows the whole Discourse team to participate in answering support requests directly from Discourse. This lets us use Discourse tools to manage support requests - we can assign tasks to members of the team, tag messages to allow us to sort them later, search messages with the in:private search filter, communicate privately within messages if we have questions that need to be answered by another team member… It’s a huge improvement over trying to handle communication through an email client.


We use Staged Users extensively, but in a way I don’t think has been mentioned here…

We SEND PMs to new potential users, creating a Staged User under that email address. We can then turn the PM into a Topic, which allows any number of regular users to interact with that Staged User by reply to that topic.

That said, we do not like how Discourse creates staged users for any cc’d party on regular replies to Topics and PMs. That’s a total pain. Restated: Outbound Staged User creation good, inbound bad.

QUESTION: How can we turn that behavior off, while preserving our ability to SEND and create Staged Users? Will turning off enable staged users do the trick?


We don’t have that level of fidelity at the moment, it would require a plugin.


So to be clear, I assume you mean that turning off enable staged users would prevent us from sending to and receiving from non-user email addresses in PMs.