Which category does "Make Public Topic" target?

When I click Make Public Topic on a Private Message, the message is converted to a topic - but I can’t work out which category it will end up in. How do I set the category for the ex-message?

Thanks, Nick


It goes in #uncategorized category. You can change the category only after you moved the topic.


Thanks - but I have disabled uncategorized topics, it’s there any way of choosing a category?

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Nope, but I suppose it’s a legitimate feature request. You should wait for a member of the Discourse team to answer this question.


Editing the category doesn’t fire the notifications for the new category.

Another problem with this is when you want to move a message into a private category. There currently is no way to do that without briefly exposing the topic to the public :frowning:


It may happen that a topic is made public to everyone instead of being assigned to a restricted category and administrators do not immediately notice it.

It has also recently happened to me to have moved a PM containing a link to an alpha and private project in a public forum area rather than in a restricted category. Fortunately, a user immediately alerted me of the error I had done.

PS @fefrei is a ninja…


Thanks all, can someone point me towards the code involved so I can have a go at making a plug in? I haven’t made a discourse plugin but am reasonably handy with a text editor.

As a follow up… as we have a policy of always categorising a topic i thought we could secure the uncategorised category. Looks like that is not an option.

Perhaps the easiest change would be the addition of a forum setting that lets you nominate a specific category for Make Public that defaults to uncategorised. That way folks could set up a secure transition category where they have a chance to categorise the topic appropriately without fear of inadvertently making sensitive content public.


I just ran into this problem today. There is an additional, worse problem with this that is not yet mentioned in this topic. If members are watching the category it defaults to, it fires a notification about the topic immediately to them before you are able to change the category. Luckily the message I made into a topic was not confidential.

I like the suggestion to provide an admin setting to choose a different default category - that would be fine. Or have the feature respect the ninja edit window (in our case 10 minutes - long, I know) as though the topic were new, before firing off any notifications.

To replicate:

  1. set up a test user watching the category this feature defaults to (in our case it’s #community for some reason, likely because we disabled uncategorized topics?)
  2. write a message
  3. make the message public
  4. check outbound mail server (in our case mandrill) and see notification
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Ouch, it sends an email straight away?
I can see sending a Notification that when clicked would give the “oops”, but sending an email sounds risky.

My guess is the code is using the create time when accounting for the “ninja delay” instead of the move time?


I’m also having this issue where I want to turn a private message into a topic in a private category, without wanting to trigger notifications / listing in Latest / sending emails.

I found that this workflow works for me:

  • Unlist private message first
  • Make Public Topic
  • Re-categorize the topic
  • Re-list the topic
  • Delete admin messages

This will not trigger notifications or emails. It would be nice if you could pick a category when choosing Make Public Topic though – when I used this option, it went into a seemingly random category that I did not expect it to go to on our instance (since we have uncategorized disabled).


This not huge deal for us but we have a decent number of volunteer mods who sometimes forget to change the category, and the category it goes to we have set to not show in latest lists, so can be easily missed.

I also support this. It’s frustrating behaviour. @sam what’s involved in adding a setting to select the category for moving private posts public?


I think being able to select a category at conversion time would probably be the best option and also meets the principle of “least surprise”.

“you need to change a site setting before you make a PM public to control what category it goes into” isn’t very discoverable.


Yup, that makes sense.


Is there any traction on this? We often move PMs between mods to our Moderators category. To have them exposed publicly on the way there is really awful.


I think we should fix this @eviltrout


I had some time this afternoon so I made a PR for this:



Thank you. I’m not familiar with the terminology “PR”. What does that mean in terms of timeframe for this?