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Do I get XF permission correctly?


Well-known member
This is something that still bugs me as overly complicated about the way XF permission works.

I have several private categories with private subforum beneath them. I have some custom usergroups that can access all/part of these forums. On top of that, I have individuals members from the registered usergroup that I need to grant access to some of these forums.

----Private forum A
----Private forum B
----Private forum C

1) When I want a user to use forum B, I would grant view permission to the PRIVATE CATEGORY. This would allow the user to see forum A, B, C, etc.

Now, I will need to go into Node permission and disallow view permission for Forum A, C, etc. This result in the user only be able to see forum B.

Imagine having 2 dozens or more private forums underneath the PRIVATE CATEGORY. It is very tiring to set it to each members.

Did I approach this correctly? is there a better way to allow some users access to a few private forum without going through this long check list?

Jake Bunce

XenForo moderator
Staff member
You can specify allowed groups and users instead of the opposite.


Creating a private forum

Because of the way Revoke works in xenForo you shouldn't use it to restrict a private forum. Instead you should use a special feature in xenForo called Private node. You will see the Private node checkbox when editing the permissions for a specific node. This basically inverts the permissions so that you can specify Allowed groups instead of Revoked groups. This is actually better for group management if you add more groups later.

Admin CP -> Users -> Permissions -> Node Permissions -> [select a forum] -> Private node


Well-known member
Having tried this myself I ran into this problem. Let's say you hide (revoke) view permissions for the category because you don't want people seeing it exists. Then you add view permissions to a private forum within that category. Unfortunately, I could not get the forum to show, even if "view" was set, because the category it was in was not viewable.

So I would do it a different way Andy.

I wouldn't have a single private category because that really forces all the forums in it to be lumped together. I would simply add forums A B and C into an existing category which is viewable (and has at least one viewable forum for everyone). Maybe an "Other forums" category.

Set A B and C as private nodes.

Then set up additional usergroups for each private forum where they have "allow" view set just for that forum, so you can simply add permissions as easy as ticking additional usergroups.

So everyone sees the category, but a member of A won't know about B or C (unless added to the corresponding usergroups).