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Please see SMF1.1:Membergroups or SMF2.0:Membergroups depending on the version of SMF you are using.

Every member of a forum belongs to at least one membergroup. Forum permissions are given to membergroups. This means that the membergroups that users belong to determine what they can see and do on the forum.

A membergroup's permissions are determined by the administrator. An administrator can, for example, set which boards members from a certain membergroup can see, and whether those members are allowed to manage members. To assign membergroups, the administrator should go into the user's profile, into Account Related Settings, and they may set that user to a membergroup by selecting one from the drop-down list called Primary Membergroup.

Please be aware that SMF requires that you have at least one post count based membergroup. You can negate this, for the most part, by removing all of the post count based membergroups except for that one, required group. That one, remaining, membergroup can be given any name. Just ensure that the number of required posts, for that group, is 0 (zero).

As with all other group permissions, should a user belong to both a standard (non post count based) group and a post count based group, that user will have all of the permissions granted in either group. The best way to avoid confusion in this case is to set all permissions for post count based group(s) to "Disallow" (X). Once that is done, only the permissions given by the user's standard (non post count based) groups, which are set to "Allow" (A), will be used.

Edit Membergroups

On the Edit Membergroups tab, there are two separate tables. The table at the top lists the regular membergroups on your forum (the non post count based groups). The bottom table lists all of the post count based groups.

The membergroup names are colored differently depending on which color is assigned to the group. Next to each of the group names are the star images used for the group, the number of members the group currently has, and a link to modify the group. On post count based groups you will also see the required posts needed for a member to be in that post count based group.

Add Membergroup

On this page you will be able to create new membergroups with the desired permissions. This page can be accessed by selecting the Add Membergroup tab when viewing the membergroups section of the Administration center


On this page you can select which membergroups are allowed to modify membergroups by checking the boxes for each. Note that membergroups can only modify those groups which they are allowed to modify.

Membergroup Management

  • Add a new membergroup
  • Edit an existing membergroup
  • Select the membergroups that can modify membergroups

The add membergroup page is almost the same as the edit membergroup page, so both are combined into one document, and both links above go to the same document.

Unless otherwise stated, each setting listed below is available when creating a new membergroup and editing an existing one.

Membergroup name - The name you want to call the group. This name will be publicly shown next to the member's details on each post and will help you know what group is what.

Group description - Here you can optionally write a description for this group.

Group Type - Here you can select the type of group you want this membergroup to be. You have the following options:

  • Private - Membership to a group has to be manually assigned for a member by the group moderator or administrator
  • Protected - Only administrators can manage and assign
  • Requestable - Membership to the group can be requested by having a user go to their profile and selecting the Group Membership link
  • Free - Like above, except membership can be automatically given to member when requested
  • Post Based - Membership to group only granted when member meets specified post count

Moderators - Here you can enter a comma separate list of usernames of those you want to be a group moderator. A group moderator's main privilege is the ability to add new members to the membergroup. This field is only available when modifying an existing group.

Visibility - You have three options:

  • Visible - This group is listed on the user's profile (if assigned as the primary group in a default installation) and the membergroup shows up as a listed group in the membergroups list group key on the board index page providing it has been allocated a color. Post count based groups do not appear in the group key.
  • Visible - except in Group Key - As above, but the membergroup is not listed in the membergroup group key on the board index page.
  • Invisible - This group is not listed in the user's profile (if not assigned as the primary group in a default installation) and does not appear in the group key. Changing a group from visible to invisible will cause the warning Are you sure you want to disallow assignment of this group as a user's primary group?" Making a group invisible will restrict assignment to additional groups only and will update all current "primary" members to have it as an additional group only.

Inherit Permissions - When creating a membergroup, you must select the initial permission settings the membergroup will use. Please note on group creation you are limited in what permissions you can give the group and that this section only appears when creating a new group, but you can always go to Permissions to adjust the permissions for the membergroup.

There are a few types of settings you can use for permissions.

  • inherit from - This allows you to pick a group to inherit the permissions from. Only pick this option if you want all permissions to be taken directly from another membergroup and you do not wish to configure any unique permissions for this group.
  • by type - There are four basic types of Member groups: Restrictive, Standard, Moderator, and Maintenance.
    • Restrictive - This is the permission settings that guests get by default.
    • Standard - This is the permission setting that a standard Register user would receive by default.
    • Moderator - Any group with this permission setting would be able to moderate boards that they can see.
    • Maintenance - This is the permission settings that is very similar to that of the administrator.
  • based off of - You can choose the permissions of another membergroup to base this new one on. This will copy the permissions for the other group, you just choose the group, then alter permissions accordingly.
  • Required Posts - When making the membergroup based on the number of posts, you are required to choose the number of posts required for a member to be in that group. This can be any number you like. Note, keep track of any existing membergroups that are based on post count. While you can have multiple membergroups require the same number of posts to be a part of the group, the newer group will be the only one members will actually be put in when they have the specified posts.
  • Color in online list - Select the HEX color value to represent the group. This color will come in effect when viewing the overall online list or a list of members viewing a topic or board. The member's username links will appear in this color. This can be useful in denoting that a member is in a special group. Note, this only comes into effect for primary membergroups. Members who have a group as a secondary group will not appear in this color at any point. This field is only shown when modifying an existing membergroup.
  • Number of star images - Membergroups can have small images to appear below the group inside of posts made by members of the group. Here you can configure how many of these images you want to show for the group. This option is only shown when modifying an existing group
  • Star image filename - Here you can select the filename of where the image you want to use should be taken from. Like the option above it, this option is only shown when modifying an existing group. As indicated next to this field, the image to be called should be uploaded to {theme URL}/images/. So each theme of yours should have an image with the specified filename available.
  • Max personal messages - Here you can set the maximum number of personal messages that a user can have stored in their inbox. "0" means no limit.
  • Visible Boards - This allows you to choose which boards this new group will have access to; this is useful so that you do not have to do it later. You may change these at anytime by going to membergroups / edit membergroups and clicking the link [ Show boards ] at the bottom next to Visible Boards.