Discord Read Message History: What Does It Mean?

Discord Read message history

Ever wondered what does the Read Message History under the Discord channel settings actually does?

Like most platforms, Discord saves and keeps a record of any messages that were sent on Discord.

The messages can be PMs or messages sent to a channel inside a Discord server.

In addition, it allows users to read messages they missed while offline or Discord do not disturb turned on.

While this is the default setting, it can be modified by each server with the “Read Message History” permission to prevent members in a channel from reading messages they’ve missed.

In this article, you will learn what does the “Read Message History” setting does and how you can use it on your channel effectively.

What does “Read Message History” mean?

In Discord, Read Message History is a type of permission found in Discord servers. It is associated with Roles inside a server and is described by it as permission that “Allows members to read previous messages sent in channels”.

discord read message history

By default, this is turned on and allows for users to keep track and be notified of any new and recent messages on all the channels inside the server.

When this feature is turned off, it prevents users from specific roles from viewing recent messages in channels they are not focused on or messages they couldn’t read.

In a Discord server with the permission turned on, any new members added can read old messages that were sent, allowing them to know what has happened before getting added to the server and access any sent information.

With the permission turned off for the default role, new members will not be able to view messages that were sent prior to being added to the channel.

Furthermore, they would be unable to read any messages that were sent when they are offline.

For example, in a discord server with a general chat and game chat channel, with the permission turned on, members would be able to read any recent messages as well as old messages from either the general chat or game chat.

Even if you never opened the game channel, the permission allows you to backread any messages sent there.

Conversely, with the feature turned off, you will only be able to read messages on one channel you are focused on as well as backread old messages that you previously viewed.

For Example, if you are entirely focused on the general chat channel, you won’t be able to read any recent or old messages from the channels that have “Read Message History” turned off as the permission prevents you from being able to.

Furthermore, assuming the feature is still turned off, setting Discord Do Not Disturb on in your profile status prevents you from receiving any new messages or notifications for new messages.

The feature will also prevent you from backreading any recent messages while Do Not Disturb was active.

This is because Do Not Disturb treats your account as offline, and true the name won’t disturb you with any pings or notifications.

Discord follows suit by treating you as offline, thus preventing you from reading old messages in servers with the feature turned off.

How to Read Message History?

If the feature is turned on, the simplest way to your Discord Server’s Message History is to select a text channel and use your mouse scroll wheel to scroll up to read old messages.

As long as the feature is turned on, you can keep on back reading up to the first few messages.

Another practical and more convenient method for reading your message history is using the search function Discord implemented in each server.

Using the function makes it faster for you to find any specific information in a channel or go to a specific point.

 Inside a Discord server or chat with one of your friends, the search bar is located at the upper right portion on Discord.

 As soon as you click on the search bar, you can immediately type down any keyword, and Discord will immediately try to match you with every message in the server containing the word you just typed in.

 In the result pane, you have the option to sort the messages between old, new and relevant to match the timeframe of the message.

Hovering over a message will show the jump word on the top right portion of it.

Clicking on the jump button will immediately redirect you to the message and its corresponding channel.

Step #2: Filter your results with Search Options

The results can be filtered even more by adding search options in conjunction with the keyword. The keywords are as follows:

  • From: – This is used to search for a message made by the user
  • Mentions: – This is used to search for messages that mention a user or role using the @ command
  • Has: – refers to any link or files found in the message
  • Before: During: and After: – All three refers to the date when the message is sent
  • In: – Is used alongside a channel name inside the server that would contain the keyword

All of these options can be used together to make it easier to find messages on the server.

How to Block Members from Reading Chat History on Discord

By default, the permission to read message history is turned on for everyone in the Discord server.

If you don’t want just anyone to read your previous message, you can follow these steps to turn it off by default.

In your server settings, go to the Roles tab and select default permissions. This is usually the @everyone role as it involves everyone on the server.

In the option to edit role, go over to Permissions and search for “Read Message History.”

Change the permission by clicking on the slider. It should slide to the left and turn grey, signifying it is turned off. Click on Save Changes to apply it to the server.

Following these steps will make everyone on the server unable to read old messages by default.

To let other users have this feature, you can make another role with the permission turned on and assign it accordingly.

What are some Good Uses for the “Read Message History Permission”?

With all that information, what are some good and practical uses for this permission aside from being able to read old messages and archive them?

In this video, we can see how a bot that can read Discord messages is made and implemented.

You can use the permission to create bots that can prune and clean messages primarily.

Examples of bots that need this permission are CommandCleanup and MEE6 which are used to delete messages on the server.

Without the proper permissions to access any old messages, it wouldn’t be able to delete any messages at all.

Use this permission in conjunction with bots is used to clean channels that are filled with spam, such as bot commands or bot game channels.

This prevents clutter and random messages with bot responses making it easier on the eyes and computer.

It also speeds up the time it takes to load a channel as there are little to no messages to roll back and reload.


It is essential to have a history and backlog of sent messages when it comes to online messaging.

While is great to allow members to reminisce old conversations and the memories associated with it, limiting messages to specific members can be beneficial for some of the channels as people would generally not be affected by spammy notifications or caught up by the drama that is associated with the channel.

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