How To Make A Discord Server Private

While Discord is certainly designed for socializing, there is nothing stopping you creating a server just for your clan, raid group, social group or something else. You can use Discord however you like and there are hundreds of private servers on the platform. Today I’ll show you how to make a Discord server private.


Discord makes game chat simple. It is likened to Slack a lot and for good reason. Both platforms bring chat to the desktop or phone and allow all kinds of users to create, manage, join and enjoy chat in discrete channels based around groups or interests. Plus, if you’re of an age where you fondly remember IRC, Discord isn’t so dissimilar to that.

Discord is also free. TeamSpeak and Ventrilo were good but they charged money. Discord has made it free to use the majority of platform features while bringing in two subscription tiers to help keep the lights on. This also works in its favor as you get the full flavor of Discord for free but can subscribe if you like.

Creating a Discord server

To create a private server you first create an open server and change the permissions so only you or people you authorize can enter. It’s a straightforward process that will have your server up and running in minutes. You can do this on desktop or mobile but for demonstration purposes I always use desktop.

  1. Download and install or open Discord and log in.
  2. Select the Plus icon on the left menu to create a new server.
  3. Select Create a server in the popup window.
  4. Give your server a name, set a region and upload an icon for it (optional).
  5. Select Create in the bottom right.

You have now created a server. It should appear on the left of your Discord window and be selectable from there. You should also see an invite link you can send to people to let them join. If this were a normal Discord server, the creation process would stop here.

You would go on to personalize it a bit more, add bots, channels, rules and roles but for now, we’ll stop here and go on to making the server private.

Making a Discord server private

To make a Discord server private, you need to be the server owner or administrator as you will need those permissions to make the necessary changes. If you have those permissions, let’s get right onto making the server private. Essentially we remove all privileges from the Everyone group and then set up a select group and manually add permissions to allow them to join.

  1. Log into Discord if you’re not already and select the server on the left.
  2. Hover over the server name and select the gear icon that appears.
  3. Select Permissions in the new window and select @Everyone.
  4. Select the red X icon next to every permission.
  5. Select Save Changes in the bottom right to commit your changes.
  6. Select the small ‘+’ icon next to Roles/Members in the left menu.
  7. Select a member from the popup list to give them access to your private server.
  8. Manually add permissions for that member depending on what you want them to do.
  9. Select Save Changes to add the member with their new permissions.
  10. Repeat for every member you want to join your private server.

You will need to give those members the correct permissions. Those permissions should be ‘Read Text Channels’, ‘See Voice Channels’ and ‘Send messages’ at the very least. You may want to add ‘Add reactions’, ‘Create Instant Invite’ and/or ‘Attach files’ too.

It’s a laborious process that can take some time to configure but once done you’ll have a private server where only those you selected will be able to join. There may even be a bot to perform these tasks but I couldn’t find one. It’s fine if you have a small server population but if you’re building a clan or guild server with dozens or hundreds of members, you’re going to be there a while!

If you want to invite people who aren’t already members of your server, you can still create an email invite and send it out. If you assign the Create Instant Invite permission to users, they can also create invites to send out. You will lose a little control if you do that but if you trust your server members you should be fine.