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How to Make Subreddit Private: Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a private subreddit can offer more control over who participates in discussions and content sharing within a specific community. This step-by-step guide will walk you through the process of making a subreddit private on Reddit, ensuring that only approved members can access and engage with the content.

To start the process of making a subreddit private, the creator or moderator must first access the subreddit settings. From there, they can navigate to the Community settings tab, where they will find the option to adjust the privacy settings. Changing the subreddit type from public to private restricts access to approved members only.

Once the subreddit has been set to private, the creator or moderators can manage membership by sending out invitations to specific users. These users will then have the ability to request access to the private subreddit, pending approval from the moderators. By following these steps, you can effectively create a private space within Reddit for more exclusive and controlled interactions.## Checking Moderation Settings

When making a subreddit private, it is crucial to check the moderation settings to ensure that the community remains private and secure. Here are the key steps to help moderators in this process:

  1. Access Mod Tools: Begin by accessing the moderation tools for the subreddit. This can usually be done by clicking on the Mod Tools option on the subreddit's main page.

  2. Navigate to Community Settings: Once in the moderation tools section, navigate to the community settings. This is where moderators can adjust various settings related to the subreddit's visibility and membership.

  3. Privacy Settings: Look for the privacy settings within the community settings. Here, moderators can choose between public, restricted, and private settings. Select the private option to make the subreddit accessible only to approved members.

  4. Approval Required: Consider enabling the **Restrict Access** option, which will require moderators to manually approve new member requests. This adds an extra layer of security to the private subreddit.

  5. Customize Access: Depending on the subreddit's needs, moderators can further customize access by setting specific criteria for new member approval or by restricting certain actions to approved members only.

  6. Save Changes: Once all the necessary moderation settings have been adjusted, remember to save the changes to apply the new privacy settings to the subreddit successfully.

By following these steps and carefully reviewing the moderation settings, moderators can ensure that their subreddit is effectively transitioned to a private community, providing a safe and exclusive space for approved members to engage and interact.

Adjusting Subreddit Privacy

In order to make a subreddit private on Reddit, the subreddit moderators can adjust the privacy settings to restrict access to approved members only. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to adjust subreddit privacy effectively:

  1. Accessing Mod Tools: The first step is for the moderator to access the subreddit and navigate to the Mod Tools section located on the right side of the subreddit page.

  2. Selecting Community Settings: Within the Mod Tools section, the moderator should click on Community settings to access the settings page.

  3. Changing Privacy Setting: Within the Community settings, look for the Type section, which determines the privacy settings of the subreddit. By default, subreddits are set to public. To make the subreddit private, select Private from the drop-down menu.

  4. Saving Changes: After selecting the Private option, remember to scroll down to the bottom of the page and hit the Save button to apply the new privacy settings.

  5. Approving Members: Once the subreddit is set to private, moderators will need to manually approve members who request access. Approved members will be able to view and participate in the private subreddit.

By following these steps, subreddit moderators can effectively adjust the privacy settings of a subreddit to make it private and control access to approved members only. It's important to note that making a subreddit private can impact its visibility and engagement as it restricts access to a selected group of members.

Inviting Approved Contributors

When making a subreddit private, inviting approved contributors is a crucial step to ensure that trusted members can still access and contribute to the community. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to invite approved contributors to a private subreddit:

  1. Identify Trusted Contributors: Start by identifying the users you trust and want to invite as approved contributors to your private subreddit. Look for active and valuable members who have a history of positive contributions.

  2. Access Community Settings: As a moderator, navigate to the subreddit's settings and locate the Approved submitters section. This is where you can manage users who are allowed to view and participate in the private subreddit.

  3. Invite Approved Contributors: Click on the Add approved submitter button and enter the username of the user you want to invite. You can also send a direct link to join the private subreddit to the approved contributor.

  4. Communicate Guidelines: Once you have invited approved contributors, it is essential to communicate any specific guidelines or rules they need to follow within the private subreddit. This ensures that everyone is on the same page and maintains the integrity of the community.

  5. Monitor Activity: Keep an eye on the contributions and interactions of approved contributors to ensure that they are adhering to the subreddit's guidelines. Regular monitoring helps maintain a positive and engaging community environment.

By following these steps, moderators can effectively invite approved contributors to their private subreddit, fostering a sense of exclusivity and trust within the community. It also allows for a more controlled environment where quality discussions can thrive among trusted members.

Moderating Private Subreddit

Moderating a private subreddit comes with added responsibilities compared to a public subreddit. Here are some key points to consider when moderating a private subreddit:

  • Approving Members: As a moderator, you have control over who can join the private subreddit. It's essential to vet new members to ensure they align with the subreddit's guidelines and rules.

  • Setting Rules and Guidelines: Clearly defining rules and guidelines for the private subreddit is crucial. This helps maintain order and fosters a positive community environment.

  • Monitoring Content: Regularly monitoring submissions and comments is vital to ensure they comply with the subreddit's rules. Removing inappropriate content promptly maintains the subreddit's integrity.

  • Engaging with Members: Interacting with members through comments, moderator posts, and community events helps build rapport and increase engagement within the subreddit.

  • Resolving Conflicts: Inevitably, conflicts may arise among members. Addressing conflicts promptly and impartially is crucial to maintaining harmony within the community.

  • Promoting Quality Content: Encourage members to share high-quality content and discussions that contribute positively to the subreddit. Recognizing and rewarding members who consistently contribute positively can help foster a strong community.

  • Ensuring Privacy: Protecting the privacy of members is paramount in a private subreddit. Enforcing strict guidelines on sharing content outside the subreddit helps maintain a safe and secure environment.

Moderating a private subreddit requires dedication, communication skills, and consistency. By following these guidelines, moderators can help create a thriving community within the private subreddit.

Setting Posting Guidelines

When making a subreddit private, setting clear posting guidelines is crucial to maintain a cohesive and engaging community. Establishing rules helps ensure that members understand the expectations and boundaries within the subreddit.

Here are some key steps to effectively set posting guidelines:

  1. Define the Purpose: Clearly outline the purpose of the subreddit and the types of content that align with the community’s focus.

  2. Specify Posting Rules: Create specific guidelines regarding the types of posts allowed, such as text posts, links, images, or videos.

  3. Enforce Proper Conduct: Establish rules for respectful interactions and discussions among members. Encourage constructive feedback and discourse while prohibiting harassment or hate speech.

  4. Moderation Policies: Implement a clear moderation policy detailing how violations of the posting guidelines will be addressed. This can include warnings, temporary bans, or permanent removal from the subreddit.

  5. Consistent Enforcement: Ensure that all moderators are consistent in enforcing the rules to maintain fairness and transparency within the community.

By setting comprehensive posting guidelines, subreddit creators can cultivate a positive environment where members feel safe and respected. Clear rules also help prevent conflicts and ensure the community remains focused on its intended topics.

Remember, regularly reviewing and updating the posting guidelines based on community feedback and evolving needs is essential to sustaining an engaging and harmonious subreddit.

Handling Reported Content

When running a private subreddit, handling reported content is crucial to maintaining a safe and respectful community. Here are some key steps to effectively manage reported content:

  1. Regular Monitoring: It is essential to regularly review reported content to address any violations of community guidelines promptly. This helps in ensuring that the subreddit remains a healthy environment for all members.

  2. Establish Clear Guidelines: Have clear and detailed community guidelines that outline what content is acceptable and what is not. This provides a reference point for both users and moderators when assessing reported content.

  3. Prompt Response: Moderators should respond promptly to reported content to demonstrate that any violations are taken seriously. This can help prevent further incidents and maintain order within the subreddit.

  4. Evaluate Each Report: Thoroughly evaluate each reported post or comment to determine the appropriate course of action. Consider the context, community guidelines, and the intent behind the reported content before making a decision.

  5. Communication with Users: Communicate openly with users whose content has been reported. Provide clear reasons for any actions taken and offer guidance on how they can adhere to community guidelines in the future.

  6. Consistent Enforcement: Enforce community guidelines consistently to build trust and credibility within the community. Users should feel that rules are applied fairly to all members, regardless of their status or popularity.

In summary, handling reported content in a private subreddit requires vigilance, clear communication, and consistent enforcement of community guidelines. By following these steps, moderators can create a positive and respectful environment for all members.

Managing User Permissions

When making a subreddit private, managing user permissions is crucial to control who can access and interact within the community. Here are the key steps to effectively manage user permissions:

Understanding User Roles

  1. Moderators: They have the highest level of control and can manage settings, posts, and users.
  2. Approved Users: They can view and engage with the subreddit's content but have limited capabilities compared to moderators.

Granting Permissions

  • Curate Moderators: Select users who are trustworthy and active to assist in managing the subreddit effectively.
  • Approve Users: Ensure that users requesting access align with the community's purpose and guidelines before granting permission.

Setting Posting Guidelines

  • Clearly outline posting rules and community guidelines to maintain a positive and constructive environment.
  • Regularly monitor and enforce guidelines to uphold the quality of discussions and content.

Reviewing User Activity

  • Monitor user interactions to ensure compliance with subreddit rules and guidelines.
  • Address any violations promptly to maintain a respectful and safe community atmosphere.

Communicating Changes

  • Inform users of any updates to user permissions or guidelines to maintain transparency.
  • Encourage feedback and suggestions from the community to improve user experience.

By effectively managing user permissions, subreddit owners can maintain a secure and engaging environment for members. Regularly reviewing and adjusting permissions based on user activity and community needs is essential for sustaining a thriving online community.

Utilizing AutoModerator Tool

When making a subreddit private, utilizing the AutoModerator tool can be highly beneficial. AutoModerator is a powerful automation tool that can help in managing subreddit activities efficiently. Here are some ways to make the most out of AutoModerator when setting up a private subreddit:

  1. Automate Approval Process: With AutoModerator, moderators can automate the approval process for new members wanting to join the private subreddit. This ensures that only authorized individuals gain access.

  2. Customize Moderation Rules: AutoModerator allows for the creation of custom rules for post moderation. This feature enables moderators to enforce specific guidelines within the private subreddit seamlessly.

  3. Filtering Content: By setting up filters using AutoModerator, moderators can control the type of content that gets posted in the private subreddit. This helps in maintaining the quality and relevance of discussions.

  4. Scheduled Posts: AutoModerator can be used to schedule posts at specific times. This feature is handy for ensuring a consistent flow of content within the subreddit even with limited moderator availability.

  5. Automated Alerts: The tool can also be set up to send alerts to moderators regarding specific activities or rule violations within the private subreddit. This proactive approach helps in prompt moderation actions.

  6. Community Engagement: AutoModerator can aid in encouraging community engagement by facilitating activities such as scheduled discussions, Q&A sessions, or themed events. This fosters a sense of belonging among members.

By harnessing the capabilities of the AutoModerator tool, moderators can streamline the management of a private subreddit effectively. Its automation features not only save time and effort but also contribute to maintaining a well-organized and engaging community environment.

Increasing Community Engagement

Enhancing community engagement within a private subreddit is crucial for nurturing a vibrant and active community. Here are some effective strategies to boost engagement:

  1. Encourage Active Participation: Prompt members to share opinions, ask questions, and engage in discussions. This can be achieved through weekly prompts, challenges, or polls.

  2. Organize AMAs (Ask Me Anything): Hosting AMA sessions with industry experts, influencers, or community leaders can generate excitement and stimulate discussions within the subreddit.

  3. Utilize Contests and Giveaways: Running contests or giveaways can incentivize participation and encourage members to contribute to the community.

  4. Implement Theme Days or Weeks: Designating specific days or weeks for themed discussions or activities can inject variety and fun into the subreddit, attracting more engagement.

  5. Leverage User-Generated Content: Encouraging members to share content such as artwork, stories, or memes can create a sense of ownership and belonging within the community.

  6. Acknowledge and Reward Active Members: Recognizing and appreciating members who actively contribute to the subreddit can foster a positive community culture and motivate others to participate.

By implementing these strategies, moderators can cultivate a dynamic and engaging community within a private subreddit, driving increased participation and fostering deeper connections among members.


Making a subreddit private can be a crucial decision for moderators looking to manage the community's content and interactions more effectively. By setting a subreddit to private, moderators restrict access to approved users only, thus creating a more exclusive and controlled environment.

In this step-by-step guide, readers have learned the detailed process of making a subreddit private on Reddit. Starting from accessing the moderation tools to adjusting the community settings, the guide has provided a comprehensive overview for moderators to follow.

By following the outlined steps, moderators can successfully turn their subreddit into a private community, ensuring that only approved users can view, post, and engage with the content. This level of privacy can help in fostering a stronger sense of community and enhancing the overall quality of discussions within the subreddit.

Moderators should always consider the purpose and goal of their subreddit before deciding to make it private. Understanding the needs and preferences of the community members is essential in making such a significant decision. Additionally, clear communication with the subreddit members about the transition to a private setting is crucial to maintain transparency and trust.

In conclusion, making a subreddit private is a powerful tool that can aid moderators in creating a more focused and engaged community. By following the steps outlined in this guide, moderators can navigate the process smoothly and effectively, leading to a more cohesive and secure online community environment.

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