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How to enable direct messages on Discord

Discord is a wonderful app to connect with a wide variety of people, whether it be family, fellow gamers, friends, or foes. There are generally three ways you can text them: though a server, a channel, or a DM (direct messages). The following will show you how you can enable direct messages on Discord as well as how to manipulate some privacy settings while you’re at it—so that’s it’s safe for everyone!

See also: How to get a Discord bot token

Safe messaging on Discord

If you’re someone who uses Discord for school or work purposes, you might not want to change any settings. But the following method is highly recommended to anyone who’s part of large servers, channels, or is actively chatting with people they’re not familiar with. And there’s no harm in doing that! Safe Messaging on Discord just adds an additional layer of protection in your DMs so you don’t have to worry about receiving any unwanted messages and/or pictures. There are essentially three levels of protection Discord offers:

  • Keep me safe: This is the best option for anyone who qualifies in the criteria mentioned above. This setting will allow Discord to scan any and all photos that a person sends you, no matter who they are or whether you have them added as a friend or not.
  • My friends are nice: This is perhaps the most widely-used option since it’s not too extreme or too basic. This setting will allow Discord to scan photos sent from users that are not on your friends’ list.
  • I live on the edge: This option takes away all permission from Discord to scan images in DMs. Once you enable this option, you’re on your own. It is highly recommended than you don’t enable this option unless you feel like you’re safe on Discord. Users who are part of large organizations/servers on Discord and have this option enabled will be prone to spam and inappropriate messages.

To enable any of these options, you can navigate to “User Settings”. This is the little gear icon found beside your Discord tag at the bottom left of your Discord homepage. From there, go to “Privacy & Safety” > “Safe Direct Messaging”.

More privacy settings

Now, you should know that you can’t send anyone on Discord a direct message unless you have them added as a friend. However, this also depends on the settings of the person you’re trying to message.

To change these settings, you can navigate to “User Settings”. This is the little gear icon found beside your Discord tag at the bottom left of your Discord homepage. From there, go to “Privacy & Safety”. Scroll down to where it says “Who Can Add You As a Friend”. Here, you will see three toggles: Everyone, Friends of Friends, and Server Members. By default, all of these will be enabled. Here is what they mean:

Everyone: This means that anyone and everyone on Discord will be able to DM you.

Friends of Friends: This means that friends of people you are mutual friends with can DM you on Discord.

Server Members: This means that anyone you share servers with can message you on Discord.

How to DM Someone on Discord

  1. To DM someone, click on the Discord icon at the top left, click “Friends” from the menu beside it, then “All” from the top menu. Click on the user’s Discord tag who you wish to message.
  2. Click the purple icon with speech bubbles at the bottom of your screen. Clicking this opens up your DM. Type in a message in the text bar and click the paper-plane icon next to it. Your message is now sent.
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