Board Configuration

This subsection contains items to adjust the overall features and settings of the forum. Attachment Settings


One of the many features in phpBB 3.3 is Attachments. Attachments are files that can be attached to posts, like e-mail attachments. Certain restrictions, set by the board administrator, control what users can attach. You can set these restrictions via the Attachment Settings page.

For more information, see the section on configuring your board's attachment settings. Board Settings



The Board Settings allow you to change many settings that govern your board. These settings include important things such as the name of your forum! There are two main groups of board settings: the general Board Settings, and Warnings settings.

Board Settings

  • The very first board setting you can edit is perhaps the most important setting of them all: the name of your board. Your users identify your board with this name. Put the name of your site into the Site Name text field and it will be shown on the header of the default style; it will be the prefix to the window title of your browser.

  • The Site Description is the slogan or tagline of your forum. It will appear below the Site Name on the default style's header.

  • You can also use the Main website URL and Main website text fields to add a link to your home page in the breadcrumbs. The board's logo will also use this link.

  • If you need to close your whole forum to do maintenance work, for instance, you can do it by using the Disable Board switch. To temporarily disable your board, selectYes. This will keep any members of your forum who are not administrators or moderators from accessing your board. They will either see a default message instead of the forum, or a message that you create. You can add your own custom message that will be displayed when your board is disabled in the text box below the Disable board radio buttons. Administrators and moderators will still be able to browse forums and use their specific control panels when the board is disabled.

  • You also need to set the Default Language of your board. This is the language that guests will see when they visit your board. You can allow registered users to choose other languages. By default, the only language installed is English [GB], but you can download more languages on the phpBB website and install them on your board. Find out more about working with languages in the section on Language Pack configuration.

  • You can also configure your board's default date format. phpBB3 has a few basic date formats that you can set your board to use; if these are not sufficient and you would like to customise your board's date format, choose Custom from the Date format selection menu. Then, in the text box besides it, type in the format you would like to use. This is the same as the PHP date() function.

  • Along with setting your board's default date format, you can also set your board's preferred timezone. The timezones available in the System timezone selection menu are all based on relative UTC (for most intents and purposes, it is GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time) times.

  • You can also set your board's default style. The board will appear to your guests and members in the Default Style. In the standard phpBB installation, two styles are available: prosilver and subsilver2. You can either allow users to select another style than the default by selecting No in the Override User Style setting or disallow it. Please visit the styles section to find out how to add new styles and where to find some.


  • Moderators can send warnings to users that break the forum rules. The value of Warning Duration defines the number of days a warning is valid until it expires. All positive integers are valid values. For more about warnings, please read Section 4.5, “The Moderator Control Panel (MCP)”. Board Features


Through the Board Features section, you can enable or disable several features board-wide. Note that any feature you disable here will not be available on your forum, even if you give your users permissions to use them.

The Load Settings section allows you to disable some features which are computationally expensive if you are on shared or restricted hosting. Avatar Settings


Avatars are generally small, unique images a user can associate with themselves. Depending on the style, they are usually displayed below the user name when viewing topics. Here you can determine how users can define their avatars.

There are several ways a user can add an avatar to their profile. The first way is through Gravatar. If this feature is enabled, users can choose to have the board load the image associated with their email address.

The second way is through an avatar gallery you provide. Note that there is no avatar gallery available in a default phpBB installation. The Avatar Gallery Path is the path to the gallery images. The default path is images/avatars/gallery. The gallery folder does not exist in the default installation so you have to add it manually if you want to use it.

The images you want to use for your gallery need to be in a folder inside the gallery path. Images directly in the gallery path won't be recognised.

The third approach to avatars is through Avatar Uploading. Your members can upload an image from their local system which will be stored on your server. They will be uploaded into the Avatar Storage Path you can define. The default path is images/avatars/upload and does already exist after installation. You have to make sure that it is server-writable. The file format of the images has to be either gif, jpeg, or png, and the avatars will be automatically checked for their file and image size after the upload. You can adjust the Maximum Avatar File Size and images that are bigger than the allowed value will be discarded. Private Messaging


Private Messages are a way for registered members to communicate privately through your board without the need to fall back to e-mail or instant messaging.

You can disable this feature with the Private Messaging setting. This will keep the feature turned off for the whole board. You can disable private messages for selected users or groups with Permissions. Please see the Permissions section for more information.

Proteus allows users to create own personal folders to organise Private Messages. The Maximum private message folders setting defines the number of message folders they can create. The default value is 4. You can disable the feature with setting value to 0.

Max Private Messages Per Box sets the number of Private Messages each folder can contain. The default value is 50, Set it to 0 to allow unlimited messages per folder.

If you limit the number of messages users can store in their folders, you need to define a default action that is taken once a folder is full. This can be changed in the "Full Folder Default Action" list. The oldest message gets deleted or the new message will be held back until the folder has place for it. Note that users will be able to choose this for themselves in their PM options and this setting only changes the default value they face. This will not override the action a user chosen.

When sending a private message, it is still possible to edit the message until the recipient reads it. After a sent private message has been read, editing the message is no longer possible. To limit the time a message can be edited before the recipient reads it, you can set the Limit Editing Time. The default value is 0, which allows editing until the message is read. Note that you can disallow users or groups to edit Private Messages after sending through Permissions. If the permission to edit messages is denied, it will override this setting.

The General Options allow you to further define the functionality of Private Messages on your board.

  • Allow Mass PMs: enables the sending of Private Messages to multiple recipients. This feature is enabled by default. Disabling it will also disallow sending of Private Messages to groups.


    See the Groups section for information on how to enable the ability to send a message to a whole group.

  • By default, BBCode and Smilies are allowed in Private Messages.


    Even if enabled, you can still disallow users or groups to use BBCode and Smilies in Private Messages through Permissions.

  • We don't allow attachments by default. Further settings for attachments in Private Messages are in the Attachment Settings. There you can define the number of attachments per message for instance. Spambot Countermeasures


phpBB 3.3 uses a plugin system to allow easy switching between different spambot countermeasures. Available plugins are automatically loaded from the includes/captcha/plugins directory in your installation.

phpBB ships with these plugins installed:

  • GD 3D image: a graphical CAPTCHA using 3D characters on a wave.

  • GD image: a graphical CAPTCHA, using floating 3D characters.

  • Simple image: a simple 2D CAPTCHA that should work in any configuration.

  • reCaptcha: The reCaptcha service. You have to sign up for reCaptcha before being able to use this plugin.

  • Q&A: configurable questions and answers.


CAPTCHA or "Completely Automated Public Turing Test To Tell Computers and Humans Apart" is a term for riddles that are supposedly easy for humans but hard for computers.

The page is split into two areas, the top area, "General Options", contains settings concerning where to use spambot countermeasures. The other area concerns itself with the selection, configuration and demonstration of the plugins.

Figure 3.2. Spambot Countermeasures

Spambot Countermeasures

The spambot countermeasure plugin selection ACP page.


Check the Extension database for new existing plugins.

How to select a plugin

  • Click the "Installed plugins" dropdown and select the module you want to use. Do not let grayed out entries stop you, they only mean that you have to perform another step. If your intended module is not in the list, check whether the files are present in the plugin directory.

  • Click the "Configure" button to see the module's ACP page. Many plugins need configuration prior to use. Note that plugins without configuration options will not show the button.

  • Configure the plugin to meet your needs.

  • After configuring the plugin, re-select your intended plugin from the dropdown. It should not be grayed out any more.

  • Click "Submit".

  • Congratulations, you’re done. Contact Page Settings


The contact page allows users to email the board administrators if they are experiencing problems with the site. This form is visible to all users, including guests.

You can enable or disable this feature, as well as set the message that you would like users to see when they visit the page. The message can contain BBcodes, smilies, and links, but not raw HTML.