What Does Idle Mean on Discord?

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Deyan Georgiev
Written by
Deyan Georgiev

Updated · Sep 13, 2023

Deyan Georgiev
Website Manager | Joined October 2021 | LinkedIn
Deyan Georgiev

Deyan is an avid enthusiast and self-proclaimed fan of the Windows operating system. His passion for... | See full bio

Florence Desiata
Edited by
Florence Desiata


Florence Desiata
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Florence Desiata

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Discord is a widespread multimedia communication platform with over 150 million monthly users. Its advanced, community-like features are what hobbyists and video game enthusiasts love.

Aside from features, Discord users also belong to different communities, forming groups called servers. This feature allows for accessible communication of interests and making new friends.

These advanced features are rare on most platforms and can confuse average users, including the Idle icon. In this article, let's discuss what the Idle symbol means and provide some tips on how to use it.

📌 Overview:

Discord’s Idle is the tiny orange moon shape (🌙) you see next to a username. It means a user is online but inactive or away from the platform.  

Idle Status on Discord: Understanding its Meaning

The Idle status kicks in automatically when a user is on Discord but hasn't interacted for over 5 minutes. This status also happens when your Discord app is active, but you're away from your gadget.

Let's discuss the Idle status automation below to explain further how the Idle mode appears on Discord.

👍 Helpful Article:

You can view deleted messages on Discord in two ways: one is through DynoBot, and the other is using BetterDiscord. Learn these methods and other helpful tips through Techjury’s article.

When Does The Idle Status on Discord Appear?

Idle status automatically appears when Discord detects that you've been inactive for a few minutes. Here are some situations:

  • Away from Keyboard (AFK): If a user is not interacting with Discord for a few minutes. The user’s status will change to Idle to indicate inactivity.
  • Reading Messages: This is common when catching up on a recent conversation with your friends. While reading messages, you may be unable to type or send messages actively.
  • Browsing Other Apps: If you switch to another application or window besides Discord, your status might change to Idle.
  • Idle on Mobile: When you use the Discord app on your mobile phone but haven't interacted with it for a while, your status can switch to Idle.
  • Inactivity in Voice Channels: When you're in a voice channel but not actively speaking or participating in the conversation, your status changes to idle.
  • Watching Streams or Videos: When you watch a stream or video link shared on Discord and do not interact in the chat, your status might show as Idle.

These are just some scenarios when the Idle symbol may appear on Discord. It's important to note that Idle activates only briefly before turning offline. Let's talk about that next.

How Long Does Idle Last on Discord?

When someone on a mobile device turns the screen off, the status suddenly changes to offline after 75–120 seconds.

The exact timing varies. Some factors that contribute to this are:

  • User settings
  • Server settings
  • Platform variations (desktop, mobile, or web)

Fortunately, you can manually set the Idle status. There's no need to be inactive on the Discord server until the moon symbol appears. 

Walk through a simple guide to manually activating the Idle status on Discord. 

😮 Fascinating Trivia:

"Discord" is derived from the term "discordant," which means a lack of harmony or agreement. The founders chose this name as a playful nod to the diverse interests and communities that can come together on the platform.

Easy Steps to Manually Activate Idle Status on Discord

There are several reasons why users set their status to Idle. Some may want to avoid distractions from their gaming or study experience, while others want to keep their chats quiet. Some users also activate this status to prevent others from messaging them on the platform. 

Regardless of your preference, here are the steps to manually set your Discord status to Idle.

A. Mobile Application

Setting your status to idle on Discord's mobile app is easy. Here's how:

B. Desktop Application

Discord offers a desktop application for both Windows and Mac. It provides the same features, including the manual setting of your profile to idle status.

How To Turn On Idle Status via Discord Desktop App

  1. Open Discord on your computer.
  2. At the bottom-left corner, click on your avatar and username.
  3. A drop-down menu will show the available options.
  4. Click on the Idle status.

A Discord Page for Status, Customization, and Account Switching

On the other hand, you can also do it on the Discord web version when a computer or mobile phone application isn't available.

C. Web Version

Some Discord features are app-only. Luckily, manual idle is not one of them. Follow this guide to learn how:

How to Set Your Status To Idle Using Discord's Web Version

  1. Log in to your Discord account via https://discord.com/login.
  2. To access user settings, click on your avatar in the bottom-left of the window.
  3. In the User Settings menu, find and click on Status.
  4. A menu will open on the side. Click Idle.

A Status Drop-Down Menu on Discord Web

When you set your status to Idle, it doesn't matter if you're still actively browsing Discord. Your connections on Discord will think that you're gone.

Now that you've successfully learned to set your Discord status to Idle manually, you can enjoy a little peace while staying connected with selected friends.

Tips and Tricks to Disable Discord's Idle Status

Discord switches your status to Active when interacting with your Discord contacts again. These activities include sending messages, joining voice chats, and more.

Take note that the Idle status is an automated feature. You cannot stop Discord from showing you as idle whenever you become inactive.

👍 Helpful Article:

Like any other social platform, unfriending is common and possible on Discord. You may need this to avoid certain annoying users and to prevent users from messaging you when you don’t want to. 

There are tricks to minimize or avoid going to Idle on Discord. Let’s discuss them now, one by one.

1. Stay engaged on the app (best to avoid automatic Idle status).

This tip also involves doing anything on the app, and staying engaged on Discord channels is best. Regularly interact on the Discord app by sending messages, participating in voice chats, joining channels, etc.

2. Enable Do Not Disturb (DND) or Invisible Mode (best for permanent or long-time status).

The Do Not Disturb mode has a red dot with a dash inside (⛔). You won't receive a notification on your web, desktop, or mobile application when you turn this on.

On the other hand, the Invisible mode will not show any activity status, including Idle. The downside is that your profile will not appear active, even when using the app. 

If this option fits your needs, follow these steps:

How To Enable The Do Not Disturb and Invisible Mode on Discord

  1. Tap on your avatar and username on your device or Discord website or app.
  2. Find your status, then select it from the list of status options.
  3. Included in the menu are Do Not Disturb and Invisible Status. Select the mode you prefer.

    Discord Page With Do Not Disturb and Invisible Options

Remember, these statuses do not automatically turn off. This option may not be the best choice if you're not planning to disable Discord Idle for a long time.

3. Use custom status (best for temporary disabling of idle).

Unlike DND and Invisible mode, a custom status will not block notifications or disable Discord from automatically setting your status. This option lets you set a timer for when your custom status will stop showing.

👍 Helpful Article:

As a messaging platform, Discord users can change specific message settings. This setting includes the notification sounds. If you want to customize your Discord notification sound, read more in Techjury’s article. 

This option allows you to set the status to display when the timer ends, eliminating the need to update your profile manually.

Here are the basic steps to do this:

How To Set Custom Status on Discord

  1. On your screen, find your profile and avatar.
  2. Select Set Custom Status just below the Activity Status.
  3. A dialogue box should appear. Select the emoji you want to show, then type the status you want to show in the first box.

    Set a Custom Status Page for Title, Emoji, Date, and Status
  4. Choose how long you want your custom status to show in the Clear After section.
  5. Select the activity status you want your Discord to show from the drop-down menu after the custom status expires.

You can also show your activity to a limited channel of people. Let's tackle the option for that next.

4. Access the Activity Privacy setting on the app.

This option is helpful for online gamers and streamers on the app. These users typically join large servers and public stages, connecting them to hundreds or thousands of people.

Suppose you also find yourself in that situation (using Discord for academic or corporate purposes). In that case, the Activity Privacy setting lets you limit who can see your status.

Moreso, you can avoid getting marked as Idle on the large servers you join. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

How To Use The Activity Privacy Setting on Discord

  1. Find your avatar and username.
  2. Beside it, you'll see three options: the microphone icon, the headphones, and the gear that represents Settings.
  3. Click Settings.
  4. Scroll down the right-side panel until you see the Activity Settings.
  5. Below the Activity Settings, click Activity Privacy.

    Settings Page for Activity Privacy, Registered Games, and Game Overlays

  6. Now, the whole Activity Privacy section will appear beside the panel. Under Activity Status, you can turn off Display current activity as a status message and Share your activity status by default when joining large servers.

When using this method, website and desktop app users have two options:

  • Display current activity as a status message - Turning this off will disable Discord from automatically updating your status when you go to a public stage.
  • Share your activity status by default when joining large servers -  When you turn this off, Discord will automatically stop sharing your activity status when you enter a server with 200+ members.

However, you can only have the first option for mobile phone users. To turn off the Idle status on Discord, you must manually select your Activity preference when joining a server with 200+ members.

Pro Tip:

You can hide your Discord activity status from specific servers only. To hide your status on Discord, open the channel you want to hide your status from, right-click on the Server avatar, select Privacy Setting, and turn off the Activity Status.

Final Thoughts

The Idle status on Discord automatically changes when you're not actively participating in a conversation. For some, this can be an inconvenient feature. Fortunately, there are ways to manipulate your activity Status on Discord. 

This way, you can avoid offending others you talk to on the app. It also helps gamers get more freedom over how other people see their status. 

From small enterprises to gaming communities and online groups, Discord has grown in popularity. This customizable, developer-friendly, and server-based medium always has some secret hack to solve your issues in the app.


Does the Invisible status turn off idle mode on Discord?

Yes. When you set your status to Invisible on Discord, your activity status will not update to Idle, Active, or Do Not Disturb unless you change it.

What do the different statuses on Discord mean?

On Discord, there are four default statuses available. When your account is Active, you are currently participating on a server. When you're Idle, you're presently online but inactive on Discord. Do Not Disturb (DND) means you refuse to receive notifications from Discord. Lastly, the Invisible status turns off other statuses regardless of your activity.

What does Idle mean on Google Chat?

The Idle status on Google Chat is similar to Discord's Idle mode. It indicates that you're online but have been away from Google Chat or Gmail for 5 minutes.


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