What Does Idle Mean On Discord?

As a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Discord offers the ability for users to exchange conversation and media through both text and voice chat. Users can get together in servers of permanent chats, allowing folks to form all sorts of communities

If you use Discord regularly, you’ve probably seen that the status for folks can change. While some of these are intuitive, the Idle status may not be obvious. Let’s talk about what that status is and what it means when you see it for your friends and yourself.

What Does Idle Mean On Discord?

The idle status in Discord means that the user is still logged into Discord, but hasn’t been active in Discord in the last five to ten minutes. However, this doesn’t mean that the user has logged out or lost their connection. Instead, it means that the user is using another program or hasn’t been at their keyboard for a little bit now.

Another popular acronym for this status is AFK, or “away from keyboard.” Discord is initially set to display when you haven’t used the program for a while to other users through this idle status. With this status, others know that you are logged into Discord and could see messages when you get back but might not be able to respond right away since you’re doing something else. 

The idle status displays as a yellow crescent moon in the lower right-hand corner of the user’s profile picture. Both you and others can see this circle, so you can tell at a glance whether the user is at their keyboard or not. The status circle is a way to show what your activity status is to everyone on the server or your friend list and can’t be turned off. 

How to Manually Set the Idle Status

If you know ahead of time that you’re going to be away from the computer for a while, you might want to set the idle status for yourself. That way, others know immediately that you have stepped away, rather than waiting for Discord to do it for you. If you want to set this status yourself, these are the steps you should follow:

  1. Open Your Discord program: Discord can run in the background, so open up the program window if it isn’t already up. 
  2. Click on your profile picture in the bottom left corner: Your profile picture acts as a shortcut to the status settings you can choose from. 
  3. Choose the idle status from the options: The idle status, indicated by the crescent moon, should be an option from the menu that pops up. 

Once you’ve selected the idle status from the menu, you’ll change over to that status. This status will stay there until either you return to Discord and change it, you do something else in Discord, or you log off. 

Other Statuses on Discord

While in the status menu, you might have seen that there are other options you can choose from to set your status. Here’s a summary of what those statuses are and what they mean to other people:

  • Online: The default status, indicated by a green circle, means that you are active in Discord and can receive messages and notifications. 
  • Do Not Disturb: Indicated by a red circle with a dash in the middle, this status means that you are online but are not receiving notifications from other users or servers. This status is meant for those that are busy and don’t want to be disturbed while this status is activated. 
  • Invisible: This status makes you look like you’re offline to other users but remain logged in. You’ll still get notifications, but others won’t know that you’re online, making this great for keeping an eye on Discord without being bothered by others. 

There’s also an option to set a custom status at the bottom of the status menu. This option lets you type up a small quip about what you’re doing or working on, and you can use Discord emojis to make it even quirkier. Discord normally uses this text to show what application or game you’re playing. But, this could be a way for you to show what you’re up to without having to be in another program recognized by Discord. 

Summary

The idle status on Discord is there to let other users know that you aren’t at your keyboard for the moment. Discord is set to show this as your status after five to ten minutes of no input from you. However, you can manually set this status from the status selection menu in your Discord profile. 

Statuses on Discord are there to let other users know what your current situation is and if they should expect a timely response. Once you learn about these statuses, you can use them to show your availability (or lack thereof) and manage response expectations. This can be handy for moderators for servers or those that are otherwise getting a group of folks together.

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