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How to Create an AFK Channel in Discord

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Written by Kelly Houstan

If you guys are a server owner or admin, then you can create all kinds of channels within that server as well. The channel type we are going to discuss today is basically an AFK channel. You guys will see them on a bunch of servers, especially the more populated ones. You may have wondered what they were for, however, never asked. This tutorial will basically show you how you can create an AFK channel in Discord and then explain why you might want one in the first place. Just read this article to know all about How to Create an AFK Channel in Discord. Let’s start!

Let’s now cover the why first so you know why you guys are doing what you’re doing. If you’re running a gaming server or also channels where folks DM a lot. You guys may have lots of logged-in users, however, nothing happening in chat. Folks might be in-game, doing something else, Direct Messaging, or just have Discord open when they are busy elsewhere as well. You may also have a high population of lurkers as well.

Whatever is going on, you guys may want to shift all members who aren’t actively engaging in chat to a particular server. There they can reside until they are ready to engage again too. It’s a better option than kicking them after a timeout and it also keeps them in the server until they are ready. That’s why you guys create an AFK channel.

Now the how actually.

How to Create an AFK Channel in Discord

How to Create an AFK channel in Discord

You can create an AFK channel in much the same way that you create any other. And you will have to be a server owner or admin along with the right privileges in order to create a channel, however, the rest is a breeze.

You have to do this on desktop:
  • First of all, log into your Discord server as usual.
  • Choose the server at the top in order to access the Server Settings menu.
  • Then select Create Channel.
  • Set text or voice as usual and then name it AFK or something meaningful.
  • Now save your new channel.
  • Under Overview, choose your new AFK Channel from the center pane as well.
  • You have to set the AFK Timeout to your desired time.
  • Then save all your changes.
How to do this on mobile:
  • First of all, choose the server and then click the three dots icon.
  • Choose Create Channel.
  • Just set text or voice as usual and then name it AFK or something meaningful.
  • Click on Create at the top of the screen.
  • Once again, you need to click the three dots icon and choose the gear icon in order to access settings.
  • Select Overview.
  • Now you have to choose Inactive Channel to choose what channel want to AFK.
  • Choose AFK in the selection as well.
  • Then choose Inactive Timeout and set the AFK Timeout to the time that you want.
  • Click on Save at the bottom of the screen to complete the process as well.

You should now see a new channel called AFK or also whatever you called it in your list. Now, whenever someone is inactive for a set amount of time as well. They will be automatically moved into the AFK channel actually. Relying on what time that you set in step 7 above, members will now find themselves in AFK after that time. They can then move the channel when they are ready to do that.

You guys can go into the channel and remove all voice and chat permissions for the @Everyone group if you guys want. I don’t really see the point but a ‘proper’ AFK channel would mute everyone as well. Folks are moved into AFK as they are AFK or busy DMing or raiding. If they want to chat, then they would chat so I don’t see the point of removing permissions. Well, your opinion might differ though.

If you guys don’t have an AFK channel, then Discord won’t do anything and will leave them be. If you do have an AFK channel, then it will automatically move members after that set period as well. Don’t make that period too short actually. Nobody really wants to be moved from their channel if they just go to make coffee or get a snack also. I tend to suggest a 15-minute timer actually. That’s enough time for most of the things, however, not so long that you have a full, but silent channel actually.

How does Discord know you are AFK?

The code behind the feature has not been made public, however, we understand the main functions of the AFK bot actually. As far as we know, whenever you guys create an AFK channel, then the Discord AFK bot will also join. It will basically scan users on your server for activity and also use internal timers. In order to assess whether they are present or not. When the timer expires, if the bot doesn’t detect activity, then it moves the user to the AFK channel as well.

For the most part, the AFK bot works well actually. It does occasionally move folks to the AFK channel who are chatting. If this happens, then shut down Discord and open it again and then see if it stops. The bot may not be picking up your activity and also think that you’re AFK. If it keeps happening, then talk to the server owner or admin and have them investigate as well.

Tell people that you’re AFK in Discord

You can also notify your server or channel that you’re going AFK for a while so folks don’t chat with you until you return. You guys can either manually move yourself to the AFK channel or also use the AFK bot. This bot will automatically reply to mentions or also DMs that you guys are away. And save the messages so you can check them all when you return as well. It won’t stop you from being moved to the AFK channel, however, does keep everything organized. So you can instantly catch up on your return!


Well, That all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

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Kelly Houstan

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