Actual forum use/board question

Here is a question I cannot reason out. Can someone help me? It’s nothing major, but it’s driving my brain crazy to try and work it out.

Next to each thread I’ve read or participated in, there are numbers that appear. Most times it’s just a number in a bright blue circle - I’ve worked out that this indcates the number of new replies (I think?). Sometimes, though, there is also a number inside of a gray circle; this number is almost never the same as the number inside of the blue circle that appears concurrently. What is the difference between the two?

If someone can answer this, I may be able to sleep better :wink:


If I hover over them it says “You have 1 unread post in this topic” for the blue circles and “You have 1 unread old post in this topic” for the gray ones. :slight_smile: Not sure if that helps.

What makes something old? Hmm… I’m here way too often for anything to be categorized as old by me.

Thanks for helping.

The plot thickens…

It actually doesn’t make any sense to me either - I just hovered over a thread I’ve never read, and apparently I have 35 unread old posts (total post count is 36) in that thread. So goodness knows…!

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I’ve noticed them too, but have just assumed that “old” posts have some time frame associated with it - perhaps more than 1 day?

The gray circle is older posts or sometimes post you did not read all of and there are new posts since you last read it.


Ha! I wonder about the all the time and have thought about asking too. Thanks for asking because it drives me crazy that I don’t understand the numbers and color coding!

I hope someone can explain this!

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I THINK the gray number (unread old posts) means you visited that thread at some point where there were new posts, but you didn’t read them all in that session.

So, let’s say this thread had 5 NEW unread posts. I click on this thread and read two of them. But I don’t read 3 of them. Later, when I come back to the forum, it will show this thread with a gray 3. But if during that time there were 5 more NEW posts, there will be a gray 3 PLUS a blue 5.


Yeah, I think the grey ones are for if you open a thread but don’t real all of the comments before leaving.

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OK now that makes sense.

Helpful. Thanks!

The numbers in blue circles bugged me, especially since I tend to read all new posts anyhow. I went into my profile and adjusted the settings for notifications. For me, I chose “never” for “automatically track topics I enter.” Otherwise, it had been tracking ones I looked at, or scrolled through and happened to leave showing too long (got interrupted, looked something up, etc). That made the blue circle numbers go away (my goal).

I like the tracking. I just couldn’t figure out gray from blue.

But how does it know if you read them? I scroll down sometimes, skimming over the replies if I’m short of time. It’s not like you have to click on a reply.

Thanks @OBNurseNH, for adding yet another perplexing question for me to ponder over! #Things you didn’t know you needed to worry about. :rofl:


Scrolling to a post will make it assume you have read it. I’m not sure if there is a “pause” timeout in there. Like, if you scroll to a post, but don’t stop for at least a couple seconds, etc. It isn’t perfect. You could pause on a topic because you got distracted and it will think you read it when you didn’t. If I could dig into the source code, I could probably figure it out.

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Unread post have a blur dot next to them (at least on my Apple products). When I read them, past them with enough time, the dots disappear (marking them read).

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Ah. I hadn’t noticed that. Just gave it a gander, and it appears there is about a 3 second pause timeout before it is marked as read.

Thanks for that.

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If you had new posts yet to read in a thread that you are following when the system decided that you were logged out (or timed out), it records those as “old” new posts (number in gray) - as opposed to “new” new posts which you haven’t accessed the thread for since they were posted (number in blue).

Say, for example, that the daily thread has 6 new posts in it that you don’t get a chance to read, at which point, you need to log out of your computer (or the power goes out; scenario works as well that way too). When you log back in to the forum, 8 more posts have been added to the thread. You would then see a 6 in a gray circle and an 8 in a blue circle.


I am much relieved

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Now that makes sense!

Thank you.

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