Channel Modes

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How to change a channel mode

To change a mode on a channel, use the /mode command with the channel mode you wish to change. For example:

To set +c on the channel #example:

/mode #example +c

Or to unset it:

/mode #example -c

NOTE: Some channels make use of ChanServ to lock certain modes from being unset (or even set, in some cases). By default, channel modes +n and +t are locked on all newly registered channels so they usually cannot be unset.

Standalone Channel Modes

These channel modes don't have any parameters, you simply set or unset them.

Flag Title Description
c No control codes Blocks messages containing control codes (color, bold, underline, etc) from being sent to the channel
i Invite only Makes the channel invite-only. Users must be invited by a channel operator in the channel with the /invite command in order to join. Users who match an existing invex (+I) mask may join without being invited.
m Moderated Mutes the channel - users who do not have at least voice (+v) or higher cannot talk in the channel.
n No external messages Blocks external messages to the channel from outside the channel. In other words, you cannot /msg #channel text if you are not in #channel itself, with this mode set. NOTE: This mode is usually locked on by default, via ChanServ's mode locking, and thus cannot usually be unset.
p Private Marks the channel as private - the channel will not be shown in any user's /whois output, and will show up as * in /LIST. Note that Xertion network staff can still see the channel normally in /list and /whois even with this set
s Secret Marks the channel as secret - the channel will not be shown in any user's /whois output, nor will it be shown in /LIST. Note that Xertion network staff can still see the channel in /list and /whois even with this set
t (Half)Ops topic Restricts changing the channel's topic to those with half-operator (+h) or higher. NOTE: This mode is usually locked on by default, via ChanServ's mode locking, and thus cannot usually be unset.
u Auditorium Changes the channel into an "auditorium" - you can only see yourself, and cannot see joins, parts, quits, or kicks in the channel. It is intended to save bandwidth. Note that Xertion network staff can still see all activity in an auditorium channel.
z SSL only Users can only join if they are connected using SSL. NOTE: This mode cannot be set unless existing users in the channel are already connected using SSL!
A Allow Invite Permits any user to use /invite to invite users to the channel even if they don't have half-operator (+h) or above.
B Block Caps Blocks messages with too many capital letters, as determined by the network configuration
C No CTCPs Blocks users from sending CTCPs to the channel. This does NOT block /me however (CTCP ACTION).
D Delayed Join Joins from users are not shown until they speak in the channel.
G Censor Filters predefined words from channel messages, replacing them with "(censored)". For a list of words filtered by this mode, see Censorship list.
M Mute unregistered Prevents unregistered and/or unidentified users from speaking in the channel. A user will need to either register or identify to NickServ in order to talk.
N No nick changes Blocks nickname changes from any user that does not have at least voice (+v) or higher.
Q Restricted Kick Disallows use of the /kick command in the channel. The only way to kick a user with this set is by way of ChanServ's KICK and/or BAN commands.
R Registered only Users must be registered with AND identified to NickServ to join. Users must be using a nickname on their account's group list in order to join - identifying to an account from an unregistered nickname will NOT suffice.
S Strip Colors Strips all control codes from incoming messages to the channel, but does not block the message. Less restrictive than +c.
T No notices Blocks users from sending notices to the channel using /notice.

Channel Modes requiring a parameter

To set these modes, you need to provide one or more parameters to set it. Most modes do not require the same parameters to be unset. The exception is channel mode +k, which also requires a parameter to unset as well.

Flag Title Description
k Key Sets a key on a channel. You can think of it as a password to enter the channel. If you have the password, you can join the channel like so: /join #channel key.

To set this mode:

/mode #channel +k key

NOTE: You must specify the SAME key you used when setting this mode, in order to unset it.

F Nick Flood Restricts the number of nickname changes in a channel to x changes every y seconds.

Example: /mode #channel +F 2:20 limits the number of nickname changes in the channel to 2 changes every 20 seconds.

J Delay Rejoin Delays a user from automatically rejoining for the specified number of seconds after being kicked from the channel.

Example: /mode #channel +J 5 blocks users from rejoining the channel for 5 seconds after being kicked.

L Redirect/Link (used with channel mode l) When channel is full as per channel mode l, redirects users to the specified channel.

Example: /mode #channel +lL 30 #channel2 will redirect users to #channel2 when they try to /join #channel and it already has 30 users.

d Delay Message Blocks messages from users until they've been joined to the channel for the given number of seconds.

Example: /mode #channel +j 5 will block messages from users until they have been in #channel for at least 5 seconds.

f Message Flood Kicks and optionally bans users who exceed the given number of messages in a given number of seconds.

Example 1: /mode #channel +f 5:3 will kick any user who sends 5 or more messages to the channel within 3 seconds. Example 2: /mode #channel +f *5:3 will kick and ban any user who sends 5 or more messages to the channel within 3 seconds. Note the use of the asterisk before the first number, this indicates that the user should be banned as well as kicked.

j Join Flood Blocks joins to the channel for 60 seconds if joins exceed a specified number within a given number of seconds.

Example: /mode #channel +j 10:7 will temporarily block new joins to the channel for 60 seconds if the number of joins exceeds 10 joins in 7 seconds.

NOTE: The join lockout of 60 seconds can be cancelled by simply removing and resetting channel mode +j, which has the effect of resetting the lockout timer.

l Limit Sets the maximum number of users permitted in the channel to the given number.

Example: /mode #channel +l 30 will limit the number of users in #channel at any given time to 30, all other users will not be able to join the channel.

v Voice Gives the specified user voice - they can speak when channel mode +m is set, and are not affected by restrictive extended bans.
h Half-operator Gives the specified user half-operator - they are able to toggle select channel modes, can kick users who have voice (+v) or below, can give voice to others, and can change the channel's topic. They cannot kick or remove the modes of channel operators (+o) and above, and they cannot toggle channel modes reserved for channel operators and up.
o Channel operator Gives the specified user channel operator - they can toggle most channel modes except +a and +q, can kick other opped users and below, and can grant or remove chanop or halfop from others. Chanops cannot perform actions on channel owners or channel administrators.
a Protected/Admin Gives the specified user channel admin - the same access rights as channel operators apply here as well, with the exception that protected/admin users can kick other protected/admin users. Protected/admin users cannot take actions against channel owners.
q Owner Gives the specified user channel owner - this grants full control over virtually all aspects of the channel, including the ability to toggle any channel mode (except those only settable by IRC operators), kick anyone, and set/unset +v/+h/+o/+a/+q on other users.

List-type Channel Modes

These modes store parameters in a list. Those that take a nick!user@host mask can also make use of [Channel_management#Extended_Bans].

Flag Title Description
b Channel ban Prevents users matching a nick!user@host mask from joining, or prevents matching users from speaking in the channel.


  • /mode #channel +b LameUser!*@* will ban all users with the nickname LameUser.
  • /mode #channel +b *!*@* will ban any user whose host portion (the part after the @) ends in ""
e Channel exemption Exempts users matching a nick!user@host mask from a matching ban.


  • /mode #channel +e GoodUser!*@* will allow any user with the nickname Gooduser to join even if they otherwise match an existing ban (+b)
  • /mode #channel +e *!*@*.net permits any user whose host portion ends in ".net" even if they match an existing ban (+b)
I Invite exemption (invex) Allows a user matching a nick!user@host mask to join an invite-only (+i) channel without having to be invited with /invite.
g Channel censor Filters messages containing the specified text anywhere in the message from being sent to the channel. Unlike +G, the message is completely blocked if it contains the text anywhere in the message. Wildcards are accepted but not usually needed. Example: /mode #channel +g poo will block all messages that contain the word 'poo' anywhere in the message, even if it in the middle of a word.

You can view a channel's censor list by typing /mode #channel +g without any parameters.

w Channel ACL Grants users matching masks the specified mode. Some ExtBans can be used here. Example: /mode #channel +w v:R:BDRyan will grant voice (+v) to anyone identified to the registered account BDRyan.

You can view a channel's internal access list by typing /mode #channel +w without any parameters.

X Exempt Chanops Exempts users with specific access from specific channel restrictions, for more information see ExemptChanops

NOTE: Despite the name "exempt chanops" this mode can, in fact, be used to apply the exemption to any specific level of channel access.

Restricted Channel Modes

These modes can be set/unset ONLY by either an IRC Operator and/or network Services, not by normal users!

Flag Title Description
O Oper Only Only IRC Operators can join the channel
P Permanent Marks the channel as permanent. Permanent channels will remain open even when all users have left, thereby preserving things like modes, ban lists, and the topic.
Y Oper Prefix Marks the user as an IRC Operator in the channel with a ! prefix.
r Registered Channel Marks the channel as a registered channel. Only network Services can set/unset this.

See also