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Controlling who can access your project

With the launch of our refinery toolset we've introduced many customization options for controlling how people can access your project. The Visibility & access options can be found on the bottom of your project’s edit page. There are three primary modes, with some containing sub-options when you select them.

Here are the primary modes:

  • Draft — Only available to project owners
  • Restricted — Available to people you've permitted
  • Public — Available to everyone

Visibility modes

Using Draft

Draft is the default visibility state. Your project is only accessible by people who can edit it, and people with the secret link. We don’t recommend distributing your project in draft mode since others will not be able to download or purchase it. Use draft mode to finalize the design of your project page before releasing it.

Your project is only linked from your dashboard, it will not show up anywhere else on itch.io. If you move a previously public project into draft mode then anyone who had access will no longer be able to visit the page until it’s moved out of draft.

Using Restricted

Restricted allows only the people you've approved access the page. For those that have access, the project page is fully functional. By default the only people who can access a restricted page are those who own a Download Key, which you can generate from your dashboard.

You can use download keys to manage an exclusive access list for your project. We recommend making them required to be connected to an account for full control. You can also revoke a download key if you need to remove someone from the list.

The following option is also available for Restricted:

  • Also allow a password to view page — You can provide a password that must be entered by anyone who wants to visit the page. People who already have access for another reason do not need to enter a password. You can also include the password directly in the URL so it’s not required to type it in.

Restricted projects will not show up on itch.io’s browse pages, search results, or profile pages. They will also not be indexed by external search engines.

Using Public

Public makes your game publicly available to everyone. Public games are listed in itch.io’s browse page and search. External search engines an index public pages. These projects will also show up on your profile.

There are two options for Public:

  • Disable new downloads & purchases — Your project page is visible, but only people who already own it can access the files. Additionally no new purchases are allow. You can still generate Download keys to give access to more people.
  • Unlisted in search & browse — Your project page will not show up on itch.io browse and search pages. Additionally external search engines are instructed to ignore the page. The project will show up on your profile, but you can manually remove via the profile theme editor.

Setting a release date

There’s one more way to restrict access to your project page: setting a future release date. In the MetadataRelease info section of your project in your dashboard you can provide a release date.

When that date is set in the future then no one will be allowed to buy or download your project until the date has elapsed. Your project page will list how much time is left until the files are made available.

Community access

All the access modes outlined above also apply to all sub-pages on your project. This includes your community or comments. By combining Exclusive content and Restricted access you can create a message board only available to the people who have bought your game.