This guide covers our old ProBoards v4 software. Click here for the ProBoards v5 Help Guide.

The ProBoards Private Messaging (PM) system provides a way to communicate directly with other members of the discussion forum. Messages you send and receive via PM are private and can only be viewed by you and the forum member you're corresponding with.

There are two ways to access your PM Inbox and view messages: At the top of the discussion forum is a welcome message that reads Hey, (your display name), you have # messages, # are new. which shows the total number of PM's in your Inbox as well as the number of unread messages. Clicking the # messages link will take you to the Inbox for your account.

The second way to access your Inbox is through the Info Center at the bottom of the discussion forum's main page. On the far right side of the Forum Statistics section, you'll see the text, Your Personal Messages: # New: # which displays the total number of PM's in your Inbox, read and unread. Clicking either number-link will take you there.

The Inbox is separated into 4 sections that offer various details about the PM's waiting in your Inbox:

Status: Status icons let you know if a PM is new, has been read or, has been replied to. A closed envelope icon indicates the message has not been read. The image of an open envelope with paper sticking out means you've read the message but have not yet replied. The image of a closed envelope with an orange arrow in the bottom-left corner means you've read and replied.

Subject: The Subject is the title of the Private Message written by the sender.

From: The name in the From box is the display name of the forum member that sent the PM. Click on the display name to view that member's profile.

Date: Date indicates the date and time the PM was sent.

Also in the header bar of the PM Inbox, above the sections previously listed, you'll see 6 buttons in the top right corner described below:

New Message: Clicking the New Message button creates a new Private Message and will present a compose page similar to the message board posting page. The difference is the To area where you'll add the username(s) of the recipients. To send a PM to multiple people, separate the usernames with commas. Keep in mind, only forum usernames can be used to address PM's. Entering display names could result in the message being sent to unintended recipients.

Delete All: The Delete All button only displays when you have messages and will delete ALL of your messages. To delete a single PM, open your Inbox, or Outbox, and check the box to the left of the status icon for the message you'd like to delete. Next, click the Delete Selected Messages button at the bottom of the Inbox to complete the action.

Mark as Read: This button displays only when you have messages in your PM Inbox. Using the Mark as Read button will make all of your unread messages change to indicate that you have read them already.

Outbox: The Outbox button takes you to your PM outbox where you can view PM's you've sent to other online forum members. Also, the Status icon here will tell you whether or not your message has been read by the member you sent a PM to. The closed envelop icon indicates the message has not been read while an open envelop with paper sticking out indicates it has.

Backup Messages: You can back up your discussion forum PM's once every thirty days by clicking the Backup Personal Messages button. Once clicked, you'll see a confirmation letting you know your backup is scheduled and that you'll receive a PM notification once the download is ready.

When you receive the notification, revisit the Backup Messages page and download your file. The file is a compressed .zip file so you'll need an unzip program to open it. You can view a list of recommended applications on the Backup Messages page. The backup file will be available for 1 week and you'll be presented with a date and time for when you are able to run another backup of your discussion forum PM's.

Preferences: On the PM Preferences page, you can block others from sending you messages or create notifications when you receive new PM's. To block member PM's, simply add usernames to the box. Enter one username per line to block multiple members. To discontinue receiving forum PM's all-together, put an asterisk * in the box. Also, you can choose to be sent an email or, be notified by an alert box signaling when you receive a new PM. Note: you must be logged into your account to receive alert box notifications.