Private Collections and Articles for Internal Users

Sometimes you just want to have some Docs stashed away for your teammates' eyes only. This article is all about Private Collections and how helpful they can be for your team internally.  

In this article

Public vs. Private

  • Public collections are viewable by everyone who visits your knowledge base site. In other words, all categories and articles contained within a public collection can be viewed by anyone with access to your Docs site or Beacon.
  • Private collections are viewable only by authenticated Help Scout Users on your team. Content contained within a private collection is never shown to your customers in Docs or Beacon. Note that all Help Scout users are able to view private collections, and any user with the Docs: Edit articles and categories permission can edit them.

Note: Looking for a Docs site with controlled access for visitors other than Help Scout users? Check out Control Access to a Docs Site With Restricted Docs or Control Access to Docs Using Beacon for the options there.

Accessing a Private Collection

In order to access a private collection, you must be logged in to Help Scout and have a link to either the collection itself, or an article within the collection. Head over to the Docs tab and select a private collection from the dropdown menu. From there, just open an article and click the View Article link, located on the right-hand sidebar. 

Private collections will now be viewable in the navigation bar on the Docs front end. You'll see a small lock icon next to private collections, just so you know what's what. We'd recommend adding links for private collections on your bookmarks bar for easy access.

Now that you're logged in and able to view private content, you'll notice that articles within a private collection look a little different in search results. The article title will be grey, and you'll see a tiny lock icon to the right of the title. Your customers will not see private articles in search results.

Common Questions

Can I password protect a collection or site?
Sure thing! We have a couple different ways you can do this: Head over to Control Access to Docs With Restricted Docs for more information on how to restrict access to an entire site.
Beacon also offers the ability for you to control access to Docs content within Beacon. Take a look at Restrict Docs Site Access with Beacon.

Can I store sensitive customer data in a private Collection?
We don't recommend it. Private Collections are designed for people on your team to access internal company information, but please don't store any private customer data in Docs. Since Docs is not designed for storing customer data, it is not subject to the same GDPR or HIPAA compliance regulations that other aspects of Help Scout are.

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