Moodle Groups and Force Subscription

There is some confusion regarding the interplay between forum settings on Moodle. In one place you can set up a forum using group mode (which can be used to send messages to separate groups), but another setting “Forces all members to subscribe.”

The question is, if I use group mode in my forum and set the forum to force all members to subscribe, will the message only go out to a selected group?

We found this answer:

“Let me clarify confusion about Force subscription. Subscription is the feature that sends ALL posts from a forum to ALL course users. It does not recognize groups. ALL posts in a forum go to ALL course users, always. There is NO way for a group to receive via email ONLY the posts of others in his/her group.
This means that forums must be checked manually be students, since they will not be receiving email notification of a new forum post.

“So, if you are using Separate Groups in a Forum, set Force everyone to be subscribed to ‘Subscriptions not allowed’.” (from

Thanks to Elaine Blakeman for the help on this topic.