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You can configure the app by copying config.sample.json to config.json and customising it:

For a good example, see

  1. default_server_config sets the default homeserver and identity server URL for Element to use. The object is the same as returned by https://<server_name>/.well-known/matrix/client, with added support for a server_name under the m.homeserver section to display a custom homeserver name. Alternatively, the config can contain a default_server_name instead which is where Element will go to get that same object, although this option is deprecated - see the .well-known link above for more information on using this option. Note that the default_server_name is used to get a complete server configuration whereas the server_name in the default_server_config is for display purposes only.
    • Note: The URLs can also be individually specified as default_hs_url and default_is_url, however these are deprecated. They are maintained for backwards compatibility with older configurations. default_is_url is respected only if default_hs_url is used.
    • Element will fail to load if a mix of default_server_config, default_server_name, or default_hs_url is specified. When multiple sources are specified, it is unclear which should take priority and therefore the application cannot continue.
    • As of Element 1.4.0, identity servers are optional. See Identity servers below.
  2. sso_immediate_redirect: When true, Element will assume the default server supports SSO and attempt to send the user there to continue (if they aren't already logged in). Default false. Note that this disables all usage of the welcome page.
  3. features: Lookup of optional features that may be force-enabled (true) or force-disabled (false). When features are not listed here, their defaults will be used, and users can turn them on/off if showLabsSettings allows them to. The available optional experimental features vary from release to release and are documented. The feature flag process is documented as well.
  4. showLabsSettings: Shows the "labs" tab of user settings. Useful to allow users to turn on experimental features they might not otherwise have access to.
  5. brand: String to pass to your homeserver when configuring email notifications, to let the homeserver know what email template to use when talking to you.
  6. branding: Configures various branding and logo details, such as:
    1. welcomeBackgroundUrl: An image to use as a wallpaper outside the app during authentication flows. If an array is passed, an image is chosen randomly for each visit.
    2. authHeaderLogoUrl: An logo image that is shown in the header during authentication flows
    3. authFooterLinks: a list of links to show in the authentication page footer: [{"text": "Link text", "url": ""}, {"text": "Other link", ...}]
  7. reportEvent: Configures the dialog for reporting content to the homeserver admin.
    1. adminMessageMD: An extra message to show on the reporting dialog to mention homeserver-specific policies. Accepts Markdown.
  8. integrations_ui_url: URL to the web interface for the integrations server. The integrations server is not Element and normally not your homeserver either. The integration server settings may be left blank to disable integrations.
  9. integrations_rest_url: URL to the REST interface for the integrations server.
  10. integrations_widgets_urls: list of URLs to the REST interface for the widget integrations server.
  11. bug_report_endpoint_url: endpoint to send bug reports to (must be running a server). Bug reports are sent when a user clicks "Send Logs" within the application. Bug reports can be disabled/hidden by leaving the bug_report_endpoint_url out of your config file.
  12. roomDirectory: config for the public room directory. This section is optional.
  13. roomDirectory.servers: List of other homeservers' directories to include in the drop down list. Optional.
  14. default_theme: name of theme to use by default (e.g. 'light')
  15. update_base_url (electron app only): HTTPS URL to a web server to download updates from. This should be the path to the directory containing macos and win32 (for update packages, not installer packages).
  16. piwik: Analytics can be disabled by setting piwik: false or by leaving the piwik config option out of your config file. If you want to enable analytics, set piwik to be an object containing the following properties:
    1. url: The URL of the Piwik instance to use for collecting analytics
    2. whitelistedHSUrls: a list of HS URLs to not redact from the analytics
    3. whitelistedISUrls: a list of IS URLs to not redact from the analytics
    4. siteId: The Piwik Site ID to use when sending analytics to the Piwik server configured above
  17. welcomeUserId: the user ID of a bot to invite whenever users register that can give them a tour
  18. embeddedPages: Configures the pages displayed in portions of Element that embed static files, such as:
    1. welcomeUrl: Initial content shown on the outside of the app when not logged in. Defaults to welcome.html supplied with Element.
    2. homeUrl: Content shown on the inside of the app when a specific room is not selected. By default, no home page is configured. If one is set, a button to access it will be shown in the top left menu.
    3. loginForWelcome: Overrides welcomeUrl to make the welcome page be the same page as the login page when true. This effectively disables the welcome page.
  19. defaultCountryCode: The ISO 3166 alpha2 country code to use when showing country selectors, like the phone number input on the registration page. Defaults to GB if the given code is unknown or not provided.
  20. settingDefaults: Defaults for settings that support the config level, as an object mapping setting name to value (note that the "theme" setting is special cased to the default_theme in the config file).
  21. disable_custom_urls: disallow the user to change the default homeserver when signing up or logging in.
  22. permalinkPrefix: Used to change the URL that Element generates permalinks with. By default, this is "" to generate (spec) permalinks. Set this to your Element instance URL if you run an unfederated server (eg: "").
  23. jitsi: Used to change the default conference options. Learn more about the Jitsi options at
    1. preferredDomain: The domain name of the preferred Jitsi instance. Defaults to This is used whenever a user clicks on the voice/video call buttons - integration managers may use a different domain.
  24. enable_presence_by_hs_url: The property key should be the URL of the homeserver and its value defines whether to enable/disable the presence status display from that homeserver. If no options are configured, presence is shown for all homeservers.
  25. disable_guests: Disables guest access tokens and auto-guest registrations. Defaults to false (guests are allowed).
  26. disable_login_language_selector: Disables the login language selector. Defaults to false (language selector is shown).
  27. disable_3pid_login: Disables 3rd party identity options on login and registration form Defaults to false (3rd party identity options are shown).
  28. default_federate: Default option for room federation when creating a room Defaults to true (room federation enabled).
  29. desktopBuilds: Used to alter promotional links to the desktop app. By default the builds are considered available and accessible from This config option is typically used in the context of encouraging encrypted message search capabilities (Seshat). All the options listed below are required if this option is specified.
    1. available: When false, the desktop app will not be promoted to the user.
    2. logo: An HTTP URL to the avatar for the desktop build. Should be 24x24, ideally an SVG.
    3. url: An HTTP URL for where to send the user to download the desktop build.
  30. mobileBuilds: Used to alter promotional links to the mobile app. By default the builds are considered available and accessible from This config option is typically used in a context of encouraging the user to try the mobile app instead of a mobile/incompatible browser.
    1. ios: The URL to the iOS build. If null, it will be assumed to be not available. If not set, the default builds will be used.
    2. android: The URL to the Android build. If null, it will be assumed to be not available. If not set, the default builds will be used.
    3. fdroid: The URL to the FDroid build. If null, it will be assumed to be not available. If not set, the default builds will be used.
  31. mobileGuideToast: Whether to show a toast a startup which nudges users on iOS and Android towards the native mobile apps. The toast redirects to the mobile guide if they accept. Defaults to false.
  32. audioStreamUrl: If supplied, show an option on Jitsi widgets to stream audio using Jitsi's live streaming feature. This option is experimental and may be removed at any time without notice.
  33. voip: Behaviour related to calls
    1. obeyAssertedIdentity: If set, MSC3086 asserted identity messages sent on VoIP calls will cause the call to appear in the room corresponding to the asserted identity. This must only be set in trusted environments.

Note that index.html also has an og:image meta tag that is set to an image hosted on This is the image used if links to your copy of Element appear in some websites like Facebook, and indeed Element itself. This has to be static in the HTML and an absolute URL (and HTTP rather than HTTPS), so it's not possible for this to be an option in config.json. If you'd like to change it, you can build Element, but run RIOT_OG_IMAGE_URL="" yarn build. Alternatively, you can edit the og:image meta tag in index.html directly each time you download a new version of Element.

Identity servers

The identity server is used for inviting other users to a room via third party identifiers like emails and phone numbers. It is not used to store your password or account information.

As of Element 1.4.0, all identity server functions are optional and you are prompted to agree to terms before data is sent to the identity server.

Element will check multiple sources when looking for an identity server to use in the following order of preference:

  1. The identity server set in the user's account data
    • For a new user, no value is present in their account data. It is only set if the user visits Settings and manually changes their identity server.
  2. The identity server provided by the .well-known lookup that occurred at login
  3. The identity server provided by the Riot config file

If none of these sources have an identity server set, then Element will prompt the user to set an identity server first when attempting to use features that require one.

Currently, the only two public identity servers are and, however in the future identity servers will be decentralised.

Desktop app configuration


UI Features

Parts of the UI can be disabled using UI features. These are settings which appear under settingDefaults and can only be true (default) or false. When false, parts of the UI relating to that feature will be disabled regardless of the user's preferences.

Currently, the following UI feature flags are supported:

  • UIFeature.urlPreviews - Whether URL previews are enabled across the entire application.
  • - Whether prompts to supply feedback are shown.
  • UIFeature.voip - Whether or not VoIP is shown readily to the user. When disabled, Jitsi widgets will still work though they cannot easily be added.
  • UIFeature.widgets - Whether or not widgets will be shown.
  • UIFeature.flair - Whether or not community flair is shown in rooms.
  • UIFeature.communities - Whether or not to show any UI related to communities. Implicitly disables UIFeature.flair when disabled.
  • UIFeature.advancedSettings - Whether or not sections titled "advanced" in room and user settings are shown to the user.
  • UIFeature.shareQrCode - Whether or not the QR code on the share room/event dialog is shown.
  • UIFeature.shareSocial - Whether or not the social icons on the share room/event dialog are shown.
  • UIFeature.identityServer - Whether or not functionality requiring an identity server is shown. When disabled, the user will not be able to interact with the identity server (sharing email addresses, 3PID invites, etc).
  • UIFeature.thirdPartyId - Whether or not UI relating to third party identifiers (3PIDs) is shown. Typically this is considered "contact information" on the homeserver, and is not directly related to the identity server.
  • UIFeature.registration - Whether or not the registration page is accessible. Typically useful if accounts are managed externally.
  • UIFeature.passwordReset - Whether or not the password reset page is accessible. Typically useful if accounts are managed externally.
  • UIFeature.deactivate - Whether or not the deactivate account button is accessible. Typically useful if accounts are managed externally.
  • UIFeature.advancedEncryption - Whether or not advanced encryption options are shown to the user.
  • UIFeature.roomHistorySettings - Whether or not the room history settings are shown to the user. This should only be used if the room history visibility options are managed by the server.