What exactly is the difference between a Public vs Private user?

To keep my app as cost effective as possible, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly the differences are between a public and private user.

I’ve been trawling the forum and the answers in the below post is pretty good however it’s still not 100% clear to me - especially since I received a notification from Glide saying I maxed out my three ‘Private users’ but still haven’t managed to sign anyone up to my app (->)

I tried to consult the relevant Glide Docs (1, 2) however still not sure I fully understand.

  • I understand that as soon as someone is assigned a role then that user is private. Do you have to use the role column for this?
    Fx in my app I use the Role column to display certain things - mainly a dashboards for my one admin. I could in theory just make a boolean column called “See dashboard” and use that one to show the things my roles column currently does. Will it then still be a private user if I don’t use the roles column to fx show the dashboard?

  • Does this field have to be filled out for roles to be enabled?

  • I understand if I set my app to private all members in my user tab will be private users. But whats the difference between this and setting my app to public, but only allows users that are in my user tab to sign in? Doesn’t this do the same - only allow my users to sign in?

  • Finally is there anything a public user will not be able to do (except having a role) then private user?

I hope someone can help to shed some light on the above for me.

Yes, you need a column in your User Profiles table that is configured as the “Role” column in your User Profiles configuration. The column can be called anything, but it must be a basic (non-computed) text column, or an array column created in a Google Sheet.

No, depending on your Privacy Settings. But it certainly won’t be counted as a user with an assigned role.


Correct. If you restrict who can sign into your App, then all signed in users will be considered as Private Users.

Not that I can think of off the top of my head.

Just to add, I think Roles in Glide are quite misunderstood. In most cases, the main reason to assign roles to users is so that you can subsequently use those roles as Row Owners in other tables. From the questions I see here, I feel that many Glide users (especially new ones) don’t quite get that.


So basically the Roles is really for more elaborate dynamic role settings and a bit overkill to use for giving access to ‘Manger dashboard’.

So does this also mean I can continue to use the roles column as I do now but as long as I don’t switch it on it’ll not count those users as Private?

Yes, assuming that the way you are using it now is as per your earlier screen shot.

Screen Shot 2022-11-17 at 10.00.25 PM

As long as you have it configured like that, then none of your Users will have a Role assigned. Of course, you can still have a column named Role in your Users table and use it in any way that you wish. But that column won’t have any impact on your Private User count.


Thank you for clearing this for me @Darren_Murphy. Much, much appreciated

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