Who Can Use
Cache Owner, Reviewers, & Lackeys
All non-event caches
Disable is a type of log used to mark that a geocache is temporarily inactive.
A cache that has been disabled is temporarily unable to be found. Caches are typically disabled when there is a maintenance issue. This makes it different than being archived. Disabling is done to let other geocachers know that they should not attempt the cache, but to check back later as the owner is attempting to fix it.
If a geocacher finds a cache that needs to be repaired in some way, they can perform a Needs Maintenance log. This would alert the owner that something is wrong and that they need to come inspect the cache. As opposed to a Needs Archived log, the local Reviewer will not receive an alert when a Needs Maintenance log is entered.
Caches can be identified as disabled in one of two ways, neither of which
require reading the cache listing or logs. One method involves looking at the map. The cache icon itself will be grayed out on the map. This serves as the first clue that the cache is not ready to be found. If the icon is clicked on, the name will have a line through it.
If a geocacher is looking at a list of caches, the other way to identify if a cache is disabled is by looking at the name itself. A disabled cache will always have a line through the name. If the name is also a red color, then that means it is archived. Archived caches will not show up in search results, but they will show up in other lists.
If a geocacher is unsure, they can always go to the cache page itself. The cache name will have a line through it, but there will also be an extra note saying that the cache is disabled.
When a cache that is disabled has been fixed, the owner can then perform an Enable log to remove the disabled status. This would remove the line through the name and the additional note about being unavailable.
Archive or Disable
If a geocacher feels that a cache they own is only missing, and they intend to replace the geocache in the near future, the owner should temporarily disable the geocache as opposed to archiving it. This is done to indicate that to other users that a geocache is not currently findable, but to check back soon as the owner is working on fixing it.
If a geocacher does not want to continue maintaining a geocache, or needs to remove it completely, then they would use the Archive option. A geocache can be archived by both the owner and either a Reviewer or Lackey. On the owner side, the geocache has been too much work to maintain, the cache has been muggled a lot, or the location is not a good spot for a geocache any more. There are only two reasons a Reviewer or Lackey would perform an archival. One would be if a geocache developed problems and the owner has quit geocaching. The other is if the geocache violates Guidelines and the owner is not archiving it themselves. if the problem is serious enough, the Reviewer or Lackey may just archive it right away.
Should the geocache be available for hunting but the cache owner is no longer willing or able to maintain the geocache, the owner can place the geocache up for Geocache Adoption as an alternative to archiving.