How-To

How to Manage Channels on Slack Desktop

If you want to manage your Slack channels for efficiency or effectiveness, it’s easy to do. Here’s how to create, edit, archive, and delete channels.

Slack is a reliable, flexible, and solid communications app for businesses. No matter where you live or work, you can chat with coworkers, employees, and team members from almost any device or platform. If you’re ready to give it a try or have recently set up your Slack account, you’ll need to know how to manage your group’s channels. And groovyPost is here to help you do just that!

What is a Slack Channel?

Simply put, a Slack channel is a group chat area. You and your team can exchange messages, share files, and use integration tools pertaining to your business.

By default, any member of a workspace (except for a guest) can create a channel. However, workspace owners can limit that ability if they wish.

Types of Channels

There are currently four types of Slack channels. The first two below are the most common and available in all plans while the last two are only accessible with paid Slack plans.

Public Channels

A Public channel is the one you’ll see and probably use most in Slack. Any member can join and participate in a Public channel and this type is searchable by everyone.

This is where you can communicate company announcements, technical issues, or have conversations unrelated to business like a watercooler. These have the Slack icon next to them in the channel list.

Public Slack Channel

Private Channels

A Private channel is exactly what it sounds like. These are ideal for communications that you don’t want open to all members. Workspace members can only join a Private channel if they are invited.

Private channels are useful for department members, project teams, or company executives to have self-contained discussions. These have the padlock icon next to them in the channel list.

Private Slack Channel

Shared Channels

A Shared channel can be used for separate companies to communicate from their own workspaces in a single spot. This type of channel is available with Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid paid Slack plans.

You could use a Shared channel to communicate with distributors, client companies, or vendors. They can be Public or Private.

Multi-Workspace Channels

A Multi-workspace channel is similar to a Shared channel but connects workspaces together rather than a single channel. This option is only available with the Enterprise Grid paid Slack plan.

Multi-workspace channels are appropriate for chatting with members of your sister company or subsidiary. They can be Public or Private.

Create a Slack Channel

When you set up a new channel in Slack, you’ll choose whether you want a Public or Private channel.

  1. Click the plus sign next to Channels in the Slack sidebar or pick Add channels at the bottom of the channel list.
  2. Select Create Channel or Create a New Channel. You can also choose to Browse Channels or Browse All Channels first in case one already exists for your purpose. This takes you to the Channel Browser. Then, click the Create Channel button from there if needed.Create a Channel in the Slack Channel Browser
  3. Give your channel a Name and optionally a Description.
  4. If you want a Private channel, enable the Make private Note that you cannot turn a Private channel into a Public one later.
  5. Click Create.

Create a Channel

Set a Channel Topic

After you create a channel, you can set a topic if you like. While a channel description refers to the intent of the channel, a topic can be more specific such as project dates or deadlines.

Click Add a topic at the very top of the channel screen, enter the topic, and click Set Topic.

Set a Channel Topic

You do not have to set a channel topic and you can add one later if you prefer.

Join a Channel

You can join any Public channel you see in your list or by using the Channel Browser. Simply select the channel and you’re in! Everyone in that channel can see when newbies join.

If you are invited to a Private channel, you’ll receive a Slack notification. Just click it and you’re then a member of that Private channel.

If more than one person joins a channel around the same time, you may see something like “Steve joined along with 2 others” as in the screenshot below.

Join a Channel

Invite Members to a Private Channel

If you create a Private channel, you’re in charge of inviting those members you want to join. You can do this during the initial creation process by entering the member names or emails.

Create Private Channel and Invite

Or, you can invite members later if you click Skip for now during the setup. Plus, you can add other people to your Private channel any time you like.

  1. Select the channel in the Slack sidebar.
  2. On the Channel details screen, click the Add people link or the Add people icon at the top. Add People to Private Channel
  3. You’ll be asked if you want to allow new members to see the channel’s history or if you prefer to create a new channel. Make your selection and click Continue.
  4. Enter the names or emails of the members you want to invite.
  5. Click Add.

Add People to Private Channel Later

Remove Members From a Channel

If you need to remove someone you invited to a private channel, this is even easier than adding them.

Click the View all members icon(s) at the top and click Remove next to the member you want to remove.

Remove People from Private Channel

Edit a Channel

Once you create a channel, you can make a few changes to it if necessary. This includes changing the description or topic, renaming a channel, or converting it to a Private channel if it’s Public. You have a couple of different spots for making these edits, so pick the one easiest for you.

Select the channel in the Slack sidebar to display it. Then do one of the following:

Add or Change the Description

  • If the channel has a description that you want to change, click Edit at the top. If it doesn’t have a description, you can add one by clicking Add description.
  • Click the Show channel details icon (small letter “i”) on the top right, select More, and pick Additional options. Choose Set the channel description.
  • Right-click the channel in the sidebar, select Additional options, and pick Set the channel description.

Edit or Add a Channel Description

Add or Change the Topic

  • If the channel doesn’t have a topic, click Add a topic at the top of the screen.
  • If the channel has a topic that you want to change, click Edit next to the topic at the top.

Edit a Channel Topic

Rename a Channel

  • Click the Show channel details icon on the top right, select More, and pick Rename channel.
  • Right-click the channel in the sidebar, select Additional options, and pick Rename this channel.

Rename a Channel

Convert a Channel to From Public to Private

  • Click the Show channel details icon on the top right, select More, and pick Additional options. Choose Change to a private channel.
  • Right-click the channel in the sidebar, select Additional options, and pick Change to a private channel.

You cannot undo this action. So be sure you want to convert the Public channel to a Private one and click Change to Private if you’re ready.

Change a Public To Private Channel

Archive or Delete a Channel

If you no longer need a channel, you can either archive or delete it. By archiving it, you’ll retain the messages and can unarchive it later if you decide to use it again. By deleting it, you’ll permanently remove all of its messages but will retain any files that were shared.

Archive a Channel

Click the Show channel details icon on the top right, select More, and pick Additional options. Choose Archive this channel.

Confirm by clicking Yes, archive this channel.

Archive a Channel

Delete a Channel

Click the Show channel details icon on the top right, select More, and pick Additional options. Choose Delete this channel.

Check the box for Yes, permanently delete this channel and click the Delete Channel button.

Delete a Channel

Tune in to Your Slack Channels

You have a lot of flexibility in managing your Slack channels. From creating to editing to archiving, you have different ways to do what you need and an easy interface to do it.

For more on working remotely, check out these ways to work more effectively from home.

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