Edit message retention settings for specific conversations

By default, Slack will retain all messages for the lifetime of your workspace. If permitted, members can set a custom message retention period for private channels and direct messages (DMs) that they’re a part of. Workspace Owners and Org Owners can also adjust retention settings for individual public channels. These retention settings for individual conversations can be shorter or longer than the workspace or org-wide message retention setting.

What to expect

  • Members will only see the option to set message retention for channels and DMs if permitted by their Workspace Owners or Org Owners.
  • In channels shared with external organizations, retention settings will only apply to the messages sent by members of your organization.
  • In an Enterprise Grid org, multi-workspace channels will always adhere to the organization retention policy. In cases where the org-level policy isn't set, the default is to keep all messages.

Caution! Message deletion is permanent. Please use care when setting up retention policies. 

Set message retention for a specific channel or DM

Members can create channel-specific retention settings for their private channels and DMs, and Workspace Owners and Org Owners can create retention settings for public channels using the steps below:

  1. From your desktop, open the conversation whose retention settings you'd like to configure.
  2. Click the channel or member name(s) in the conversation header.
  3. Click the Settings tab.
  4. Hover over Message retention and click Edit
  5. Select Use custom retention settings for this conversation
  6. Choose how long you'd like to save messages, then click Save Changes


A Slackbot message will post to the conversation to confirm the updated retention settings.

Tip: On the Business+ and Enterprise Grid plans, owners and admins with permission can manage retention settings for channels with channel management tools.

Who can use this feature?
  • Workspace Owners and Org Owners can make this feature available to all members (but not guests
  • Available on paid plans