Customize message and file retention

By default, Slack will retain all messages and files for the lifetime of your workspace. If you’d like, you can adjust your retention settings to automatically delete messages and files after a set amount of time. You can also allow members to edit the message retention settings for individual channels and direct messages (DMs).

What you need to know

  • Message and file deletion is permanent. Adjust these settings with care.
  • Adjusting retention settings won't immediately delete anything. Deletions run once per day, so your deletion will occur the next time your policy runs, typically at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.
  • Retention settings will apply to all messages and files, including ones that are pinned or saved.
  • On the Enterprise Grid plan, you can set a policy for retention settings that will apply to every workspace in your org.

Note: If your application to use Corporate Export is approved and you've enabled the tool, custom retention settings will be reset to keep all files.


Adjust message retention settings

You can choose from three different options when setting message retention for conversations. Keep in mind that your retention settings will impact what you see in an export file.

  • Keep everything
    Slack will keep all messages and track message edits and deletions.
  • Keep all messages, but don't track revisions
    Slack will keep all messages, but will not track message edits or deletions.
  • Delete messages and their revisions after... 
    Slack will delete messages following the custom time frame you choose.

Note: If members or admins are allowed to edit retention settings for specific conversations, those settings will override the workspace or org-wide settings.

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plan

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
  3. Click the Settings tab at the top of the page.
  4. Next to Message Retention & Deletion, click Expand.
  5. Select your preferred retention settings from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Check the box next to Yes, apply these new settings, then click Confirm Settings.

Set org-level message retention policies

As an Org Owner, you can set a policy for message retention that will apply to every workspace in your org. With a policy in place, Workspace Owners won’t have the option to adjust message retention settings for workspaces they manage.

To set an org policy for message retention, contact our Support team. When a policy is set, Slackbot will notify the Primary Org Owner and request approval to apply it. If approved, Slackbot will notify each Workspace Owner of changes to retention settings.


Review org-level message retention policies

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
  3. Click Settings in the left sidebar, then select Messages and files.
  4. Review your policies below Message Retention Policies.


Set workspace-level message retention settings

Note: If a retention policy has been set at the org level, Workspace Owners won’t be able to adjust message retention settings for their workspace(s).

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
  3. Click the Settings tab at the top of the page.
  4. Next to Message Retention & Deletion, click Expand.
  5. Select your preferred retention settings from the drop-down menu.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Check the box next to Yes, apply these new settings, then click Confirm Settings.


Allow channel-specific retention settings

If you’re a Workspace Owner on the Standard or Plus plan or an Org Owner on the Enterprise Grid plan, you can allow members to set their own message retention period for private channels and DMs, making it shorter or longer than the workspace- or org-level default. You can also allow Workspace Owners and Org Owners to adjust retention settings for individual public channels.

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plan

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
  3. Next to Message Retention & Deletion, click Expand.
  4. Check the box next to Let workspace members override these settings.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Check the box next to Yes, apply these new settings, then click Confirm Settings.

Set message retention override policies

As an Org Owner, you can set policies to allow members or admins to edit retention settings for individual conversations. With an admin override policy in place, Org Owners can also use channel management tools to edit the retention settings of individual public and private channels from the org dashboard.

Contact our Support team to set this policy for your org.


Review message retention override policies

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
  3. Click Settings in the left sidebar, then select Messages and files.
  4. Review your policies below Message Retention Policies.


Set workspace-level message retention override settings

Note: If a retention policy has been set at the org level, Workspace Owners won’t be able to adjust message retention settings for their workspace(s).

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
  3. Next to Message Retention & Deletion, click Expand.
  4. Check the box next to Let workspace members override these settings.
  5. Click Save.
  6. Check the box next to Yes, apply these new settings, then click Confirm Settings.

 

Adjust file retention settings

When configuring your file retention settings, there are two options to choose from:

  • Keep all files
    Slack will keep all shared files for the lifetime of your workspace.
  • Keep all files, only for a set number of days
    Slack will permanently delete files (snippetsposts, uploaded files, and those shared via third-party apps like Dropbox or Google Drive) older than the number of days you choose.

Note: Files shared via apps like Dropbox or Google Drive remain stored in the service they originate from. Deleting them from Slack won't impact the original files.

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plans

    1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
    2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
    3. Click the Settings tab at the top of the page.
    4. Next to File Retention & Deletion, click Expand.
    5. Select your preferred retention settings.
    6. Click Save.
    7. Check the box next to Yes, apply these new settings, then click Confirm Settings.

Set file retention policies

As an Org Owner, you can set a policy for file retention that applies to every workspace in their org. To do so, contact our Support team. When a policy is set, Slackbot will notify the Primary Org Owner and request approval to apply it.

Note: It’s not currently possible to manage file retention for individual workspaces within an Enterprise Grid org.


Review file retention policies

    1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
    2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
    3. Click Settings in the left sidebar, then select Messages and files.
    4. Review your policies below File Retention Policies.

Note: It’s not currently possible to set file retention settings for specific conversations.

Who can use this feature?
  • Workspace Owners and Org Owners
  • Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans