What is a direct message?

Who can use this feature?
  • All members can send DMs. Single-Channel Guests can participate in group DMs, but cannot start their own.
  • FreeStandardPlus, and Enterprise Grid plans

Although most discussions in Slack happen in channels, direct messages work well for one-off conversations that don't require an entire channel to weigh in. Direct messages (DMs) are smaller conversations outside of a channel, between you and up to eight other people. 

Access your direct messages 



Like channels, your direct messages are listed in your left sidebar. You’ll see your most recent DMs below Direct messages by default. Keep in mind that your sidebar preferences may affect which DM conversations are visible. If you don’t see the direct message you’re looking for, there are a few ways to access it:

  • Use the keyboard shortcut ShiftK (Mac) or CtrlShiftK (Windows/Linux) to find or start a DM conversation.
  • Click a direct message listed in your left sidebar to open the conversation.
  • From the  Home tab, you'll see your most recent DMs listed below Direct messages.
  • To see all your DM conversations, tap  DMs tab. Scroll through your DMs and tap one to open it, or you can type someone’s name in the Jump to… field to quickly open a conversation.

Send direct messages

Sending a direct message is just like creating any other message in Slack:

  • Use the   Compose button.
  • Type a message in the message field of any direct message.

Read more about writing and sending messages in Slack.

Invite more people to a group direct message

If you need to add others to a conversation, you can invite them from an existing group DM. Adding someone new will start a new direct message without the previous conversation’s history.



  1. From a group direct message, Click  Details in the top right.
  2. Click  Invite.
  3. Search for the person you'd like to invite, then click their name.
  4. Click Go to create a new direct message.
  1. From a group direct message, Click  Details in the top right.
  2. Tap  Add people.
  3. Find the people you want to add and tap their names.
  4. Tap Next to create a new group DM.

Tip: If you need to add several people to a conversation, or if you’d like to preserve the message history of your DM, you can convert a direct message to a private channel instead.

Use your personal direct message

In Slack, your personal direct message is a lot like a notepad. Record notes and ideas or use this space for whatever you might need.



  1. Locate Direct messages in your left sidebar.
  2. Click your name in the list, or click the  plus icon to start a new message to yourself.
  1. From either the  Home or   DMs tab, tap Jump to... 
  2. Type your name. 
  3. Tap your name to start a new message to yourself.