What is a direct message?

Who can use this feature?
  • All members can start and send DMs. Guests can send DMs, but they can only start them with people who are in the same channel(s).
  • Available on all plans

Direct messages (DMs) are smaller conversations in Slack that happen outside of channels. They can be one-to-one, or include up to nine people. DMs work well for one-off conversations that don’t require an entire channel of people to weigh in.

Note: If your company uses Slack Connect, learn how to send DMs to people outside your organization

Access your direct messages



  • Click  All DMs at the top of your left sidebar. If you don't see this option, click  More to find it.
  • By default, your most recent conversations are listed below the Direct Messages header in your left sidebar.

Direct messages browser with DMs from teammates

Tip: Try the keyboard shortcut ShiftK (Mac) or CtrlShiftK (Windows/Linux) to quickly find or start a DM conversation.

  • From the  DMs tab, scroll through all of your DMs and tap one from the list to open it.
  • Tap the Jump to… field to search for someone’s name and quickly open that conversation. 

Start and send direct messages

Starting and sending DMs is just like writing any other messages in Slack. You can use the  compose button to start a new conversation, or type messages in the message field from an existing DM.

Note: You can add additional people to DMs with three or more people to start a new conversation. If you need to include more than nine people, you can move a group DM to a private channel instead.