Deploy Slack via Microsoft Installer

Slack provides two distinct Microsoft Installer (MSI) packages IT Administrators can use to install Slack for Windows for multiple users or machines. These packages natively support all msiexec commands and are recommended for customers who need to deploy Slack to hundreds or thousands of machines. If you don't need to deploy Slack at large, download the desktop app.

The two MSI packages are fundamentally different, using different deployment and update mechanisms. Please read carefully before making your decision.


👩‍💻 MSI for per-user deployment

The MSI for per-user deployment adds the Slack Installer machine-wide, rather than individually installing Slack for Windows. The Slack Installer will only add Slack for Windows if it was never installed for the user currently logged into the machine.

Who it's for:

This method is best for companies where employees work from their own machine or device and update Slack automatically.

Who it's not for:

Companies where many people use the same machine (like terminal servers), or need to control which version of Slack is used, should use the MSI for machine-wide installation.

What to consider

  • Slack for Windows will be installed to %LOCALAPPDATA%. While the Slack Installer is installed machine-wide, Slack for Windows is not.
  • Every member maintains their own version of Slack.
  • Automatic updates are downloaded and installed for each member.
  • No need for maintenance — Slack will keep itself up-to-date and secure.
  • Slack won't open on startup, unlike the regular Windows app.
  • Uninstalling the MSI installer won't remove the Slack app from user accounts.
  • Slack will be installed upon user login.


Use the installer

  1. Install the Microsoft Installer package:

    Download 64-bit MSI Installer for per-user deployment

  2. Sign out of your Windows user account.
  3. Sign back into your Windows user account.
  4. The Slack app icon will appear on the Desktop and Start Menu

Note: Looking for 32-bit? You'll need to use the 32-bit MSI Installer for machine-wide installation instead.


👨‍🔧 MSI for machine-wide installation

The MSI for single installation deployment installs Slack for Windows machine-wide, either to Program Files or a location of your choice. It is multi-client-capable, meaning that it can be used by multiple users on one machine, keeping their profiles separate in %ROAMINGAPPDATA%. Using this method, Slack will not receive automatic updates.

Who it's for:

This method is best for companies in which multiple employees use the same machine, like terminal servers, and/or need to control which version of Slack they use.

Who it's not for:

Companies in which people use their own machines and update Slack automatically should use the MSI for per-user deployment.

What to consider

  • Single installation on a machine means a smaller hard drive footprint at scale.
  • All user-related data (workspace info, preferences, logs) is stored in %ROAMINGAPPDATA%.
  • Teams must monitor that the latest version of Slack for Windows is installed.
  • IT maintenance required to keep Slack up-to-date and secure.


Use the installer

  1. Install the Microsoft Installer package:

    Download 32-bit MSI Installer for machine-wide installation

    Download 64-bit MSI Installer for machine-wide installation

  2. Run the installer, which will guide you through the installation process.
  3. The Slack app icon will appear on the Desktop and Start Menu.


Keep Slack updated

It is important to stay up to date on new releases, as they provide users with valuable features and fixes. When installed using the machine-wide installer, Slack does not auto-update. In order to stay current with new Slack releases, we have provided an RSS feed to notify you of new Windows Slack Desktop App updates: https://slack.com/release-notes/windows/rss.

💡 Learn how to add RSS feeds to your Slack workflow.


Manage installations

Troubleshooting

We installed the 64-bit version of the MSI, but program files and registry entries were written to the 32-bit locations on our 64-bit system. What happened?

Up to version 3.3.8 of Slack’s desktop app, the MSI packages were compiled in 32-bit. However, their payload (Slack for Windows) is 64-bit. We realized this was confusing, so starting with version 3.4.0, both MSI tools will install 64-bit packages.

 

We installed the per-user deployment MSI. Why does Slack not install for some or all users on certain machines?

The Slack deployment tool will only install Slack if it has not been previously installed by the user. If the deployment tool detects traces of previous installations it will back out. Specifically it looks for either of these folders:  %APPDATA%\slack or %PROGRAMDATA%\slack. While the latter installation path is very rare, its presence would affect all users on the system. 

 

We installed the per-user deployment MSI. Why does it show up as a machine-wide installer in Apps and Features?

The per-user deployment MSI was named machine-wide installer before our current true machine-wide installer was released. The missing name change in the package was an oversight. Starting with version 3.4.0, the correct name will be displayed in Apps and Features.

 

We use the per-user deployment MSI. Do we need to update the Slack deployment tool when Slack itself auto-updates?

  • For existing users: It doesn’t matter as their Slack app is auto-updated. 
  • For a new user: It will install the Slack app version that is shipped with the MSI deployment tool. The app will automatically update when it’s launched, but the update will only be applied when the user restarts the app or their computer. We strongly recommend keeping the version of the deployment tool as up-to-date as possible.


Uninstallation

We uninstalled the per-user deployment MSI. Why is Slack still installed for all our users?

Uninstalling the MSI only removes the deployment tool and Slack will no longer install for new people logging into the computer. However, people who already installed Slack through the deployment tool need to manually uninstall the app.

This can be automated by calling "%LOCALAPPDATA%\slack\Update.exe" --uninstall -s in the users context, e.g. during the logon script. If your machine hosts multiple users (e.g. a terminal server), then we recommend our machine-wide MSI which would uninstall Slack for all users automatically. 

 

When installing newer versions of an MSI, older ones still show up. Are there multiple versions of Slack installed now?

No. While the Apps and Features list may show multiple versions of Slack, only the binaries of the latest version are installed. Starting with 3.4.0, older versions of Slack will be uninstalled when the installation of a new version begins. You’ll continue to see versions pre-dating 3.4.0 in Apps and Features.

 

When silently uninstalling or updating the machine-wide MSI, why do machines reboot?

We introduced an upgrade feature to our MSI when version 3.4.0 was released, which uninstalls older versions of the MSI when you update to a later version. If an administrator triggers a silent update or uninstall while a logged-in user is using Slack, it will not be possible to delete the files component of the installation as it will be locked. When this happens, the MSI installer engine will stage the changes and trigger a reboot of the computer to push the changes. To prevent unexpected reboots during silent installations, add /noreboot to your install command line. That might look like msiexec /i “slack-standalone-x.x.x.msi” /qn /noreboot.