Adjust your sidebar preferences

Your left sidebar in Slack is an access point for different parts of your workspace. There are a number of preferences you can set to tailor how your sidebar is organized.


Customize the top of your sidebar

At the top of your sidebar is a list of items to help you quickly browse your Slack workspace. You can customize this list from your preferences:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Under Always show in the sidebar, check or uncheck the boxes next to the sidebar items you’d like to show or hide.

Screenshot_2023-01-04_at_3.37.51_PM.png

Note: Items at the top of your sidebar are revealed as you interact with different features in Slack, so if you're brand new, you may not see all of them right away. Click  More to see any hidden options.


Re-order sidebar sections

By default, your sidebar will be divided into the following sections: Channels, Starred, Direct Messages, Apps and Connections. To rearrange these sections in your sidebar, click the section header, and drag it to your desired location in the sidebar.

Tip: On paid plans, you can add custom sections to your sidebar.

 

Choose which conversations to show

Once you belong to 30 or more channels, your sidebar preference will default to Unreads only. You can adjust which conversations to show in your sidebar:

  • Unreads only
    Conversations with unread messages will appear bolded in their sections. Muted and read conversations will be automatically collapsed into the section header. To see the read channels in the section, click the section header.
  • Mentions only
    Conversations where you’ve been mentioned will show a badge and appear bolded in the section. All other conversations will be collapsed into the section header.
  • All your conversations
    Every conversation you belong to will appear in its section.

Here’s how to adjust your sidebar preferences:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Under Show, choose which conversations to show.

Tip: On paid plans, you can adjust which conversations are shown for each section in your sidebar. 


Sort your conversations

Desktop

iOS

Android

Sort conversations in your sidebar alphabetically or by recent activity. On paid plans, you can also sort your conversations by priority to list the ones you use most at the top.

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Under Sort, choose your sorting preference.

Tip: On paid plans, you can adjust how conversations are sorted for each section in your sidebar.

The  Home tab contains a list of your conversations, similar to the sidebar on your desktop. By default, these will be sorted alphabetically or by section if you use custom sections. You can choose to sort these conversations by recent activity instead.

  1. From the  Home tab, tap the list icon in the top right.
  2. Select a sorting option from the list.  

The  Home tab contains a list of your conversations, similar to the sidebar on your desktop. By default, these will be sorted alphabetically or by section if you use custom sections. You can choose to sort these conversations by recent activity instead.

  1. From the  Home tab, tap the list icon in the top right.
  2. Select a sorting option from the list.  


Show or hide profile photos

By default, peoples’ profile photos will appear next to direct messages (DMs) in your sidebar. If you’d like, you can adjust this preference:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Show profile photos next to DMs.


List private channels separately

By default, all channels will be listed together in your sidebar. If you'd like, you can choose to list private channels separately from public channels:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Separate private channels from public ones in sidebar.


List direct messages and apps separately

When channels, direct messages, and apps all belong to the same section, you can choose to list direct messages and apps below the channels within that section:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Separate direct messages and apps from channels in sidebar.


List mentions at the top of sections

When channels, direct messages, and apps all belong to the same section, you can choose to list direct messages and apps below the channels within that section:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Move items with unread Mentions 1 to top of sections.


Adjust your sidebar width

You can adjust the width of your sidebar to make it wider or narrower, or collapse it:

  • Click and drag the edge of your sidebar to adjust it to your preferred width.
  • Press ShiftD (Mac) or CtrlShiftD (Windows/Linux) to collapse or reopen the sidebar.

By default, the sidebar will collapse based on window size. If you'd like, you can adjust this preference:

  1. From your desktop, click your profile picture in the top right.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Sidebar in the left-side column.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Automatically close sidebar based on window size.
Who can use this feature?

In Slack, your sidebar is the access point for different parts of your workspace. You can tailor how it’s organized to suit your needs.


Customize the navigation bar

You’ll find the navigation bar on the outer edge of your sidebar. By default, it holds the different tabs you use to navigate Slack. If you’d like, you can customize the navigation bar to include the tools and tabs you use most.

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click   Navigation.
  4. Under Show these tabs in the navigation bar, check or uncheck the boxes next to the items you’d like to show or hide. Items you leave unchecked will appear when you hover over   More in the sidebar.


Customize the top of your sidebar

You can customize the top of your sidebar to always show or hide   Unreads,   Threads, and   Drafts & sent.

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Under Always show in the sidebar, check or uncheck the boxes next to the sidebar items you’d like to show or hide.


Reorder sidebar sections

By default, your sidebar will be divided into the following sections:

  • Channels
  • Starred
  • Direct messages
  • Apps
  • External connections

To rearrange these sections, click the section header and drag it to your desired location in the sidebar.


Choose which conversations to show

If you’re in fewer than 30 channels, you’ll see All your conversations in your sidebar by default. Once you belong to 30 or more channels, the conversations shown in your sidebar will switch to Unreads only. You can always choose from the following options to adjust how conversations appear in your sidebar:

  • Unreads only
    Conversations with unread messages will appear bolded in the sidebar. Muted and read conversations will be automatically collapsed into a section header. To see the read conversations in a section, click the section header.
  • Mentions only
    Conversations where you’ve been mentioned will show a badge and appear bolded in the sidebar. All other conversations will be collapsed into a section header.
  • All your conversations
    Every conversation you belong to will appear in its section in the sidebar.

Here’s how to adjust your sidebar preferences:

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Under Show, choose which conversations to show.


Sort your conversations

Desktop

Mobile

Sort conversations in your sidebar alphabetically or by recent activity. On paid plans, you can also sort your conversations by priority to list the ones you use most at the top.

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Under Sort, select an option.

Tip: On paid plans, you can create custom sections and decide which conversations are shown and how they're sorted.

The  Home tab contains a list of your conversations, similar to the sidebar on your desktop. By default, these will be sorted alphabetically or by section if you use custom sections. You can choose to sort these conversations by recent activity instead:

  1. From the  Home tab, tap the list icon in the top right.
  2. Select a sorting option from the list.  


Show or hide profile photos

By default, peoples’ profile photos will appear next to direct messages (DMs) in your sidebar. If you’d like, you can adjust this preference:

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Show profile photos next to DMs.


List private channels separately

By default, all channels will be listed together in your sidebar. You can choose to list private channels separately from public channels:

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Separate private channels from public ones in sidebar.


List direct messages and apps separately

When channels, DMs, and apps all belong to the same section, you can choose to list DMs and apps below the channels:

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Separate direct messages and apps from channels in sidebar.


List mentions at the top of sections

If you'd like, you can move messages with unread mentions to the top of the sections they belong to: 

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Move items with unread Mentions 1 to top of sections.


Organize external conversations

If you work with external people in Slack Connect, you can organize the conversations in a separate section: 

  1. Click your profile picture in the sidebar.
    Static image of a cursor clicking the profile picture menu in the Slack app
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click  Home.
  4. Check or uncheck the box next to Organize external conversations into the External Connections section.


Adjust your sidebar width

You can adjust the width of your sidebar, or collapse it:

  • Click and drag the edge of your sidebar to adjust it to your preferred width.
  • Press ShiftD (Mac) or CtrlShiftD (Windows/Linux) in the Slack desktop app to collapse or reopen the sidebar.
Who can use this feature?