Manage your sidebar preferences

Over time, the number of channels and direct messages (DMs) you’re a part of may grow. If this happens, the list of conversations in your sidebar will become longer. There are a few ways you can manage your sidebar preferences to be more tailored to the way you work.

Tip: If your workspace is on the Standard, Plus, or Enterprise Grid plan, learn how to organize channels with custom sections in your sidebar.

 

Understanding your sidebar

At the top of your sidebar, you’ll see certain options such as Threads, Mentions & reactions, and Saved items. While this part of your sidebar is fixed and cannot be customized, you can collapse and expand this list at any time. There are a few preferences available for organizing the rest of your sidebar. Keep reading to learn more.

Sidebar in the Slack desktop app

 

Star channels and direct messages

The Starred section in your sidebar helps you organize the conversations that are important to you, so you can easily reference them later. This section will appear in your sidebar after the first time you star a channel or DM. To learn more, visit Star channels and direct messages.

 

Manage the conversations you see

By default, Slack will display all the channels you’re a part of and the DMs you use most frequently in your sidebar. To manage the conversations you see, you can choose to show all your conversations or unread conversations only.

Free plan

Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans

On the free version of Slack, the preference you choose will apply to all of your channels and DMs. Manage the conversations you see by using the steps below.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Sidebar.
  4. Under Show, choose either All your conversations or Unread conversations only.

On the Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans, manage the conversations you see by choosing a preference for specific sections in your sidebar. Visit Organize conversations with custom sections to learn more.

 

Sort your conversations

By default, the conversations in your sidebar appear in alphabetical order. If your workspace is on a paid plan, you can enable priority sorting to move the conversations you use most frequently to the top of your channel and DM list. Keep in mind that the conversations you see with priority sorting enabled may change over time, depending on how you’re using Slack.

Note: The preference to enable priority sorting is only available on the Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Sidebar.
  4. Under Sort all conversations, choose Alphabetically, or By priority, based on how you use Slack.