Set 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.

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


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.

List of items at the top of the left sidebar in Slcak

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.

 

Choose which conversations to show

By default, your sidebar will show all the channels you’ve joined and the direct messages (DMs) you use the most.

Free version

Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans

If you'd like, you can choose to show either all your conversations or unread conversations only:

  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 either All your conversations or Unread conversations only.

For each section in your sidebar, you can choose to show all your conversations or unread conversations only:

  1. From your desktop, hover over Channels, Direct messages, or a custom section in your sidebar.
  2. Click the  three dots icon, then hover over Show to select an option from the menu.

Tip: You can star channels or DMs so they’re easier to come back to. These conversations will appear in the Starred section of your sidebar.


Sort your conversations

Free version

Standard, Plus, and Enterprise Grid plans

You can sort conversations in your sidebar alphabetically or by recent activity:

  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.

You can sort conversations in your sidebar by recent activity, alphabetically, or by priority to list the ones you use the most at the top:

  1. From your desktop, hover over Channels, Direct messages, or a custom section in your sidebar.
  2. Click the  three dots icon, then hover over Show to select an option from the menu.


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 boxes 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 boxes next to List private channels separately.


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.
Who can use this feature?