What is a channel?

Slack organizes conversations into dedicated spaces called channels. Channels bring order and clarity to work — you can create them for any project, topic, or team. With the right people and information in one place, teams can share ideas, make decisions, and move work forward.

Tip: Learn how to use Slack Connect to securely work with people outside your organization in the same channel.

Public vs. private channels

In Slack, channels can be public or private.

  • Public channels promote transparency and inclusivity. Any member of your workspace (but not guests) can view and join a public channel, giving everyone access to the same shared information. Messages or files posted in a public channel can be searched by other members of your workspace.
  • Private channels are for conversations that should not be open to all members. People must be added to a private channel by someone who's already a member of the channel. Messages or files posted in a private channel can only be searched by members of that channel.

Tip: When you create a channel, you can decide if it should be public or private. If you need to change this setting later, learn how to convert the channel.

The #general channel

Every Slack workspace has a #general channel, which is the only channel that members (but not guests) are automatically added to and unable to leave. This channel works best when it’s used for sharing workspace-wide announcements. The #general channel can’t be archived, deleted, or converted to a private channel. 

Channel tips and best practices