Organize your sidebar with custom sections

If you’re using Slack on the Standard, Plus, or Enterprise Grid plan, you can sort your channels, direct messages (DMs), and apps into custom sections within your sidebar. This allows you to organize your conversations in ways that are tailored to you — whether they’re sorted by projects, teams, or the type of work you’re doing.

What to expect

  • Custom sections you create are only visible to you and won't affect what your teammates see in their sidebars.
  • Custom sections can only be created in Slack from your desktop, but you can view and move conversations in and out of your custom sections from both your desktop and mobile devices.
  • In an Enterprise Grid organization, your custom sections will apply to all your workspaces. You’ll only see channels in custom sections if the channels have been added to the workspace you’re viewing them in.

Animation of moving conversations into custom sections

Note: If you’re using the free version of Slack, you won't be able to use custom sections. Instead, read about ways to manage your sidebar preferences, or learn how to upgrade your workspace.


Create custom sections

You can create custom sections from your sidebar.

  1. From your desktop, hover over Channels in the left sidebar and click
    the  three dots icon.
  2. Select Create new section.
  3. Type the name of your custom section, or select one of the suggestions.
  4. If you’d like, click the smiley face icon to select an emoji to display beside your custom section.
  5. Click Create.


Organize your conversations

Edit your sidebar

You can move multiple conversations to custom sections at once, allowing you to quickly and easily organize your sidebar.

  1. From your desktop, hover over Channels in the left sidebar and click
    the  three dots icon.
  2. Click Edit sidebar.
  3. Check the boxes next to the conversations you’d like to move.
  4. Click Move to at the bottom of your sidebar, then select a section.
  5. To move conversations into other custom sections, repeat these steps.
  6. Click Done to finish editing your sidebar.

Tip: You can also use the steps above to create new custom sections. After clicking Move to, select Move to new section, then follow the prompts to create a new custom section.

Move a conversation to a section

Once you’ve created custom sections, you can move individual conversations around.

Desktop

Mobile

You can drag and drop a conversation to a section in your sidebar to quickly move it, or follow the steps below to move a conversation you’re viewing:

  1. Open the channel or DM you'd like to move.
  2. Hover over the right side of the  star icon (or the emoji associated with the custom section) beside the channel or member name(s).
  3. Click the  arrow icon.
  4. Select a custom section from the list.
  1. Open the channel or DM you'd like to move.
  2. Tap the  details icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap and hold the  star icon (or the emoji associated with the custom section) in the top right.
  4. Tap a custom section from the list.


Remove a conversation from a section

If you no longer need a conversation in a custom section, you can remove it. The conversation will still be accessible in the Channels or Direct messages section of your sidebar.

Desktop

Mobile

  1. Open the channel or DM you'd like to remove.
  2. Click the  star icon (or the emoji associated with the custom section) next to the channel or member’s name.
  1. Open the channel or DM you'd like to remove.
  2. Tap the  details icon in the top-right corner.
  3. Tap the  star icon (or the emoji associated with the custom section) in the top right.


Rename or delete custom sections

You can change the name or emoji associated with a custom section at any time. If you no longer need a custom section, you can delete it. 

  1. From your desktop, hover over a custom section name in the left sidebar.
  2. Click the  three dots icon.
  3. Select Rename [section name] or Delete [section name].


Manage conversation display

Display only unread conversations

You can choose to display all your conversations or only unread conversations within custom sections in your sidebar. You can adjust this preference for each of your custom sections.

  1. From your desktop, hover over a custom section name in the left sidebar.
  2. Click the  three dots icon.
  3. Select Show, then choose All your conversations or Unread conversations only.


Sort your conversations

You can adjust your sorting preference for each of your custom sections. You can choose to sort conversations by recent activity, alphabetically, or by priority:

  • Recent activity: Conversations with recent activity will be listed at the top of the custom section.
  • Alphabetically: Conversations will display in alphabetical order.
  • Priority: Conversations you use most frequently will be listed at the top of a custom section.
  1. From your desktop, hover over any custom section name in the left sidebar.
  2. Click the  three dots icon.
  3. Select Sort, then choose your sorting preference.

Tip: Click the   or  arrow icons to collapse or expand individual sections. Press Option (Mac) or Alt (Windows/Linux) and click any custom section in your sidebar to collapse or expand all sections at once.

Who can use this feature?
  • All members and guests
  • Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid plans