Feature limitations on the free version of Slack

As you consider whether to change from a paid subscription to the free version of Slack, or whether you'll upgrade when your trial ends, use this guide to understand how your access to features will change and how that may impact the way you manage projects, work with external partners and automate your work.

Tip: Members in your workspace might be using paid features more than you realise. Before making the decision to change subscriptions, check with your team to learn how they'll be impacted.


Message history

Slack_H_LGif_04_MessageHistory_16x9.gifYou can search your message and file history for all the conversations that you have access to, and find decisions that have been made about past projects or files that have been shared during meetings.

On the free version of Slack, you’ll be limited to your most recent 90 days of message and file history. Older history isn't deleted, but it will be hidden until you upgrade. Review your workspace analytics before you downgrade for an overview of how many messages and files will be hidden by the 90-day limit.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the sidebar.
    image of an example workspace name
  2. Hover over Tools & settings, then click Analytics.
  3. From the Overview tab, click Last 30 days, then select All time.
  4. Scroll to Where conversations happen to see how many messages are in your workspace, and when they were sent.
  5. To review the data outside of Slack, click Export.

 

Customised sections

Decorative gif illustrating sidebar sectionsCustom sections let members of your workspace group channels and direct messages (DMs) in the sidebar into sections that work best for them. When you downgrade to the free version, the conversations that members of your workspace have organised into custom sections will be reorganised into one of three default sections: Channels, DMs and Starred.

Note: Custom sections are unique to everyone who uses Slack. Members of your workspace might be using custom sections to organise their conversations, even if you aren't.  

 

Group huddles

Decorative gif illustrating multiple people on a huddleGroup discussions for project kickoffs and brainstorming sessions with your entire team can happen at the click of a button with group huddles, no third-party voice or video software required.

Once you downgrade from a paid subscription, you’ll be limited to one-on-one huddles in DMs.

Tip: Start a group huddle in a project channel to lead a meeting, and add notes in the huddle thread to keep details and action items all in one place.

 

Slack Connect

Decorative gif illustrating a Slack Connect channelWith Slack Connect, you can collaborate with external organisations who also use Slack, without leaving your workspace.

Once you're on the free version, Slack Connect channels will disconnect, and you’ll be limited to working with external partners one-on-one, in DMs. Check to see which companies you’re working with in channels by reviewing your External Connections before you downgrade.

  1. From your desktop, hover over   More.
  2. Select   External connections.
  3. Click on a company name to review the channels you collaborate in.

 

Guest accounts

Guest accounts allow you to invite external people to your workspace and limit their access to specific channels. They're perfect for working with contractors who don't have their own Slack workspace, but shouldn't have access to every conversation in yours.

Upon downgrading to the free version, any existing guest accounts will be deactivated. To keep working with your guests, you'll need to reactivate them as full members, giving them access to your entire workspace. Check how many guest accounts your team is using from the admin dashboard:

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the sidebar.
    image of an example workspace name
  2. Hover over Tools & settings, then click Manage members.
  3. Click   Filter, then tick the boxes next to Multi-Channel Guest and Single-Channel Guest

 

Canvases

Decorative gif illustrating canvases in SlackYou can create canvases to keep lightweight documents easily accessible in Slack – think project outlines, to-do lists and meeting agendas. Canvases reduce the need to switch between the different programs that you use to do your work.

When you downgrade, the canvases in your workspace will be converted to read-only and you won’t be able to create new ones.

Browse the Canvases tab to view canvases you have access to, and remember that there may also be canvases in your workspace that haven’t been shared with you.

  1. Hover over   More, then click   Canvases.
  2. Use the Filter and Sort options to find what you need, or search for a specific canvas in the search bar.

 

Lists

Lists are a task management tool that you can use to collaborate on project work, create team priorities, triage requests from channels in Slack and more. When you downgrade, you’ll no longer have access to lists.

Browse the Lists tab to view lists that you have access to, and remember that others in your workspace may be using lists that they haven't shared with you.

  1. Hover over   More, then click   Lists.
  2. Use the Filter and Sort options to find what you need, or search for a specific canvas in the search bar.

 

Custom user groups

Decorative gif illustrating a user groupUser groups make it easier to send notifications or communicate with entire teams – just like an email distribution list.

On the free version, everyone will be removed from user groups and you won’t be able to create new ones. Check which user groups exist in your workspace from the People tab.

  1. From your desktop, hover over   More.
  2. Click   People.
  3. Select User groups from the sidebar.
  4. Type a team name, project or department in the search field.
  5. Click on a group to view its members.

 

Single sign-on and authentication

If you've set up OAuth with Google or SAML single sign-on (SSO) your members will need to create a Slack-specific password to sign in to Slack going forwards. 

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the sidebar.
    image of an example workspace name
  2. Hover over Tools & settings, then select Workspace settings
  3. Click the Authentication tab to review your single sign-on settings. 

 

Workflow Builder

Decorative gif illustrating a Workflow BuilderWorkflows give your team time back by taking routine processes and automating them.

Existing workflows will stop working when you downgrade, and you won’t be able to create new ones. Routine tasks like submitting and triaging Help Desk requests, collecting feedback after a meeting or sending weekly recurring messages will need to be completed manually. Review the workflows your team uses regularly from the workflow dashboard.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the sidebar.
    image of an example workspace name
  2. Hover over Tools & settings, then click Manage workflows to open the Slack App Directory.
  3. Click Published workflows.

 

Apps and integrations

Decorative gif illustrating apps in SlackOn the free version of Slack, you’ll be limited to 10 third-party or custom app installations. If you use more than this, you’ll need to uninstall some apps to make space for new ones. You can see which apps are installed in your workspace in the Slack App Directory.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the sidebar.
    image of an example workspace name
  2. Hover over Tools & settings, then click Manage apps to open the Slack App Directory.
  3. Click Installed Apps in the left sidebar.

Tip: See which apps members of the Slack Community are putting to use in their own workspaces on the Slack Community Forum.

 

More features only available on paid subscriptions

Downgrading will also remove your access to the following paid features:

Slack's paid subscriptions are designed for you to do your best work, with features specific to collaboration and productivity. If you choose to downgrade but change your mind later, you can upgrade your workspace at any time.

If you have questions about changing between subscriptions, contact us – we'd love to help!