Manage your sidebar preferences

Over time, the number of channels and direct messages (DMs) that 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 in which you can manage your sidebar preferences so that they’re more tailored to the way you work.

Tip: If your workspace is on the Standard, Plus or Enterprise Grid subscription, learn how to organise 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 customised, you can collapse and expand this list at any time. There are a few preferences available for organising 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 to organise the conversations that are important to you, so that you can easily reference them later. This section will appear in your sidebar after the first time that you Star a channel or DM. To learn more, visit Star channels and direct messages.

 

Manage the conversations that you see

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

Free subscription

Standard, Plus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions

On the free version of Slack, the preference you choose will apply to all of your channels and DMs. Manage the conversations that 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 subscriptions, you can manage the conversations that you see by choosing a preference for specific sections in your sidebar. Visit Organise conversations with custom sections to learn more.

Tip: You can click and drag the edge of your sidebar to adjust the width, or press ShiftD (Mac) or CtrlShiftD (Windows/Linux) to collapse and open it.

 

Sort your conversations

By default, the conversations in your sidebar appear in alphabetical order. If your workspace is on a paid subscription, you can enable priority sorting to move the conversations that you use most frequently to the top of your channel and DM list. Keep in mind that the conversations that 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 subscriptions.

  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.