Move data to Slack using a CSV or text file

Switching to Slack? Move your data from any platform, like Microsoft Teams and Skype, using our import tool and a CSV or delimited text file. For information on importing data to Slack from other platforms, see Import data to Slack.


Set up your CSV or text file

To get started, you'll need to set up your CSV/text file so it can be uploaded to a Slack workspace. Follow these rules to make sure your data is imported successfully:

  • Separate messages by row
  • Multi-line messages should be represented by raw newlines, but the text must be enclosed in "
  • Separate message data by column. Columns must follow this order: timestamp, channel, username, text
  • Sort messages by timestamp (earlier messages first)
  • All data must be in a single, uncompressed file
  • HTML will be escaped or skipped, with the exception of links shared in messages

Here’s an example of what the file should look like:

"1357559471","team-marketing","kathleen","When do our new print ads launch? I need to coordinate with the agency about our big event."
"1357559472","team-marketing","olivia","Very soon!”

Note: at this time only the basics (channels, messages and user accounts) can be imported via CSV/text file. For some other platforms, more robust types of data can be imported using our other import tools.


Upload your file to Slack

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Administration then Workspace settings from the menu.
  3. Click Import/Export Data in the top right.
  4. Click Import next to CSV/Text File.
  5. Click Choose File under Your CSV File. A comma is the default but you can change your Delimiter.
  6. Click Start Import. Keep the Import page open while your file uploads. When finished, you'll get an email and a prompt to continue on the page.
  7. From the email, click View Summary. On the Imports page, click Information required. Next, map your user and channel data.


Map user and channel data

Once your file has finished uploading, it’s time to map where data should go in Slack.

  1. First, map users: review the menu to choose how you’ll map users to existing members in Slack. If Create & invite user or Create a disabled user without inviting them is chosen, an email address is required.
  2. Choose Batch Actions for all users. Toggle to Unmapped to apply actions to anyone not mapped to existing users or All to apply actions to all users. Or, under View Users, apply an action to each user.
  3. Next, map channels: review the menu to choose how you’ll map channels in Slack. When a channel name matches an existing public channel, it will map automatically to merge. If no public channel name matches, a new channel will be created.
  4. Under Batch Actions, you can choose an option to apply to all channels. Or, under View Channels, choose an action for each channel separately.
  5. Click Save changes.
  6. Review your import, then click Yes, proceed with this import

Note: some messages may not be imported if the channel and user who posted the message are not both moved to Slack.