What is a channel?

Slack organises 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 forwards.

Tip: Learn how to use Slack Connect to securely work with people outside your organisation 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 whether 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 are 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