Deploy Slack for macOS

As an IT administrator, you can gain more control over Slack desktop app installations and updates by choosing where to install the app and disabling automatic updates. When you install the Slack app to your employees’ machines, the app will install to the /Applications folder and update automatically whenever a new version is released.

Note: If you disable automatic updates, we recommend updating the app regularly to make sure that you’re running the most secure version and have access to new features.


Install Slack on shared machines

Slack can be used by multiple users on the same machine. You can install Slack to a user’s /Applications or ~/Applications folder. Compare the two methods below to determine which installation is right for your organisation.

/Applications

  • All users on the machine use the same installation of Slack.
  • Updates made to Slack apply for all users on the machine.
  • Users must be administrators to update Slack.

~/Applications

  • Each user on a shared machine has their own installation of Slack.
  • Updates made to one instance of Slack do not affect other users on the same machine.
  • Users do not need to be administrators to update Slack.

Distribute Slack 

Once you’ve selected an installation type, download a build of the Slack desktop app. There are three possible builds: the Intel (x64) build, the Apple Silicon (arm64) build and the Universal build (x64 or arm64). When distributing Slack, ensure that you’re using the correct version of the Slack app for your employees’ machines.

Note: The Universal build works on Intel and Apple Silicon machines. Bear in mind that the installation file is much larger than the other builds.


Disable automatic updates

You can disable automatic updates on a per-user basis. This is helpful for testing new versions of the Slack app before releasing them, or for gradually rolling out app updates. To maintain app reliability and security, we recommend updating Slack whenever a new app version is released.

To prevent Slack from automatically checking for updates, run the following terminal command as each user who will be running Slack:

defaults write /Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.tinyspeck.slackmacgap.plist SlackNoAutoUpdates -bool YES

Use the following command to re-enable automatic updates: 

defaults write /Users/$USER/Library/Preferences/com.tinyspeck.slackmacgap.plist SlackNoAutoUpdates -bool NO


Allow users to update Slack

If Slack is installed to ~/Applications, users can update the app without special permissions. If Slack is installed to /Applications, users must be administrators of their Mac machines and have write access to slack.app and all files beneath it in order to update the app.

On a shared machine, we recommend creating a permissions group for all Slack users. You can then grant ownership and write access to that permissions group using the following terminal command. Replace example with the name of your permission group:

chown -R :example /Applications/Slack.app && chmod -R 755 /Applications/Slack.app

Tip: We have an RSS feed to notify you of Slack desktop app updates for Mac. Learn how to add RSS feeds to Slack.