Import data to Slack

Are you starting a new Slack workspace or looking to merge two existing workspaces? If so, you can use our import tool to upload an export file with member and channel data from one of these sources:

For more details, review our Guide to Slack import and export tools.

Note: We don't fully support imports to Enterprise Grid organizations. As an alternative, you can import data to a separate workspace, then migrate that workspace to your org.


Data you can add to Slack

This depends on where your data is coming from: a third-party app listed above, a different service, or another Slack workspace. In most cases, you can import:

  • Members
    All users, their public messages, and associated accounts
  • Channels
    Public channels, with message history and files included

Note: Some of a user's messages may not be imported if the channel they were posted to is not also moved over to Slack.


Using Slack while running an import

If you're importing to an active Slack workspace, keep the following in mind while the import is running:

  • Members can use the workspace as usual.
  • Hold off on making certain changes (e.g., activating or deactivating members, deleting or renaming channels) to ensure all data copies over properly.
  • The amount of data you're importing determines how long an import will take. Because each import will vary in size (number of channels, users, and files) we're unable to provide a time estimate.


Step 1: Upload your export file to Slack

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Workspace settings.
  3. From the Settings page, click Import/Export Data in the top right.
  4. Click Import next to your import source.
  5. For Slack, Hipchat, Stride, Chatwork, or a CSV or text file, click Choose File, attach your file, then click Start Import. For Flowdock, click Authenticate Your Flowdock Account. For Campfire, enter your Campfire URL and API token.
  6. Keep the Import page open while your file is uploading. You'll get an email when it's done, and see a prompt to continue on the page. From the email, click Continue your import; from the page, click Next.

Note: If your export file is greater than 2GB, you'll need to upload it to a secure cloud service (Google Drive, Dropbox, or Box). Copy the link generated for your file, then paste it into the Direct download link text field to upload it to Slack.


Step 2: Review user import settings and choose which data to add

When importing data to an existing Slack workspace with active members, you'll see additional options for importing users.

User import settings

  • Merge users
    Merge users and existing Slack workspace members with the same email.
  • Import as new users and invite them to Slack
    Add users as new members and send workspace invitations.
  • Import as deactivated users
    Add users as new members with deactivated accounts. Invitations will not be sent, but users' messages will be added to Slack and associated with their accounts. Once your import is complete, you can reactivate these users' accounts so they can start using Slack.
  • Don't import these users – just their messages
    Users' messages will be imported to Slack and associated with their names, but accounts will not be created for them.
  • Don't import these users or their messages
    Exclude users, their messages, and files from Slack.

Note: Users cannot be imported as guests or merged into existing guest accounts. You can import these users as deactivated users then reactivate them as guest accounts when the import is done.

Choose users to import

  1. Click the arrow icon  next to Show users to review users' pre-selected import settings. To change an individual user's import setting, open the dropdown menu next to their name.
  2. Or open the main dropdown menu and select an option to choose one import setting for all users.
  3. When you're finished, click Next to continue.

Reminder: Choosing one import setting for all users may overwrite individual users' settings.


Step 3: Review channel import settings and choose which data to add

As with importing users, you'll see the option to merge matching public channels if you're adding data to an existing Slack workspace. If you've exported data from a workspace with access to Corporate Exports, you'll be able to import private channels and direct messages (DMs) when merging two Slack workspaces.

Channel import settings

  • Create new channels, maintaining privacy
    Create channels in Slack and carry over privacy settings from a third-party service.
  • Create new public channels
    Create public channels in Slack regardless of previous channel privacy settings.
  • Create new private channels
    Create private channels in Slack regardless of previous channel privacy settings.
  • Merge with existing Slack channels
    Merge channels with matching names.
  • Don't import
    Exclude channels, their messages, and files from Slack.

Choose channels to add

  1. Click the arrow icon  next to Show channels to review channels' pre-selected import settings.
  2. Or open the main dropdown menu and select an option to choose one import setting for all channels.
  3. When you're done, click Next to continue.

If an existing private channel in Slack shares the same name as a channel you're importing, the two won't be merged. For privacy reasons, a new channel will be created.

Note: When channels are created during an import, a channel creator is added to each channel. If the original channel creator is set to “Don’t import” or “Don’t import this user, just their messages” the Workspace Owner or Admin running the import may be added to channels they were not a member of in the original workspace, and listed as the channel creator.


Step 4: Review the summary and start your import

Now you're ready to import your data to Slack. Keep in mind that large imports take time and could temporarily affect your Slack app's performance.

  1. Review the information in your import summary and make sure everything looks right.
  2. Click Start Import.
  3. Once your import has finished, you'll receive a confirmation email.

To roll back an import, use the Reverse Import button. This action will remove imported channels and messages from your Slack workspace, but not members.

Who can use this feature?
  • Workspace Owners and Admins
  • Free, Standard, and Plus plans