Message and file threads

Who can use this feature?
  • All members and guests can use this feature 
  • FreeStandardPlus and Enterprise Grid subscriptions

Threads let you respond directly to a message in a channel, keeping the replies, images and other files organised neatly in a single threaded conversation. Threaded replies and their files stay connected to the original message and only those who have contributed to or are following the thread will be notified.

Why use threads?

  • Clearly tie your thoughts and feedback to a specific message or file.
  • Encourage open discussion without distracting others.
  • Organise conversations and preserve meaningful context.

Thread etiquette: Yes, it’s a thing! Jump down to our guide to using threads for more. ✨


Start or reply to a thread

Ask questions, add context or give feedback on a specific message or file – all without disrupting a channel’s flow.

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  1. Hover over the message or file you want to reply to.
  2. Click the  Start a thread icon (or hover over the replies and click View thread).
  3. Compose your message.
  4. Click Send
  1. Tap the message you want to reply to.
  2. Tap the  Start a thread icon (or Add a reply in the message field).
  3. Add a reply of your own to start or join the thread.
  4. Tap Send.
  1. Tap the message you want to reply to.
  2. Click the  Start a thread icon (or Add a reply in the message field).
  3. Add a reply of your own to start or join the thread.
  4. Tap the  paper plane icon to send.
  1. Tap the message you want to reply to.
  2. Select the Start a thread button.
  3. Tap the  paper plane icon to send.

Note: File threads stay connected to the original message that contains the file, not to the file itself. If you share just a file rather than the entire message, no file replies will be shared.

Send a reply to the entire channel

Replies to a thread don’t distract from a channel’s main flow of conversation. This helps things carry on seamlessly without disruption. However, if a wider audience would benefit from seeing your reply, you can also post it in the channel. 📢

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  1. Click the  Start a thread icon (or  Reply to thread if one is already in progress).
  2. Compose your message.
  3. Tick the box to the left of Also send to #channel-name.
  4. Click Send.
  1. Tap the message or file you want to reply to. 
  2. Tap the  Start a thread icon (or   [number of] replies if one is already in progress).
  3. Compose your message. 
  4. Tick the box next to Also send to #channelname.
  5. Tap Send to share your reply with the entire channel.
  1. Tap the message or file you want to reply to.
  2. Tap the  Start a thread icon (or   [number of] replies if one is already in progress).
  3. Tick the box to the left of Also send to #channel
  4. Compose your message. 
  5. Tap the  paper plane icon to send.
  1. Tap the message or file you want to reply to, then tap Start a thread.
  2. Tick the box to the left of Also send to #channel-name
  3. Compose your message. 
  4. Tap the  paper plane icon to send.


Catch up on new replies

Follow a thread

If you start or reply to a thread or are @-mentioned in the original message, you’ll automatically get notified of new replies in the All threads view. If you don’t have anything to add just yet, you can manually follow the thread to stay in the loop:

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  1. Hover over a message or file you want to follow.
  2. Click the   More actions icon.
  3. Select Follow thread from the menu to receive notifications for all new replies.
  1. Tap the message or file you want to follow.
  2. Tap the   More actions icon.
  3. Tap Follow thread
  1. Tap the message or file you want to track.
  2. Tap the  More actions icon in the top right.
  3. Tap Follow message.
  1. Tap the message or file you want to track.
  2. Tap the  More actions icon found under the original item in the thread.
  3. Tap follow this thread.

Note: If you @mention a member or user group in the thread, they will automatically begin following the thread and be notified of all new replies. They can choose to unfollow if they like.

Unfollow a thread

If you don’t want to receive notifications of new replies, you can unfollow a thread:

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  1. Open the All threads view at the top of the channel list.
  2. In the thread you want to unfollow, hover over the original message or file.
  3. Click the   More actions icon.
  4. Choose Unfollow thread from the menu.
  1. Open the All threads view at the top of the channel list.
  2. Tap the thread you want to unfollow.
  3. Tap the   More actions icon below the thread’s original message or file.
  4. Tap Unfollow thread in the menu. 
  1. Open the All threads view at the top of the channel list.
  2. Tap the thread you want to unfollow.
  3. Tap the   More actions icon below the thread’s original message or file.
  4. Tap Unfollow thread in the menu.
  1. Open the All threads view at the top of the channel list.
  2. Tap the thread you want to unfollow.
  3. Tap the   More actions icon below the thread’s original message or file.
  4. Tap unfollow this thread in the menu.


View all thread replies

Open the All threads view – at the top of your channel list – to catch up on threads you follow.

Reply to a thread, jump back to the original channel or unfollow threads, all from one convenient location. If you have new thread replies waiting, the section will be labelled as New threads instead.

Tip: On the desktop app, open the All threads view from your keyboard: ShiftT (Mac) or CtrlShiftT (Windows/Linux).


A guide to using threads

  • Threading vs. sharing messages.
    Threads work best when you want to keep your response connected to the original idea or file. Sharing a message is best used to rekindle past conversations or highlight specific messages from one channel to another. 
  • Threads are sticky. 
    When you share a message or a message containing a file, any threaded replies will be shared along with the item. This keeps the conversation about the original item ready and accessible.
  • Avoid hiding info in threads.
    A thread’s discussion won’t appear in a channel’s main view unless you share your reply with the channel. If other members would benefit from seeing your message, share it in channel rather than in a thread.
  • Threads are courteous.
    They help keep channels focused and prevent active discussions from becoming derailed. However, if you want others to see your reply in a thread,
    send it to the entire channel just like a regular message in Slack.
     

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