Import data into Slack

Note: We’re making improvements to Slack imports. Importing data from private channels and DMs when merging workspaces is currently unavailable. Please contact us with any questions.

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:

Note: We don’t fully support imports into Enterprise Grid organisations. As an alternative, you can import data into 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 and their associated accounts
  • Channels
    Public channels, with message history and files included

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

 

Using Slack while running an import

If you’re importing into an active Slack workspace, bear the following in mind while the import is running:

  • Members can use the workspace as usual.
  • Avoid 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.

 

Upload your export 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 the service you’re importing from.
  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 bigger than 2 GB, 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.

 

Review user import settings and choose which data to add

If you’re importing data into 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 address.
  • Import as new users and invite them to Slack
    Add users as new members and invite them to your workspace.
  • Import as deactivated users
    Users’ messages will be added to Slack and associated with a deactivated account. Once you’re ready, you can reactivate these users so they can start using Slack.
  • Don’t import these users – just their messages
    Users’ public messages will be imported into 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.

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 drop-down menu next to their name.
  2. Or open the main drop-down menu and select an option to choose one import setting for all users.
  3. Once you’ve finished, click Next to continue.

Note: Members without an email address will be imported to Slack as bot users. You can leave them as they are or create Slack accounts for them.

 

Review channel import settings and choose which data to add

Note: We’re making improvements to Slack imports. Importing data from private channels and DMs when merging workspaces is currently unavailable. Please contact us with any questions.

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 your previous 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 (and 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 drop-down menu and select an option to choose one import setting for all channels.
  3. Once you’ve finished, click Next to continue.

Note: 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.

 

Review summary and run import

  1. Review your selected data to make sure everything looks alright.
  2. If you need to make any final changes to your import, click Edit. This will take you back to Step 4 in the import workflow, where you can update channel data. To modify users, select Choose users to import.
  3. Click Next to return to the import summary.
  4. Once you’re ready to import your data, click Import. The import progress bar will indicate how much of your data has been imported. You’ll also see Importing… next to the data currently being moved into Slack.
  5. We’ll send you an email once your import is complete. 

Note: Bear in mind that large imports take time and could temporarily affect your Slack app’s performance.


Troubleshooting imports

If your import stops before it’s completed, please contact us so we can help get things back on track.

To roll back a completed import, click Reverse import. 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 subscriptions

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