Search for messages and files

Who can use this feature?
  • All members and Guests can use this feature. 
  • Available to teams on free and paid plans.

Search is one of Slack's core features: Messages and files you add to Slack are instantly searchable, so you can come back to the right documents and discussions when you need them.

Assisted search

Search is quick and easy in Slack — when you click the search box, we'll suggest search modifiers to help you narrow your results.

As you start typing in a search term, Slack will show you related channels, team members, and search history.

Search results

Search results are adaptive to help you find the conversation or file you’re looking for. Searching for a word like "slack" may show related terms such as "slacking" or "slacked" in search results.

Click the Jump link to view the conversation surrounding a message — Slack will automatically scroll back in the message window!

Sorting & filters

You can easily filter and sort your results to help you find exactly what you're looking for. To refine your search, try the following:

  • Toggle between the Messages and Files tabs to only browse results of either type.
  • Sort by the most Recent or the most Relevant messages and files.
  • Use the Include options to filter out messages from apps, bots, and channels that aren't relevant to your search.

Exclude channels from search

You can hide results from noisy channels, so messages and files in those conversations never show up in your search results.

  1. Click your team name to open the Team Menu.
  2. Choose Preferences.
  3. Select the Search tab.
  4. Add the channels you wish to exclude under Never show search results from these channels.

Keyboard shortcuts

⌘ + F (Mac)

Ctrl + F (Windows)

Search message history in the current channel or direct message

Up arrow 
Down arrow ↓

Shift ⇧ + tab ⇥

Quickly navigate suggested searches


Submit your search query


Search modifiers

Using modifiers in your Slack searches will help you narrow your search to specific team members, channels, files, and so on. Type + in the search box for a quick list to choose from.

Channels and direct messages


Searches just the messages and files in a specific channel.


Searches your direct messages with a specific team member.


Searches all messages that have been sent to you via DM.

Messages or files from a specific person


Limits your search to messages from a specific person in any channel or direct message.


Searches only messages you've sent, anywhere in Slack.

Links, starred items, and emoji reactions


Limits your search to messages that contain a URL.


Searches messages you've starred. (Your starred items can also be found in the channel info pane.)


Searches messages which have the :smile: emoji added as a reaction. (You can substitute :smile: for any emoji name.)

Dates and times





You can use these flexible keywords to keep things simple:


Note that week, month, and year refer to this week, this month, and this year.

Slack also supports specific date and range keywords, such as Tuesday, April, or 2014.


To enter specific dates, use the following formats:

United States




Note that DD-MM-YYYY is not supported.

Multiple modifiers

You can combine modifiers to search for something in a few different places. Let's say you're looking for a file, and remember that it was either @dylan or @samantha who uploaded it. You could search from:dylan from:samantha, then click the Files tab to see files uploaded by either person.


More about search

If you've made it this far, you may like to know more. See Advanced search in Slack if that's the case!