Search in Slack

With search in Slack, you can come back to the right messages and files when you need to, and discover new information while you’re at it. Read on to learn the ins and outs of how to search in Slack.


How to search in Slack

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  1. Click the search box and we'll suggest modifiers to help you narrow your results.

    searchinslack.png

  2. Start typing a search term – Slack will show you related channels, members, and search history.
  3. Hit Enter to view your search results.
  1. Tap the   magnifying glass icon in the top right.
  2. Type your search terms.
  3. Tap Messages or Files (you’re able to toggle between the two even after you’ve run your search).
  4. We’ll suggest ways you can format search terms and narrow your results. Select any recommendations you’d like.
  5. Tap Search.
  1. Tap the   magnifying glass icon in the top right.
  2. Type your search terms.
  3. Tap Messages or Files (you’re able to toggle between the two even after you’ve run your search).
  4. We’ll suggest ways you can format search terms and narrow your results. Select any recommendations you’d like.
  5. Tap the   magnifying glass icon on your device's keyboard to run your search.

Search is not currently available for the Slack app for Windows Phone at this time, but stay tuned for updates! 📻


Use search modifiers

Search modifiers help you to narrow your results to specific channels, members, files, and so on. Browse the list of ways to format your search terms to hone in on your search targets.  

Channels/DMs

People

Things

Dates/times

in:[channel] 

Searches just the messages and files in a specific channel.

in:@[display name]         

Searches your direct messages with a specific member.

to:me

Searches all direct messages that have been sent to you.

from:@[display name]      

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

from:me

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

has:star

Searches messages and files you've starred. (You can also click the star icon in the top-right corner to view items you've starred.)

has:pin

Searches pinned items in public channels and your own DMs.

has:link

Limits your search to messages that contain a URL.

has:reaction

Searches messages and files that have received a reaction

before:[date] Searches messages or files before a specified date.
after:[date] Searches messages and files after a specified date.
on:[date], [month], or [year] Searches messages and files on a specific date.
during:[date] Searches messages and files during a certain month or year. 

Tip: Use these flexible keywords to make searching by date even simpler: yesterday, today, week, month, or year. Week, month, and year refer to this week, month, and year.


To enter specific dates, use the following formats:

United States

MM/DD/YYYY
MM-DD-YYYY

International

YYYY-MM-DD
YYYY/MM/DD

Note: The following date format is not supported: DD-MM-YYYY

Multiple modifiers

You can combine modifiers to search for something in a few different places.

Let's say you're looking for a file — it was sent by either Andrea or Sandra, but you can’t recall who uploaded it. You can search from:@andrea @sandra, then click the Files tab to see files uploaded by either person. Here’s what this will look like on your desktop:

Screen_Shot_2017-10-03_at_2.22.36_PM.png

 

Understand search results

Search results are adaptive to help you find what you’re looking for. For example, searching for a word like "report" may show results for related terms like "reporting" or "reports". Keep in mind, if you're searching for messages or files, you'll only see results that contain all of your search terms.

Read on to learn how to how to read, sort, and filter your results so you can find what you need, fast.

How to read your desktop search results

All

Messages

Files

The All tab summarizes all the results from your search. 

🙋 People & Channels: If your workspace is on a paid plan, you’ll see which members most frequently discuss your search term and in which channels. Click the arrow on the right to see where discussions are taking place and who you can possible talk to for more info.

📂  Top Files: A list of files that best match your search and that are most likely to matter to you.

💌  Top Messages: A list of messages that best match your search and that are most likely to matter to you.

The Messages tab will list all messages that fit your search criteria. Each result will include the date and time the message was posted, and in which channel.

To get a preview of the original conversation, click Expand. To open a search result in its original channel, click Jump

Under the Files tab, you’ll find a simple list of all the files that fit your search terms. Once you've located your file, simply hover over it for more options.  

Note: The word "a" is ignored by search, along with these other common terms: an, and, are, as, at, be, but, by, for, if, in, into, is, it, no, not, of, on, or, s, such, t, that, the, their, then, there, these, they, this, to, was, will, with.

Tips for sorting and filtering your results

Knowing how to filter and sort your search results in Slack can help you find exactly what you're looking for. Below are some tips to help you navigate your results. Go ahead, give them a try!

Desktop

iOS

Android

Windows Phone

  • Toggle between Messages and Files to only browse results of either type — or select All to see a summary of all results.
  • Under Include, you can choose whether files from integrations & bots or files from channels you don't have open are included in your search.
  • Under the Files tab, you can specify the file type you're looking for: click All File Types to choose.
  • Under the Messages tab, sort by the most Recent or the most Relevant.
  • Toggle between Messages and Files to browse results of either type.
  • Swipe down to apply additional modifiers to your search results.
  • Toggle between Messages and Files to browse results of either type.
  • Tap the back button to apply a different search modifier.
Search is not currently available for the Slack app for Windows Phone at this time, but stay tuned for updates! 📻


Exclude channels from search

If you have some noisy public channels in your workspace, you can exclude them from your desktop searches to help keep your search results relevant.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
     Team_Menu.png
  2. Choose Preferences from the menu.
  3. Click Search.
  4. Under Don't search these channels, click the box to pick channels to exclude.
    Screen_Shot_2017-01-24_at_3.34.32_PM.png

 

Use keyboard shortcuts

You can use the following keyboard shortcuts on your desktop to help you search and navigate more efficiently. 

 

Action Shortcut
Search the current channel or conversation

F
(Mac)

CtrlF
(Windows)

Navigate search results or
Move focus to the next element Tab
Move focus to the previous element ShiftTab
Submit your search query Enter

 

Advanced search

Now that we've covered the basics, check out Advanced search in Slack for even more tips. 🔍 

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

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