Custom message and file retention

Custom message retention policies can be configured on both a team-wide and per-channel basis.

Setting a custom duration for retention means that messages or files older than the duration you set will be deleted on a nightly basis. 

Caution: Once deleted, messages and files are irretrievable. Please use care when setting up custom retention policies for your team. 


Set a team-wide message retention policy

By default, Slack will save your message data for the lifetime of your team. Here's how to set up a custom message retention policy for channels and direct messages:

  1. Click your team name to open the Team Menu.
  2. Select Team settings. This will open your team site. 
  3. Scroll down the page and to expand the Message Retention section.


There are three options when choosing message retention:

  • Retain all messages
    This is the default setting. Slack will retain all of your team's messages, but will not keep logs of user's message edits and deletions, found in a team's data export
  • Retain all messages and also retain edit and deletion logs for all messages
    When this option is enabled, Slack will maintain a log of every message edit and deletion that includes the original text before it was edited or deleted.
  • Retain messages and logs for only a specific number of days
    This setting allows you to determine a period of time after which Slack will permanently delete messages from your team's channels and direct messages. This setting can be as short as 1 day. 

Once selected, these settings will apply to all messages — except for conversations that were previously configured with a different retention policy. 

The default retention policy can be overridden at the private channel or direct message level at any time by checking the box under Allow Channel Overrides. Any per-channel policies you set up will also be listed alongside your team-level policy. 

Note: When changes are made to your team's message and file retention policy, Slackbot sends a notification to let members know.

Tip: All messages, including those that have been pinned or starred by members of the team, are affected by message retention policies.


Set message retention for a specific channel

  1. Click the gear icon  to open the Channel Settings menu and select Additional options... 
  2. Choose the option to Set the channel message retention policy.
  3. Select your Retention Type. You can choose to use the team-level policy or retain messages in this channel for a specific number of days.
  4. When you're finished, click Save settings.

 

Set message retention for a direct message

Team Owners can choose team-wide direct message retention settings via Team Settings.

By default, team members can also choose custom retention settings for any direct message conversation. Here's how:

  1. Visit your Messages Archive page at my.slack.com/direct-messages, and select the Direct Messages tab.
  2. Click the team member's name to open the archive page.
  3. Click Configure message retention... from the column on the right.
  4. Choose whether to continue using the team settings, or retain the direct messages for a specific number of days.
  5. When you're finished, click Save settings.

 

File retention

Custom file retention policies can be configured for the whole team. If you choose a custom duration for file retention, files older than the duration you set will be deleted on a nightly basis. 

  1. Click your team name to open the Team Menu.
  2. Select Team settings. This will open your team site. 
  3. Scroll down the page and to expand the File Retention section.
  4. Select file retention setting, and click Save

There are two options you can choose from:

  • Retain all files
    This is the default setting. Slack will retain all of your team's files for the lifetime of your team.
  • Retain all files only for a specific number of days
    Slack will permanently delete files older than the number of days (or years) you choose. This includes snippets, files uploaded to Slack, and files shared via apps such as Dropbox or Google Drive. (This will not impact the original file stored on that service.)  Posts will also be deleted based on the last time they were edited.

Use caution: Deletion is permanent, making files irretrievable.

Note: There is no option to set channel-by-channel file retention settings at this time.

Who can use this feature?
  • Only Team Owners can access this feature. 
  • Available to teams on the Standard and Plus plans.

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