Customize message and file retention policies

With a custom retention policy in place, messages or files older than the duration you set will be deleted on a daily basis.

Custom retention policies can be set up for the entire workspace or on a per-channel basis — these settings apply to all messages and files, including the ones that have been pinned or starred by members.

Caution! Message and file deletion is permanent. ⚠️  Please use care when setting up custom retention policies. 

Note: When any changes are made to message and file retention policies, Slackbot will notify all Workspace Owners to let them know.


Message retention

There are four options when choosing message retention for channels, private channels, and direct messages:

  • Keep everything
    Slack will keep all messages exchanged in your workspace, and logs of user's message edits and deletions, found in a data export
  • Keep all messages, but don't track revisions
    Slack will keep all messages, but will not keep logs of what the original text was, prior to user’s message edits and deletions.
  • Delete messages and their revisions after... 
    This setting allows you to determine a period of time after which Slack will permanently delete messages (including message edit and deletion logs) from channels and direct messages. This setting can be as short as one day. 
  • Let workspace members override these settings
    This setting allows members to set their own retention period — making it shorter or longer — for private channels and direct messages. Workspace Owners will be able to adjust this for public channels, too.


Set a message retention policy

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plan

Here’s how to set a retention policy for channels and direct messages:

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
    workspace_menu
  2. Select Administration from the menu.
  3. Choose Workspace settings.
  4. Under Settings, expand Message Retention & Deletion.
  5. Click Save, then Confirm Settings.

Remember: If members are allowed to set different retention policies for direct messages and private channels they are a part of, those policies will override the workspace-wide policy.

Note: An Org Owner must contact Slack to add or change your organization's retention policies. 

Org Owners can set custom message retention policies for the Enterprise Grid org. The Primary Org Owner will receive a Slackbot message with a request to approve or deny the new message retention policy.

With org-level policies in place, individuals won’t be able to modify their own retention settings.


Review message retention policies:

    1. From your desktop, sign in to your Slack Enterprise Grid, then click Manage Organization.
    2. Under  Settings, click Messages and Files.
    3. View policies for channels and DMs under Message Retention Policies.


File retention

When setting your file retention policy, there are two options to choose from:

  • Keep all files
    Slack will keep all shared files for the lifetime of your workspace.
  • Keep all files, only for a set number of days
    Slack will permanently delete files (snippetsposts, uploaded files, and those shared via apps like Dropbox or Google Drive) older than the number of days you choose. 

Note: Files shared via apps like Dropbox or Google Drive remain stored in the service they originate from. So, deleting them from Slack won't impact the original files. 


Set a file retention policy

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plans

Here’s how to set a retention policy for files shared in your workspace:

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
    workspace_menu
  2. Select Administration from the menu.
  3. Choose Settings & permissions
  4. Under Settings, expand the File Retention & Deletion section.
  5. Click Save, then Confirm Settings.

Note: An Org Owner must contact Slack to add or change your organization's retention policies. 

Org Owners can set custom file retention policies for the Enterprise Grid org. The Primary Org Owner will receive a Slackbot message with a request to approve or deny the new file retention policy.

With org-level policies in place, individuals won’t be able to modify their own retention settings.


Review file retention policies:

    1. From your desktop, sign in to your Slack Enterprise Grid, then click Manage Organization.
    2. Under  Settings, click Messages and Files.
    3. View policy under File Retention Policies.

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

Who can use this feature?
  • Only Workspace Owners and Org Owners can access this feature. 
  • Available on paid plans.

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