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 all messages (Default)
    Slack will retain all of the messages exchanged in your workspace, but will not keep logs of user's message edits and deletions, found in a data export
  • Keep all messages and keep edit and deletion logs
    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.
  • Keep messages and logs, but only for a set number of days
    This setting allows you to determine a period of time after which Slack will permanently delete messages from channels and direct messages. This setting can be as short as 1 day. 
  • Allow channel overrides
    This setting allows members to set their own retention policies for private channels and direct messages that they are a part of. Workspace Owners can override the workspace-wide policy on public channels, as well.

 

Set a message retention policy

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plan

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

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Workspace settings from the menu.
  3. Next to Message Retention, click Expand and select your retention preferences.
  4. Click Save to finish.

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

There are two options you can choose from when setting your file retention policy:

  • Retain all files (Default)
    Slack will retain all of your shared files for the lifetime of your workspace.
  • Retain all files only for a specific number of days
    Slack will permanently delete files older than the number of days 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.

 

Set a file retention policy

Standard and Plus plans

Enterprise Grid plans

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

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Workspace settings from the menu. 
  3. Scroll down the page and to expand the File Retention section.
  4. Select file retention setting, and click Save

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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