How to search in Slack

Tips on finding what you’re looking for

The more you use Slack, the more important it is to dig up past conversations, project files, and ideas that need follow up. We’ve done a deep dive on all the search parameters before, but we also put together a short video summarizing how search works in Slack, along with highlights below.

Search basics

Everything in Slack–messages, files, posts from apps, and more–is easily searchable. That includes the text content of files as well. Simply enter your text in the search bar in the upper right of the app to get results. From there, you can filter results or add modifiers to get more specific.

searching files
Searching and sharing results

Indexing is automatic

As projects go on, indexes of messages and files are constantly updated in real-time, as a running history of your team’s work. With search, you can tap into your collective base of knowledge whenever you need it. Search to get context on a past decision, find a previously approved project file, or to help new hires get up to speed.

Unlike email, you don’t need to remember who sent what, when, or exactly what the thread was called. Use modifiers to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for by whatever info you do have.

using modifiers
Using suggested search modifiers

Advanced tips

There are a lot of options you can add into search and both the mobile and desktop clients will suggest additions as you search. You can toggle the results between messages and files. In the files tab you can filter results by type of file as well. You can choose to include or exclude posts from bots and apps as well limit search to all the channels that exist versus just the ones you have open.

If what you’re looking for is in your current channel, hit command/control + F to pre-populate search to just that channel. Once you find a message, click “Jump” to go back in time and view it with full context.

search inside channel
Hit command/control-f to search inside the current channel

Use stars to keep track of important messages or files you may want to look back on, and search has:star along with any keywords you remember to search through your collection of starred items.

Slack’s search helps you find and share past messages or files so your team can spend less time hunting down information, and more time getting work done.


Slack is the collaboration hub, where the right people are always in the loop and key information is always at their fingertips. Teamwork in Slack happens in channels — searchable conversations that keep work organized and teams better connected.