Archiving Channels in Slack – A Complete Guide
Last Updated: September 20, 2019
Many of the email providers provide you with the option to archive your emails. It’s because you don’t want to keep all the emails you receive in the inbox as it’ll only make browsing through your emails difficult. Slack provides you with a similar option but for your channels.
A Slack channel can be archived so that it is no longer an active discussion board. You may want to do it when you’ve finished a project that a channel was for and that you don’t want to keep it active in your workspace.
Before you go ahead and archive a channel, there are a few things you need to know.
Things to Know Before Archiving a Channel
When you archive a channel in your Slack workspace, it’ll remove all the members that were part of the channel. Each of the members will be informed that the channel has been archived.
Even though you’ve archived a channel, its contents will still be visible to the users. Users will be able to browse through messages and any other content that was posted in the channel.
If a user searches for something in the workspace, your archived channels are also going to be included in the search results.
You can’t archive the default general channel in your workspace.
If you’re going to archive a shared channel, it must be unshared first.
Slack doesn’t let you create a new channel with the same name as your archived channel. If you must do it for some reason, you’ll need to first unarchive the channel, rename it, and then archive it back.
Archive a Slack Channel
You can archive channels on both web version as well as smartphone apps of Slack.
Archiving a Slack Channel on the Web Version
Step 1. Access your Slack workspace, find and open the channel you want to archive, click on the settings icon at the top, and choose the option that says Additional options. That’s where you’re going to find the archive option.
Step 2. When the advanced settings menu opens, you’ll find a few options you can choose from. Select the option that reads Archive this channel to archive the channel.
Step 3. You’ll get a warning message telling what archiving does to your channel on your screen. If you’re fine with everything, click on the Yes, archive this channel button at the bottom.
Your channel will be archived and it’ll no longer appear in the active channels list on the main Slack interface.
Archiving a Slack Channel in the Slack App
You can do the task from your smartphone as well as shown below.
Step 1. Open the app on your device, tap on the channel you want to archive so it opens, and tap on the down-arrow icon at the top.
Step 2. When the channel settings menu comes up, scroll down and you’ll find an option saying Archive in red. Tap on this option to archive the current channel.
Step 3. It’ll say that archiving the channel will close the channel for anyone using it. Tap on the Archive option.
The channel is now archived and it won’t appear in your channel list from now onwards.
Unarchive a Slack Channel
When you delete a channel from your Slack workspace, it’s gone for good. There’s really no option you can bring it back to your workspace. However, if you archive a channel, it can be brought back to your workspace by unarchiving it.
Unarchiving basically restores the channel back to your channels list and it can be done using the web version of the Slack interface. The Slack smartphone app doesn’t provide the option to unarchive channels so you’ll have to rely on the web version of the platform.
The following shows how you do it in your workspace.
Unarchiving a Slack Channel on the Web Version
Step 1. Open the link for your Slack workspace and click on Channels in the left sidebar to search for all the channels available in your workspace.
Step 2. You’ll see a search box letting you search for channels on the following screen. Since you’re only interested in finding archived channels, select Archived channels from the Show dropdown menu.
Step 3. Click on the channel you want to unarchive in your workspace. When the channel view opens, click on the gear icon at the top and select the option that says Un-archive followed by the channel name.
The channel will become available in your channels list again and you will be able to post content in it. Bear in mind, though, the people that were part of the channel remain unjoined. They won’t automatically be added to the channel.
However, if what you’re restoring is a private channel, then the members you had before will automatically be part of it again. Slack will automatically add them to your channel once the channel is restored.