Creating & Deleting Channels in Slack – A Slack Guide

When you’ve entered your workspace in Slack, the first thing you’re going to notice in the left sidebar is a channels list. These are your discussion boards where you can have multiple people post their messages. Everyone who is part of the channel can see and post messages in it.

You can create multiple channels in your workspace for different discussions. For example, you can create a channel for marketing and then another channel for sales for your company, and so on. Your marketing channel could have your marketing people in it and your sales people will be in the sales channel.

Create a Channel on Slack

Creating a channel in Slack is pretty easy on both the web version and smartphone apps. There are a few things, though, that you should be aware of before you go ahead and start creating new channels in your workspace.

Channel Creation Limitations

When you create a channel, you need to give it a name. Slack restricts the usage of some of the words and you can’t use those words as your channel names. The following are those words:

  • Brazilian Portuguese: aquí, canais, canal, eu, general, geral, grupo, mí, todos
  • English: archive, archived, archives, all, channel, channels, create, delete, deleted-channel, edit, everyone, general, group, groups, here, me, ms, slack, slackbot, today, you
  • French: chaîne/chaine, général/general, groupe, ici, moi, tous
  • German: alle, allgemein, Channel/channel, hier, Gruppe/gruppe, mir
  • Japanese: チャンネル, ここ, 全員, 自分, グループ, general
  • Spanish: aquí, canal, general, grupo, mí, todos

As you can see, the words are categorized by languages. However, regardless of what language you use in your Slack account, these restrictions still apply.

A few other restrictions you have for naming channels are the channel names must be lowercase, there should be no spaces or periods in the channel names, and also these names should not exceed the 80 character limit.

Create a Slack Channel on the Web Version

With the limitations out of the way, let’s go ahead and create a channel with the name of your liking in your Slack workspace. The following are the steps on how to do it on the web version of Slack that you access using your browser.

Step 1. Head over to your Slack workspace by entering in the URL of the workspace in your browser.

Step 2. Take a look at the left sidebar that shows some of the default channels that Slack automatically created for you. Click on the + (plus) sign next to where it says Channels to add a new channel.

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Step 3. On the following screen, you’re going to get input fields that you need to fill-in with your Slack channel information. Let’s understand each of these fields so you know what to enter in them.

Name – this will be the name of the channel you’re creating. As long as you’re under the limitations mentioned above, you’ll be able to use a name of your choice here.

Purpose – this is optional but you may want to enter something here so others who join the channel know the purpose of the channel.

Send invites to – if you want to invite people straight after creating the channel, you can enter those people’s names here and they’ll get an invitation to join the channel. You can add up to 1,000 people to a channel.

Make private – by default the channel is set to public meaning everyone in your workspace can see it. Enabling this option makes the channel private and only the chosen users can then access it.

Hit Create at the bottom when you’ve specified your options. It will then create the channel and you’ll find yourself right inside the channel once it has been created.

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You are now ready to start posting messages and discuss things in your newly created channel. People who join your channel can also post their messages there.

Create a Slack Channel in the Slack App

You don’t necessarily need to use a computer to be able to create a channel in your Slack workspace. The Slack app for mobile phones has almost all the features that the web version has and you can create a channel from your smartphone as well.

You get the same set of options for creating a channel whether you do the procedure on the web version or on your smartphone. Here’s how you do the task on your Android or iOS device.

Step 1. Launch the Slack app on your device and tap on your workspace icon at the top-left corner. You’ll then see your default channels list. Tap on the + (plus) sign next to Channels to create a new channel.

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Step 2. On the following screen, you’ll find a button with a + (plus) sign in it at the lower-right corner. Tap on it to add a new channel to your workspace.

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Step 3. The following screen should look identical to the web version screen. Here’s each of the options briefly described for you.

Public – turn this on if you want for everyone in your workspace to be able to access the channel.

Name – this is going to be the name of your channel.

Add members – type in the name of the people you want to invite to your channel.

Purpose – enter an optional purpose of the channel.

Tap on Create at the top-right corner to create the channel.

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You will be inside the channel once it’s been created. It is all set to be used and you can start posting your content in there. Eventually as other users join the channel, they’ll also be able to read the content and send their own content to the channel.

Delete a Channel on Slack

Removing a channel from your workspace is as easy as creating one. All that you need to do is select the channel you want to get rid of and click on an option to have it removed from your workspace. The channel and its messages get deleted permanently so you must ensure there isn’t anything important left in the channel before you remove it.

In order to delete a channel, your role in the workspace must be that of an owner or admin. If you’re a regular user, you cannot delete the channels. Another thing you need to keep in mind while deleting a channel is that if the channel is shared, you must first unshare it before it can be removed. Also, you must be a member of the channel to be able to delete it.

All the files that you’ve shared in the channel will remain intact and those will need to be manually removed. Removing a channel doesn’t remove the files that were uploaded to the channel.

With the prerequisites out of the way, let’s check out how to delete a channel in your Slack workspace.

Deleting a Slack Channel on the Web Version

Step 1. Open your Slack workspace and click on the channel you want to delete in the channels list on your left-hand side pane.

Step 2. When the channel opens on your screen, click on the gear icon at the top of your screen and select the option that says Additional options. It will open an advanced channel settings menu.

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Step 3. The following screen lists all the actions you can apply to your channel. From this list, click on the option that says Delete this channel which should be at the bottom.

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Step 4. You’ll get a prompt that says the action will permanently delete the channel and all of its messages. To proceed, checkmark the box that says Yes, permanently delete this channel and then click on the Delete Channel button.

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The channel will instantly be removed from your workspace and you’ll no longer find it in the channels list in the left sidebar of your screen.

Deleting a Slack Channel in the Slack App

If you’re trying to delete a channel from the Slack app, you’ll find that there’s no option to do it. The Slack mobile app hasn’t got the option to delete channels. The only closest option to deleting a channel is archive which archives the selected channel.

So if you want to get rid of a channel from your workspace, the desktop app or web version is the way to do it.

Delete Files After Removing a Channel

While the channel’s gone from your workspace, the files uploaded to it still remain in your account. You may want to get rid of these files if these are of no use to you anymore and the following shows how to do it.

Deleting Files After Channel Removal on the Web Version

The main advantage of deleting files from the web version is that you can see all of your uploaded files with a single-click.

Step 1. In your Slack workspace, click on the three-dots at the top-right corner of your screen and select the option that says Files.

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Step 2. On the following screen, you can customize what files are shown in the list. By default, it shows all the files you’ve ever uploaded to this Slack workspace. You also have the option to delete others’ files if you want.

Step 3. Once you’ve chosen the file you want to delete, hover your mouse over it, click on the three-dots at the far right of the file name, and select the Delete file option.

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Step 4. A prompt will appear asking if you’d really like to remove the file from your workspace. Click on the Yes, delete this file button to get rid of the file from your workspace.

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The file will be gone for good from your workspace.

Deleting Files After Channel Removal in the Slack App

The Slack app doesn’t provide the option to view all of your uploaded files at once. So you will need to manually find the file and then delete it.

Step 1. Launch the app on your device, find the file you want to delete, tap on the three-dots at the bottom of your screen, and select Delete.

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Step 2. When the prompt appears on your screen, tap on the Delete option to delete the file.

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The file should be gone from your workspace.