So…you want to learn how to leave a Slack Channel. You’re getting inundated with Slack messages. Instead of saying “shoot me an email,” everyone in the office is saying “Slack it to me.” It seems that the workplace communications game has changed. When you joined Slack, you may not have expected the volume of Slack messages you’d receive in a day…welcome to Notification City. It turns out that much of the volume of Slack messages you’re receiving may be coming from Slack Channels. If a slack channel is creating a lot of noise for you, you can leave a Slack channel to opt-out of the conversation.

Here’s how you end up getting inundated with messages: someone just adds your name to a Channel and you’ll start receiving notifications. Sometimes you’re not even asked if you wanted to join (depending on how your account is set up.) Next thing you know, you’re receiving notifications for every message in the Channel. It can get exhausting. And very time-consuming. Most of us agree that overzealously adding people to channels is not useful to anyone and needs to stop. But the good news is that even if someone has added you to a bunch of Channels you don’t care about, Slack makes it extremely easy to leave Channels.

First Things First: What is a Slack Channel?

In Slack, “Channels” are conversations organized around a topic. You can create a slack channel for anything: a project you’re working on, or even a Channel to discuss Game of Thrones spoilers. There are three types of Slack Channels:

  • Public Channels: Conversations open to all Slack members
  • Private Channels: You have to be invited to a private channel, not all members can see the discussion.
  • Shared Channels (beta): A “bridge” between two company’s Slack workspaces. Shared channels are great tools to communicate with an external partner or client.

Most of the noise created in your Slack message feed comes from Public Channels. But the process of leaving a Slack channel is the same for any of these Channel types.

How to Leave a Slack Channel

1.    Click the gear icon and open Channel Settings

2.    Select Leave [insert the Channel name]. If you’re a Slack pro, use the slash command /leave

It’s important to know that if you leave a Private Channel, all of the past conversations in the Channel are gone. You lose access to the archives. If specific messages and files are essential, you might want to think about just muting the Channel instead of leaving it.

Pro tip: You can leave any room except #general. 

How to Leave a Slack Channel vs Muting a Channel

Muting a Slack channel is keeping a low profile, but still being in the conversation. Muting a channel allows you to still have access to the activity in a channel, but you won’t receive notifications when you have unread messages.  If you Mute a Channel, it will still be in your List of Channels, but it won’t appear in bold. If someone is trying to get your attention in the Muted Channel and mentions you in the conversation, you’ll still get notified by having an unread message.

And that’s it. Leaving a Slack Channel is super painless. We know that when you need to hunker down and focus, sharing taco recipes can get distracting…so feel free to leave the #WhatsForDinner Channel. We won’t blame you. And if you want more help simplifying your work communication, check out Umuse to get all of your Email and Chat messages in one place.