How to Make a Slack Channel Private on Desktop and Mobile

Slack is a popular platform for team communication and collaboration. It allows you to create channels for different topics, projects, or groups of people. However, not all channels are meant to be public. If you want to know how to make a Slack channel private, you are in the right place. This article will show you how to move a public channel to a private one or create a new private channel.

Make a Slack Channel Private

Sometimes, you need to discuss sensitive matters, share confidential documents, or have a focused conversation with a select group of team members. Creating a private channel guarantees that only the intended individuals have access.

Let’s understand more and find the difference between a public and a private channel on Slack. 

Difference Between Public vs. Private Slack Channels

In a workspace, public and private Slack channels serve different purposes. Public channels are like the town square, where everyone can see and join. These channels promote transparency, appear in Slack’s channel directory for easy search, and serve as hubs for team-wide discussions, announcements, and collaborative projects. Anyone can contribute.

Difference Between Public vs. Private Slack Channels

In contrast, private channels act as secure meeting rooms that can only be accessed by invitation. These channels aren’t visible in the channel directory, ensuring confidentiality, so they’re ideal for confidential discussions, sensitive projects, or focused collaborations between team members.

In essence, the choice between public and private channels depends on your need for transparency and who should be part of the conversation. Public channels are open to all, while private channels offer a safe and confidential space for restricted discussions. With this understanding, let’s start with the steps.

Also Read: How to schedule messages in Slack on mobile and desktop 

How to Make an Existing Slack Channel Private

Making an existing public channel private on Slack is straightforward, but it can only be done by the users, who are owners, admins, and channel managers. Moreover, the ability or option to do so is exclusive to the desktop as of writing this article. 

Difference Between Public vs. Private Slack Channels

Now, to the nuances. When you convert a public channel to a private channel, things like the channel history and members will also be moved. Further, all files shared in the channel until the conversion point will be publicly available. Now, let’s get to the steps.

Step 1: Firstly, launch the Slack app or open it on your Windows or Mac computer.

Step 2: Under Channels, navigate to the public channel you want to make private. 

navigate to the public channel

Step 3: Once in the channel, click the chevron (arrow) icon next to the channel name in the top navigation bar.

click the chevron (arrow) icon

Step 4: In the pop-up, go to Settings.

go to Settings

Step 5: Under the Settings option, click ‘Change to a private channel.’

click 'Change to a private channel'

Step 6: You will see a confirmation prompt. Click ‘Change to Private.’

Click 'Change to Private'

That’s about it. You have successfully made a public channel private. If you want to create a private channel from scratch, continue reading. 

Also Read: Easy ways to create a poll in Slack on any device

How to Create a Private Slack Channel

Creating a new private channel on Slack has a lot of perks. One of the most important ones is that it gives you a fresh start, meaning you can add selected people and share confidential files or information without confusion about the channel’s status. 

Let’s begin with the steps for the desktop. 

On Desktop

Step 1: Firstly, launch the Slack app or open it in your preferred browser on your desktop. Log in with your credentials. 

Step 2: In the sidebar, under the Channels subheadings, click ‘Add channels.’ From the drop-down list, choose ‘Create a new channel.’

launch the Slack app or open it

Step 3: In the ‘Create a channel’ pop-up, enter your new channel name in the text box and click Next. 

Note: The channel name must be unique within your Workspace. If the channel name already exists, you cannot create another one.

click Next

Step 4: In the next step, under Visibility, choose ‘Private – Only specific people’ and finally click Create. 

click Create

You have successfully created your private Slack channel. It’s time to add people. Continue with the below step. 

Step 5: Now, Slack will ask you to add people to your channel. You can add them by typing their name or email address. If you don’t want to add anyone, click ‘Skip for now.’

click 'Skip for now'

There you go. You have successfully created a private channel on Slack.

On Slack Mobile App

The steps for creating a channel on Slack’s mobile app are the same for Android and iOS. For demonstration, we are going with Android. If you are on iOS, you can follow along. 

Step 1: Launch Slack on your Android or iOS device. Log in to your Workspace.

Note: If you are a part of multiple workspaces, ensure you are in the right one before proceeding. 

Step 2: Under Channels, tap on Add channel. 

Launch Slack

You’ll arrive at a list of channels that the Workspace contains. If the intended channel you seek is unavailable, continue with the steps below. 

Step 3: Tap on the floating plus (+) button. In the ‘Create a channel’ screen, name the channel and tap Next.

Note: Channel names must be unique to your Workspace. If the channel name already exists, you can’t create another one.

give a name to the channel

Step 4: On the next screen, under Visibility, choose ‘Private – only specific people can only be viewed or joined by invitation,’ and tap Create. 

Slack will prompt you to decide whether to add people to the channel. If you don’t want to add, tap on the crossmark (X) in the top left corner. However, if you want, follow the steps below. 

Step 5: You can type the name of the people or choose from the recommended people you want to add to your private channel and tap Add. 

Under Visibility, choose Private

That’s it. Your new private channel is all set to begin with a conversation. If you have any queries we missed addressing in the article, check out the FAQ section below. 

FAQs on Making a Slack Channel Private

1. Can I make a channel public again after it’s been made private?

Yes, you can always go back and make your private channel public again for everyone to join the conversation.

2. Can I invite guests or external users to a private Slack channel?

Yes, you can invite guests or external users to a private Slack channel. However, ensure that you are on Slack’s paid subscription. Once you’ve invited guests to your private channel, they’ll receive an email invitation with instructions on how to join the channel.

3. Are private Slack channel messages encrypted?

Yes, private Slack channel messages are encrypted. Slack encrypts all customer data in transit and at rest by default. In other words, your messages are secure and protected from unauthorized access.

Go Private

Now that you know how to make a Slack channel private or create a new private channel on Slack, you are all set to enhance productivity and elevate your team’s collaboration experience. You may also want to read how to leave a Slack Workspace.

Last updated on 07 September, 2023

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