Looking to export your Slack conversations? 

Our guide demystifies the Slack export process for any Slack plan, offering you a clear, actionable roadmap to archive, backup, or transfer your messaging data swiftly and securely.

Key Takeaways

  • Exporting Slack conversations is critical for archiving, regulatory compliance, knowledge transfer during staff turnover, and creating data backups to safeguard against loss.
  • Slack allows the export of messages from public, private, and direct channels under certain conditions and user information, which varies with your Slack plan tier.
  • Exporting Slack data involves different permissions and steps depending on the type of conversation (single, channel, direct messages, private group) and the user’s Slack plan (Free, Pro, Business+, Enterprise Grid).

Why Would You Need to Export a Slack Conversation?

In the fast-paced world of business, every piece of information matters. A lot happens in Slack, from essential decisions made in team discussions to creative ideas generated in brainstorming sessions. For businesses, consider Suptask as a Slack ticketing system.

But why would you need to export these conversations? Well, for starters, exporting Slack data is crucial for archiving purposes. It’s like a time capsule, preserving meaningful discussions for future reference.

Moreover, specific industries like finance and healthcare must store communications for regulatory compliance. In these cases, exporting Slack data becomes necessary, not an option. 

Additionally, when a team member leaves the company, exporting their Slack data allows for knowledge transfer, ensuring no critical information is lost. 

Lastly, regularly exporting conversations protects against data loss in system failures or accidental deletions.

For Archiving Purposes

When we think about archiving, we often think about dusty old files stored in a basement. But in the digital world, archiving takes on a whole new importance. It captures essential decisions, brainstorming sessions, and project updates that might otherwise be lost in the abyss of endless Slack messages.

Access to archived conversations promotes transparency and accountability within teams, fostering a culture of trust and collaboration. 

More importantly, archiving preserves edited and deleted content, crucial for maintaining an accurate record for potential HR investigations or legal issues.

For Compliance and Legal Reasons

Being able to export Slack data is not just about convenience; it’s a legal obligation for many businesses. Organizations are required by law to preserve communications, which includes shipping Slack conversations for a specified period.

Slack data may need to be disclosed even in legal disputes as mandated by a court order or other legal process. Therefore, proactive archiving strategies can help organizations streamline eDiscovery and litigation readiness, allowing for quick response to lawful requests.

For Data Backup

Imagine this scenario: You’ve just completed a project, and all the critical discussions and files were on Slack. Then, a system failure occurs, and all your valuable information is lost. Nightmare, right? That’s where backing up your Slack messages and conversations comes into play.

Backing up Slack data is vital for:

  • Preventing data loss
  • Ensuring continuity of operations in the face of technical challenges
  • Adhering to best practices for data protection and compliance with industry regulations
  • Recovering from user errors
  • Preventing data loss from malicious activities

Regular backups of your Slack data are critical for maintaining a seamless workflow.

For Transitioning to a Different Platform

As businesses grow and evolve, so do their needs. There might come a time when your team decides to transition to a different communication platform. In these situations, exporting Slack data becomes essential to preserve user information, profile preferences, and critical app data.

Exporting data from Slack allows for smooth integration into the new platform and ensures historical conversations and documents are not lost during migration. 

Proper archiving allows for historical Slack data to be accessible during and after the transition to a new platform, preventing loss of information.

What Data Can You Export from Slack?

Now that we understand the why of exporting Slack data let’s delve into the what. What kind of data can you export from Slack? The answer is quite a bit. 

Slack allows data export from public channels, which may include links to files but not the files themselves.

Under certain conditions, such as legal requirements or member consent, exporting content from all channels, including private and direct messages, is possible. 

The exports available through the Discovery APIs also contain files that can be accessed via direct download links. 

This makes it easier for users to retrieve specific files directly. But remember, Slack’s export tools are designed to help customers comply with legal obligations while maintaining a secure and private work environment.


Messages form the backbone of your Slack workspace. They encapsulate team discussions, decisions, ideas, and more. 

But can these messages be exported? Yes, messages from both public and private channels, as well as direct messages, can be exported from Slack under specific circumstances.

The export file will contain message history in JSON format and links to files from the selected channels. 

If you’re on the Enterprise Grid plan, you can schedule recurring data exports, ensuring you can always access your team’s most recent conversations.


Files, images, documents, or other attachments are integral to Slack conversations. They provide context and detail that text messages might not be able to cover. 

When exporting data from Slack, you’ll receive links to these files, but the actual files are not included unless the export is done through the Discovery APIs or is in TXT format for a single user’s conversations.

The exported data can be in JSON or TXT format, depending on the export type; TXT format exports will contain actual files a user shares. 

So, whether it’s a critical document or a celebratory gif, you can ensure none of your shared files are lost in the export.

User Information

User information is another crucial piece of data that can be exported from Slack. This can include profile details and conversation participation information. 

When exporting data for a single user’s conversations, the ZIP file will contain a folder with all the files sent by the user during the selected date range.

Apart from files and messages, the exported user information includes a CSV file that can be downloaded to the computer, providing details about the workspace members and data. This can be particularly useful during audits or when transitioning to a different platform.

How to export Slack data


At this point, you’re probably wondering, “Alright, I understand why I need to export Slack data and what data I can export. But how do I do it?” 

The answer to that depends on your Slack plan. Slack provides different access levels to import and export tools depending on the user’s plan.

For Workspace owners on the Business+ plan and Org owners on the Enterprise Grid plan, a self-serve data export tool is available for exporting content from all channels, including private channels and direct messages. 

However, Free and Paid plan users face certain limitations. Let’s dive deeper into how each plan influences the exporting of Slack data.

Free Plan

If you’re using Slack’s Free plan, you can still export data, but with some restrictions. Free plan users can only export data from public workspace channels, which include links to files, but not the files themselves.

The message history in the Slack Free plan contains all messages from public channels, but the file history is limited, and only the most recent 10,000 messages are searchable. 

So, while you might not have full access to all the data, you can still export the most critical information.

Pro Plan

For Pro plan users, the possibilities expand. Pro plan users can export data from public workspace channels. However, exporting data from private channels and direct messages requires proper consent or legal requirements to be met.

Just like Free plan users, Workspace and Org Owners on the Pro plan must apply to Slack if they wish to export anything other than public channel messages. 

This applies to both individual workspaces and organization-owned workspaces. However, once approved, they can ship a more comprehensive data set.

Business+ Plan

For businesses on the Business+ plan, exporting Slack data becomes even more flexible. Workspace Owners on this plan can request access to a self-serve export tool to export all channel and conversation data in compliance with legal stipulations.

The Business+ plan permits exporting a comprehensive data set, including public channel content, private channel discussions, and direct messages. However, Workspace Owners must obtain approval to ensure that exports are conducted according to legal guidelines.

Enterprise Grid Plan

Enterprise Grid plan users have the most extensive options for exporting Slack data. Org Owners on this plan can access the self-serve data export tool, allowing them to export content from all conversations, including private channels and direct messages.

This means that data from all conversations, including group and private channels and direct messages, can be exported by Org Owners, covering data exchanges for the entire organization. 

They can even request to export all data associated with a single user, including messages and files in any conversation the user has participated in.

How to Export a Slack Conversation?

You’re now well-versed with the ‘why’, ‘what’, and ‘how’ of exporting Slack data at a high level. But let’s dig deeper and walk through the steps of exporting specific types of Slack conversations.

We've got you covered whether you’re looking to export a single conversation, an entire channel, direct messages, or private group conversations.

Exporting a Single Conversation

Settings & Administration

To start with, let’s see how to export a single conversation. This process requires appropriate administrator or owner permissions within the workspace. The export is initiated through the following steps:

  1. Go to “Settings and Administration”.
  2. Click on “Workspace settings”.
  3. Select “Import/Export Data”.
  4. Choose the conversation you want to export.

Once you’ve initiated the export and selected the desired data range, Slack will notify you via email once the export file is ready. 

The email will contain a link to the workspace’s export page, allowing you to download the export file.

Exporting a Channel Conversation

Next, let’s look at exporting an entire channel conversation. The process for this is pretty similar to exporting a single conversation. You must navigate to “Workspace settings” and click “Import/Export Data” in the top right corner.

Once you’ve started the export, you will receive an email with a link to download the export file. This file will contain a JSON document of messages and links to file uploads from the selected channels. This way, you can have a comprehensive record of all the discussions in the channel.

Exporting Direct Messages

When it comes to exporting direct messages (DMs), the process is slightly different. DMs can be shipped by administrators on Business+ and Enterprise Grid plans. 

Just like with other types of exports, you’ll need to navigate to “Workspace settings” and select the “Import/Export Data” option.

Once the export is initiated, Slack will notify you via email once the export file is ready. The email will contain a link to the workspace’s export page to download the export file.

Exporting Private Group Conversations

Lastly, let’s discuss exporting private group conversations. You’ll need to be an admin on the Business+, or Enterprise Grid plans for this export type. The process for exporting private group conversations is similar to the other types of exports. You’ll need to navigate to “Workspace settings,” select “Import/Export Data,” and then choose the desired data range.

Once the export is initiated, you’ll receive an email with a link to download the export file. This file will contain a JSON document of the group’s messages and associated file uploads.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you export from Slack?

Yes, it is possible to export conversations from Slack, but the amount and location of data you can export depend on your plan and admin credentials. 

For example, Free and Pro Slack account admins can export data from public workspace channels only.

How do I view Slack export files?

To view Slack export files, simply copy the file links from the JSON file and paste them into your browser. This will direct you to the workspace's files.

How do I export a list of apps from Slack?

You can export a list of apps from Slack's admin dashboard by clicking "Export CSV" in the Installed Apps section. This allows you to access and analyze the app information for your organization efficiently.

Can deleted Slack messages be exported?

Deleted Slack messages can be exported using the Slack API's automatic export mechanism to third-party platforms, allowing organizations to recover their Slack content. This provides a way to access deleted messages and conversations.

Can I export my Slack conversations if I'm on the Free plan?

Yes, you can export your Slack conversations if you're on the Free plan, but you can only export data from public workspace channels.

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