Use Slack’s Advanced Search to Find Lost Files, URLs, or the Terrible Jokes None of Your Coworkers…


Get Shift Done: Tips and Tricks

via Matt Brown, Flickr

For the majority of Slack users, the messaging app is a quick-moving torrent of information. Critical memos, links and files can easily disappear among endless channels of competing messages from team members.

Thankfully, Slack has some seriously beefy search tools — granted you know how to access them. And while Slack has made some of these search tips more transparent as the service has grown in popularity, a slew of secret search tricks remain hidden. But that changes today!

Here’s a comprehensive guide to Slack’s Advanced Search keywords, parameters and tricks.

Slack’s search tools are simple enough to access. Clicking the search bar in the top right of the app will trigger a drop-down menu with several search suggestions. Adding “from:username” will narrow the hunt down to messages posted by a specific team member, just as “in:channel” will only scan across posts within a single channel.

But what that drop-down menu doesn’t tell you, is that there are plenty of other search parameters in Slack. Next time, consider trying one of these:


Searches just the messages and files in a specific channel.


Searches your direct messages with a specific team member.


Searches all messages that have been sent to you via DM.


Limits your search to messages from a specific person in any channel or direct message.


Searches only messages you’ve sent, anywhere in Slack.


Limits your search to messages that contain a URL.


Searches messages you’ve starred. (Your starred items can also be found in the channel info pane.)


Searches messages which have the 🙂 emoji added as a reaction. (You can substitute 🙂 for any emoji name.)

In addition to its description and location-based prompts, Slack also has robust timestamp search tools as well. Users can use the following criteria to narrow down the results even further:





You can use specific dates, or more general swaths of time like:

(this, last) week

Armed with these Slack Advanced Search keywords, even the most obscure files and messages have no hope of remaining hidden for long. Happy hunting!

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