Designed by Slack Technologies and owned by Salesforce, Slack is an instant messaging and communications platform for professionals and organizations all over the globe. It’s a highly popular workspace communication platform used by 10+ million professionals from many businesses, including employees from Fortune 100 corporations.
Millions of messages are circulated via Slack every week that also include messages about many important projects and files. And losing those messages because of a moment of carelessness can severely affect the efficiency of several projects.
In this article, we will show you how to recover deleted messages from Slack in a step-by-step manner.
Let’s dive in.
The only way to recover Slack messages is from a backup
Let’s start with the bad news first. Unless you export or archive your Slack messages in some way, there’s no way to recover the deleted Slack messages. Sure, Slack provides the Discovery API to export and save its data and messages. But make no mistake, as this is not an active data-saving feature.
In short, if you delete a Slack message, it will be gone forever.
That’s why many organizations use premium data backup and restoration apps. They can not only restore deleted Slack messages, but they can also recover deleted threads, files, user groups, etc.
If you don’t already have a similar active Slack data backup and restoration app, and you never exported the deleted Slack messages, then there’s no way to retrieve them anymore. However, if you do have such an app installed to keep backing up Slack data at regular intervals, then this blog can help you get your deleted data back.
Please note that most of these third-party backup applications work in a similar manner. So, the information and steps we would mention in the following sections can be used no matter which third-party Slack data recovery app you use.
How to manually take a Slack backup?
If you do not have a backup, chances are that you will not be able to recover Slack messages now. But if you need to make your future messages safe from such issues, you can manually take a slack backup following these steps –
- Click on the workspace profile name at the top left side of the screen.
- Click on Settings & administration.
- Now go to Workspace settings.
- Now, click on Import/export data and select the Export tab.
- Below the Export date range, click the Start export option.
- Slack will now start preparing the backup and send a link to your registered email address with a link that you can click to visit the download page.
- To download it, just click the Ready for download option.
- This will download a ZIP file containing your downloadable assets, including messages and links.
What is included in the Slack backup?
Based on the Slack plan, what you can backup will differ. On the free plan, you can export your messages and links to the files. The following table explains it in detail –
|Export messages and links to the files from public channels in the Slack workspace.||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Export data from public and private channels, and direct messages.||No||No||Yes||Yes|
|Export all conversations the user is involved.||No||No||No||Yes|
How to manually restore Slack messages from a backup
You can manually restore Slack backup that you have taken at a previous time by importing it. These are the steps –
- Click on the Workspace profile name on the top left side of the screen.
- Click Settings & administration > Workspace settings.
- Click on the Import/Export data button and choose Slack.
- Either place a link to the file if you keep your backup in a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, or directly upload the ZIP file.
- Slack will start restoring the messages and notify you via email once done.
Tools to automatically backup slack
There are several popular third-party applications you can use to backup your Slack conversations and recover them at a later time. Some of them are –
Recover Slack messages with a third-party Slack backup tool
If you are using a third-party Slack backup tool, the process of restoring your messages are much more simpler. The steps might vary a bit based on the version and type of tool you are using. But it will be something like below.
Restore Entire Slack Channel
If you accidentally deleted your entire Slack channel and messages that were inside it, follow these steps to restore them:
- First, launch the third-party backup and the backup tool you are using.
- Next, click on the “Archives” option and then click on “Slack” from the “Backup and Restore” option.
- After that, select the workspace that contains the deleted Slack channel. Some software might not need this extra step. If that’s the case, skip to the next step.
- Now, click on the “Slack Channel” you want to restore and click on the “Recover” button.
- Next, choose if you want to overwrite your current Slack thread to restore the deleted version of the channel or not.
- Finally, click on the “Restore” button.
Now, your whole deleted Slack channel should be restored along with the erased messages.
Recover Slack threads
If you want to restore a Slack thread that you accidentally erased, follow these steps:
- Open the third-party software of your choice, click on “Archive,” and then select “Slack” from the available options.
- Next, select the appropriate workspace and then click on the “Channel” that contains the “Slack thread” you want to recover.
- After that, select the “Thread” you want to recover and click on the “Restore / Recover” option.
- Now, choose if you would like to overwrite the current Slack threads to restore the deleted thread.
- Once you’re done choosing, click on the “Restore” option again.
Congratulations! You have successfully recovered the threads along with the messages in them.
Restore Direct Slack messages
If you don’t want to recover entire channels or threads and just want to restore a few deleted messages, follow these steps:
- Launch the tool.
- Click on the “Archive” option, and select “Slack.”
- Now, select the right “Workspace” and then click on the “Direct Messages” option.
- Once you get in there, select the direct messages you would like to recover and click on the “Restore” button. Also, it might ask you if you want to rewrite the messages.
- Finally, click on the “Restore” option.
And that’s it. Now, all of your deleted direct messages from Slack will reappear in the related threads.