When I use the search box built into Slack, I'm presented with a choice of what channels to include in the search, but the most limited choice I can make there is "Include: only messages from channels that I have opened". This is very inconvenient considering 99% of times I know very well which channel (or "DM channel") the message is in (usually it's a "DM channel").

How do I search in a single channel (which may be a "DM channel")?

Note: I don't know if there's an official name for "DM channels", I use this term to mean "the space where I exchange messages with a single person".

4 Answers 4


Found the answer in the Slack docs.

The solution is to add the text in:someChannel or in:someUser to your search query.

  • 1
    This isn't working for me. I'm searching for works which I can literally see in the channel, and the search results are coming up empty
    – jon_simon
    Commented Jul 5, 2018 at 18:52
  • Same here, I got no results when I specify channel Commented Mar 7, 2019 at 12:59

The channel name should be preceded by the channel type character.


To find messages with text Hello in the personal channel Jake the search would be Hello in:@Jake

To find messages with text Hello in the group channel General the search would be Hello in:#General


When you are in the channel in which you want to search, just use Command+F on MacOS or Ctrl+F on other operating systems. It will pre-populate the search field with in:#<channel-name> for you.

Otherwise, you need to type it manually, which also works but less convenient.

  • 1
    I use slack in chrome. Ctrl+F open the search popup of the web browser. It would be cool to have a quick way to search in the current channel only.
    – guettli
    Commented Feb 7, 2020 at 10:37

Now you can change that in the Preferences > Advanced > "Ctrl F starts a Slack search" and it will override the normal browser search behavior.

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