I've set up a slack organization for a small team.

In the beginning we had only a single project we were working on, so we just used the #general channel for the primary communication.

Now the team has grown bigger, and we have three separate projects. So the #general channel has been renamed to #project-name. However, since it was originally #general, new users are automatically added to it and can't be removed.

We would like to keep the discussion about the original project between the people working on it. The old messages regarding the original project shouldn't be visible by default for new team members either.

Is it possible to move all the old messages to a new channel and restore #general? Or how should we manage this situation?

1 Answer 1


Set default channels for new members from the official help:

  • Click your team name to open the Team Menu.
  • Select Team settings.
  • Click expand under the Default Channels section.

But you might still not able to change it:

  • Note: Note that all team members belong to #general and it cannot be removed from the list of default channels.

While it's not supported to rename the channel and move messages there is an import and export feature.

A possible work around would be to restore the original #general name and export the history of that channel. After that you create a new channel with the project name and import the history form #general into that new channel. This way you would have the project oriented messages in the project channel. What's left to do is to clean up the old messages in #general. You can delete old messages using the archives (FAQ: Edit or delete messages ).

  • 1
    Thanks, it seems like it's impossible then. The text on that Default Channels page says: "Choose the channels new members will automatically be added to (in addition to #project-name)."
    – glaux
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 11:01
  • That's is probably because you renamed the general channel. It's keeping the ID (or whatever) in the background.
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 11:26
  • 1
    Well that's just not supported. What you could try to do is use the import and export functions and just wipe the history of the general channel after making sure you have that history in a different channel.
    – Seth
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 12:30
  • 1
    That works! Exporting the team history and then selectively importing the contents of #general to the new channel does exactly what I want. The old messages in #general can then be deleted 100 at a time via my.slack.com/archives (there are scripts out there to bulk delete if needed). Please update your answer with the export/import option, then I'll mark it as accepted.
    – glaux
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 13:25
  • 1
    In case anyone needs further details, you can also "delete" messages by setting the message retention period to "1 day", wait 24-48 hours for it to clear out messages, then switch back the retention to whatever it was. Cheers!
    – meenxo
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 20:57

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