I use Slack to communicate with my university students. Every semester, the students in my subject change (assuming they all pass). I used Slack last semester but now I have many students which should no longer be in there and I want to add new ones.

I do not want to grow by 100 members in my workspace each semester.

Is there a way to remove many users at once without resorting to several clicks to deactivate each one?

Or, should I simply create a new workspace and let the old one die a slow death?


While waiting for an answer here, I asked Slack. They were very quick to respond but I am unhappy with the actual response.

Thanks for getting in touch! I can certainly see how this would be rather time consuming, but I'm afraid there isn't an option for you to remove multiple members in one go. Going forward you might perhaps ask each student to deactivate their own account at the end of each semester.

Creating a new workspace for the new semester could be an alternative option for you. Each previous workspace can be retained for future reference should you need it, or you can delete a workspace entirely. Any content that you would like to share from the old workspace to the new one can be exported across first.

I've popped a few links below for you John, that may help as you decide your best course of action here:

Deactivating your own account (for the students): https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/203953146-Deactivate-your-Slack-account

Exporting data: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/201658943-Export-data-and-message-history

Deleting a workspace—please note the cautions around doing this: https://get.slack.help/hc/en-us/articles/204067366-Delete-a-workspace

I'm here if you have any further questions at all!



  • 2
    Slack, usually so awesome, in this case, so not.
    – s2t2
    May 12 '18 at 1:14
  • And almost two years later, same problem!
    – Jérémie
    Mar 20 '20 at 20:41

The response from Slack is technically correct, but incomplete.

API method for deactivating users

There actually is an API method to deactivate many users at once called: users.admin.setInactive

So you can create a simple Slack app that would allow you to deactivate a batch of users in one go. However, there are two caveats:

  • that API method is undocumented, which is why the Slack team will never tell you about it

  • it only works on payed teams, which as I understand you do not have

Please check the linked documentation for details.

Organizational solution

There is another approach, which is organizational. Instead of removing former students from the slack workspace completely you could focus all relevant communication on one or several private channels. By inviting and kicking users from those private channels you can ensure that only current students have access.

Removing users from a private channel is easy:

  • Enter /kick @user in the channel
  • click on the name in the member list and choose "kick"
  • create a simple Slack app that removes a batch of users by calling the API method conversations.kick.
  • create a simple Slack app that removes a batch of users by calling the API method conversations.kick. How to create such an app?
    – O0123
    May 16 '20 at 14:01

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