Slack started with a mission to replace emails and has largely succeeded in doing so. We use Slack at TechWiser and so do thousands of other companies, both small and big. Sending messages instead of lengthy, and formal, mails saves time. But it also poses a problem. How do you delete Slack messages in bulk? Well, Slack is aware of the problem but is not doing anything to resolve it.
Users have been complaining about this issue but to no avail. We have a few ways to get rid of old Slack messages in bulk but why you need to delete them? One reason can be privacy and security. Delete sensitive conversations that you don’t want others to access, even accidentally. Other is the saved messages and storage limit that Slack has for different account holders based on plans.
Before we begin, keep in mind, If you are a regular Slack user, you can only delete your messages. But if you are the admin or owner of the channel, you can delete other users’ messages too (except messages indirect message users). That said, let’s begin.
Also Read: Slack Desktop Apps Now Has a Dark Mode
Delete Slack Messages in Bulk
1. Message Deleter for Slack (Chrome Extension)
It seems that there is a Chrome extension for everything. Click on the link below to open and install the Message Delete for Slack extension. It should work on any Chromium browser including Chrome and Brave. Click on the Slack extension icon and select Delete MY messages option. Select the channel you want to delete messages from before you do it.
Note that you can only delete your own messages and not the ones sent by others. They will have to bulk them themselves. Another thing to note is that the dev has released another extension for new Slack users. If you are using a new Slack interface, use the 2.0 version instead.
If you are Slack admin and want to delete all messages from all users, you will need to get the pro version that will cost you $50 one-time. Not a bad deal. Go try it now.
2. Slack Cleaner (Python Script)
There is an open-source python script available on GitHub that you can install and use to delete Slack messages in bulk. It’s going to be a little geeky in here, but you should be able to do it even if you don’t know much about running Python scripts. Download the python script from the link below.
You will need API permissions. Click Create token next to the Workspace in which you want to delete Slack messages in bulk. Copy the API key. You can install this script on macOS. I couldn’t make it work on Windows yet. I will keep you posted. If anyone got it to work on Windows, please share it in the comments below.
pip install slack-cleaner
slack-cleaner –token <TOKEN> –message –channel general –user “*”
There is a limit to how many messages you can delete in a single go, so if things stall, hit the up arrow key and repeat the command. Dev guide can be found here.
3. Slack Deleter (Chrome Extension)
Here is another Chrome extension but there are some changes under the hood. You can not only delete Slack messages in bulk but delete the attached files. Other interesting features include the ability to delete all messages except those that are starred, delete by timeline or date range, delete all messages by a user, or delete all messages in a channel.
The process is simple enough. Open Slack channel, click on the extension and set a parameter by user or date and time range. Select Start Delete and watch as messages are begin deleted in realtime. You can halt the process anytime you want if you think things aren’t going accordingly to the plan.
If you are getting timed-out errors, refresh the Slack page and try again. Again, only Slack admin can delete other users’ messages. This is by design and can’t be changed. Check out the pro version for more features and less restrictions.
4. Deletron (Delete Files Only)
Not everyone is worried about messages, there are also files that we share with other users on Slack. If you want to delete files only, Detetron is a cool little web app that is open-sourced and very easy to use. Just open the web app and sign in using your Slack account. You can later revoke all access. Once you do, choose a particular channel or choose all channels and select the file types that you want to find and delete.
Once you have chosen file types and channels, you will see the exact number of files, based on your filters, Deletron was able to find. You can now delete files but they will be deleted one by one. That’s because the Slack API has limited this request. The benefit of using this tool is that you can use all these filters to narrow down the results. For example, if you are using a free plan or are cramped for space, you can find larger files and delete them first.
To revoke Deletron access to Slack, open Slack > Apps > Deletron > Settings > Configuration and click on Remove App button. Tada! You are done.
MessageBender not only lets you bulk delete Slack messages and files, like the other apps in the list, but it can also download backups of your messages. It’s also quite cheap compared to its alternatives.
In the free version, you can delete 100 messages. As of writing this article, you can delete 2500 messages for a limited time offer for just $1 and 12500 messages for Slack for $3.
These are four ways to delete messages and even files on Slack. You can use the browser extension, python script or a web app to do so. A lot will also depend on what you want to achieve. I would recommend you to use Slack Deleter and Deletron first. These are two of the best solutions for the job.