Create channels

plans-img Available on all plans

deployment-img Cloud and self-hosted deployments

Anyone can create public channels, private channels, direct messages, and group messages unless the system admin has restricted permissions to do so using advanced permissions.

To create a public or private channel

  1. Select the Add channels button in the channel sidebar, then select Create New Channel.

You can create a channel using the Add channels button

You can also select the + symbol at the top of the channel sidebar, then select Create New Channel.

You can also create a channel using the + symbol button
  1. Enter a channel name.

  2. Choose whether this is a public or private channel. See the channel types documentation to learn more about public and private channels.

  3. (Optional) Describe the channel’s focus or purpose. This text is visible to all channel members in the channel header.

To start a direct or group message

  1. Select the + symbol next to the Direct Messages category in the channel sidebar.

Access recent direct messages and group messages.
  1. Select up to seven users by searching or browsing.


  • Alternatively, select the + symbol at the top of the channel sidebar, then select Open a Direct Message. In the Direct Messages list, you’ll see your most recent conversations.

  • To add more people to the conversation select the channel name, then select Add Members. Adding members to a group message creates a new channel and starts a new conversation.

  • You can’t remove members of a group message; however, you can start a new group channel and conversation with different members.

  • If you want to add more than 7 users to a group message, create a private channel instead.


Automate with channel actions

The person who creates a channel automatically becomes the channel admin. Channel admins using Mattermost in a web browser or the desktop app can access Channel Actions from the channel name drop-down menu in the center pane to set up automatic actions when users join the channel or post a message to the channel.

Automatic actions include:

  • Displaying a temporary welcome message for new channel members.

  • Automatically adding the channel to a category in the user’s channel sidebar.

  • Prompting to run a playbook based on the contents of a message.

The playbooks must be enabled for channel admins to use channel actions.