Managing Channels

Channels can be created, joined, renamed, left, marked as a favorite, muted, unmuted, and archived.

Creating a channel

To create a new Public or Private channel, select the + symbol at the top of the sidebar, then select Create New Channel.

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Anyone can create Public channels or Private channels, unless the System Admin has restricted the permissions.

There are two ways to start a Direct or Group Message:

Select the + symbol at the top of the sidebar, then select Open a Direct Message.

or

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

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Joining a channel

To join a Public channel, select the + symbol at the top of the sidebar, then select Browse Channels. Search through the list of Public channels you can join, then select Join.

To join a Private channel, you need to be added to the channel by a member of that channel.

Adding members to a channel

Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Add Members. Any member of a channel can add new members by choosing Add next to a user’s name. Users already added to the channel will not appear in this list.

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You can also add users to channels within their profile pop-over by choosing Add to a Channel and selecting the channel you want them to join.

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Removing members from a channel

Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Manage Members. Any member of a channel can remove other members by selecting the member’s channel role, then selecting Remove from Channel.

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Naming a channel

Channels can be identified in two ways:

  1. Channel display name: This appears in the Mattermost user interface. On Desktop, select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then choose Rename Channel. Anyone can rename the channels they belong to, unless the System Admin has restricted the permissions.
  2. Channel handle: This is part of the channel URL. You can also change the channel handle when renaming a channel, but changing channel handles may break existing links.

For example, for the following channel, https://community.mattermost.com/core/channels/ux-design:

  • Channel display name: UX Design
  • Channel handle: ux-design

Leaving a channel

Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Leave Channel. Any team member who leaves a Private channel must be re-added by another channel member if they wish to rejoin. Team members will not receive mention notifications from channels of which they are not members.

Archiving a channel

Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Archive Channel. Anyone can archive the Public channels or Private channels they belong to, unless the System Admin has restricted the permissions.

When a channel is archived, it is removed from the user interface, but a copy exists on the server in case it is needed for audit reasons at a later stage. Because of this, the URL of a newly created channel cannot be the same URL name as an archived channel.

In addition to this, when a channel is archived, by default the contents cannot be viewed, shared, or searched. If you want to be able to view or search the channel later, either:

  1. Ask your System Admin to set ExperimentalViewArchivedChannels to true in config.json to allow users to view, share, and search for content of channels that have been archived; or
  2. Leave the channel open, but post a message in the channel saying it’s considered archived: such as # This channel is archived.

System Admins can archive channels in the System Console without needing to be a channel member.

Unarchiving a channel

Search for the channel if required. Then, open the channel, select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu and select Unarchive Channel. System Admins and Team Admins can unarchive Public channels or Private channels they belonged to when it was archived.

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When a channel is unarchived, channel membership and all its content is restored, unless messages and files have been deleted based on the data retention policy.

In addition to this, System Admins can also unarchive channels via the CLI and Team Admins can unarchive them via the API.

Converting Public channels to Private channels (and vice versa)

Select the Public channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Convert to Private Channel. Team and System Admins can convert Public channels to Private channels. Please note that default channels such as Town Square and Off-Topic cannot be converted to Private channels.

When a channel is converted, its history and membership are preserved. Membership in a Private channel is by invitation only. Publicly-shared files remain accessible to anyone with the link.

Note

Due to security concerns with sharing Private channel history, only System Admins can convert Private channels to Public channels via System Console > Channels > Edit (Channel Configuration). Alternatively, perform this action using the mmctl channel modify command.

Favoriting a channel

Favorite channels are a great way to organize your sidebar by choosing which Public channels, Private channels, and Direct Messages are most important to you.

To mark a channel as a favorite, open the channel:

On desktop: At the top of the page, select on the star icon next to the channel name.

Mark a channel as a favorite.

This adds the channel to a Favorites list at the top of the sidebar, so it’s easy to access. To remove a channel from the Favorites list, select the star again.

Favorite channels in the left-hand sidebar.

On mobile: Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Favorite. To remove a channel from the Favorites list, select Favorite again.

Muting and unmuting a channel

Select the channel name at the top of the center pane to access the drop-down menu, then select Mute Channel.

Once a channel is muted:

  • Email, desktop, and push notifications are disabled.
  • A mute icon displays next to the channel name.
  • The channel appears at reduced opacity in the left-hand sidebar, and the channel isn’t marked as unread unless you’re mentioned directly.

To unmute the channel, select the channel name again to access the drop-down menu, then select Unmute Channel.

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