How to mute Slack notifications for channels that aren't starred

If being bombarded by a constant deluge of Slack notifications is wearing on your sanity, it may be time to mute some of those channels. Find out how.

How to mute Slack notifications for channels that aren't starred

Slack is where it's at. Until you need Slack to be silent. At that point, you might find yourself wishing you could close the app, so the notifications don't overwhelm you. Unfortunately, you can't--your team depends on your staying in the know so you can successfully collaborate.

Fortunately, the Slack developers did their thing and developed just enough features to make it possible for you to work with the tool, without losing what's left of your patience.

For instance, take the ability to mute notifications for channels—even those you haven't starred for attention. By doing this, you soften the blow of chaos brought about by too many notifications.

Let's quiet down Slack a bit.

SEE: The tech pro's guide to video conferencing (TechRepublic download)

What you'll need

I'll be demonstrating this process on both the desktop and mobile Slack clients. The platform (i.e., Linux, Android, iOS, macOS, Windows) you use doesn't matter; however, you must have either the Slack desktop or mobile app installed, as well as an accessible workspace with channels to mute.

How to mute channels in the Slack mobile app

We'll start with the mobile app. To mute a specific channel (be it starred or not), navigate to the channel in question. From within that channel, tap the downward-pointing arrow in the upper-left corner (Figure A).

Figure A


Gaining access to the channel details.

From the Channel Details tap Notifications (Figure B).

Figure B


The Channel Details window in Slack for Android.

In the resulting window, tap either Just @mentions (to quiet) or Nothing (to silence) the channel (Figure C). 

Figure C


How do you prefer your Slack channel notifications, muted or silenced?

Back out of this window and the channel in question has been muted.

How to mute channels in the Slack desktop app

Muting channels in the desktop app is done in similar fashion. Locate the channel to be muted and click Details in the upper-right corner (Figure D).

Figure D


Gaining access to the Channel details from within the Slack desktop app.

In the resulting sidebar, click More (Figure E).

Figure E


The Channel Details sidebar in the Slack desktop app.

From the More popup, either click Mute to completely mute the channel, or click Notifications (Figure F).

Figure F


The Slack desktop More popup menu.

From the Notification popup (Figure G), you can choose between:

  • Every New Message: To be notified of everything

  • Just @mentions: To only be notified when you are mentioned

  • Nothing: To silence the channel

Figure G


The Notifications popup on the Slack desktop app.

Make your pick and close the window. 

Congratulations, you've successfully muted a channel you don't wish to hear. You can do this with any channel you need to silence. Just remember to undo that change, if you find yourself needing to get those notifications again.

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Image: iStockphoto/oatawa

By Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic, The New Stack, and Linux New Media. He's covered a variety of topics for over twenty years and is an avid promoter of open source. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen....