This guide will help you get familiar with searching your Slack datasource. Need help finding specific channels or direct messages by a specific user? We'll have you covered.

First make sure you are familiar with our search capabilities to get the most out of your Slack searches:

When performing searches your datasource must be specified when executing your query. For basic searches this is achieved by navigating into the source and performing the query. Since advanced searches query across the entire Onna account the Resource field Parent source name should be specified:

Advanced Search Field Summary

The main fields used for advanced searching in Slack are Conversation Name and Conversation Type. Conversation ID is optional. This field is a unique text identifier for the conversation.

Another useful option is Related Users Names. This will be a list of Slack user names that are associated with conversations.

Conversation name formats

  • Channel #channel_name - public channel name format
  • Private channel #channel_name - private channel name format
  • Personal messages - static label for direct messages between two users
  • Direct message  - static label for multi-party messages with more than two people

Conversation types

  • channels - public channels
  • groups - private channels
  • dms - direct messages (between two users)
  • mpim - multi-party messages (between more than two users)

Note: When searching for conversation types dms or mpim, the Slack workspace name cannot be included in the advanced search. Direct messages and multi-party messages are at the enterprise account level. Only public and private channels are associated with a workspace.

Channel Search

Basic Channel Searching

To search for a specific channel, surround your channel search with double quotes. For example searching for "Channel #news" will return conversations from the #news Slack channel. If you need to find a private channel querying "Private channel #name" returns conversations from the specified private channel.

Advanced Channel Searching

For advanced search you want to utilize the Conversation field Conversation name. This specifies the name of the channel. If you need to find all conversations from channel #news add Conversation name contains Channel #news to the query:

Again for private channels use Private channel #name. 

Another scenario is obtaining all direct or personal message channels for an account. To obtain these conversations you can run a search on Conversation Type that looks for the values dms and mpim:

User Search

Basic User Searching

To find conversations related to specific users try the @ symbol to query a user name. For example if you need conversations associated with John Smith you can use @"John Smith"

Another option is to use the discussion filter and select a participant. Click on the filter toggle on the top right corner of the page:

This opens the filter panel on the left side of the page. Next click the filter options icon and select the Discussion filter view:

This displays the discussion filter view that returns your Slack conversations. A list of users is provided where you can click a checkbox to narrow down search results to your selected participants.

Advanced User Searching

Advance searching for users is associated with RelatedUsers field Related Users Name. For example to query for John Smith you can execute where Related Users Names contains John Smith:

Another scenario is finding any personal messages where a user is involved. In this case you add Conversation Type to the query and use the direct/multi-party search terms (dms,mpim):

More Useful Searches

Find Edits or Deletions

Slack channels in Onna have the labels "Has Edits" or "Has Deletions" if a user edited or deleted text/attachments in a conversation. This provides a way to easily find what conversations have edited or deleted information:

In the basic search bar a simple query like "Has Edits" OR "Has Deletions" will provide all conversations that have modifications. To narrow it down to edited conversations associated with a specific user you can include @username to the query - @"John Smith" AND ("Has Edits" OR "Has Deletions"):

To find conversation edits in advanced search use the Metadata field Extracted text. Using the same example as above with John Smith:

Note: if a conversation has the phrase has edits or has deletions within them these will also be matched.

Searching For Files

To see all files posted in a Slack account, search for where Conversation type is not set. By setting this the results bring back non-conversation type files which are the file attachments posted in messages:

To return files posted in specific channels specify the Resource field parent_title. The channel name is considered a parent to the file posted in the conversation. Here's an example that returns files from the channels #random and #news:

One more scenario you will run into is obtaining files posted by a specific user. This is achieved by specifying the Metadata field author. The author value should be set to the Slack user name when conducting the search:

Users Who Joined Or Left Channel

Before you attempt to search for users that joined or left channels you need to determine if this data is available within your Slack account. If you are on a Free, Standard, or Plus plan then these messages are available depending on the administration settings:

By default, messages are shown when someone joins or leaves a channel. Smaller groups might find these messages helpful, but larger groups might prefer to hide them.

For users syncing a Slack Enterprise Grid plan it is not possible to manage join and leave messages and only join messages will display:

On Enterprise Grid, it's not possible to manage join and leave messages. Messages will only show when someone joins a channel — leave messages will not display at any time.

More information can be found on Slack's Workspace Administration guide.

If these messages are available to you they will be in the following format:


  • private channel - @User has left the group
  • public channel - @User has left the channel


  • private channel - @User has joined the group
  • public channel - @User has joined the channel

By replacing @User with the person's username you can easily do basic searches using the formats above:

To achieve an advanced search you can try the above formats using a contains with the Metadata field Extracted text:

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