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5 Slack slash commands you need to know to save you time and energy

Slash commands can help make Slack less of a time suck. Here's how.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Black man in yellow sweater working on laptop
Getty Images/FreshSplash

Slack has become the de facto standard for team/staff/family collaboration and communication. Not only is Slack easy to install and use, but it also offers plenty of features to empower your day-to-day interactions and work activities.

Most people make use of the basic features of Slack, such as discussions, threads, direct messages, and file sharing. But did you know there's another tool that can help make you a master of Slackdom?

That tool is slash commands.

Also: Self-messaging on Slack sounds lonely, but it's my best productivity hack

What is a slash command? To put it simply, it's a command that begins with the / (slash) character. When you type the / character, it immediately informs your Slack interface (be it the desktop or mobile app) that what follows is a command (hence the name 'slash command'). Why do this? It saves you the time of hunting for threads or settings or other things in Slack. 

Let's find out how this process works and the types of commands you can use with it.

How to use Slack slash commands

In its most basic form, a slash command looks like this:

/command options

1. /msg to send a quick message

Say you want to send a quick message to a Slack channel. For example, you've completed TaskA and you want TeamX to know it's ready. For that, you'd type:

  /msg #TeamX TaskA is complete

2. /mute to mute a channel or thread

On desktop, using /mute brings up a pop-up which allows you to quickly mute a noisy channel or group thread.

On mobile, type /mute and return inside a channel to mute it. You can also mute it by typing /mute #channel

3. /remind to set a reminder

What if you need to set a reminder to do something later? Slack has you covered with a slash command. For example, you need a reminder to call your mother every day at 3pm. For that, we'll use the remind slash command, like so:

  /remind me to call my mom at 3 p.m. every day

4. /away or /active to set your status

Using either /away and /active instantly enables you to toggle your status as, you guessed it, away or active -- without you having to click into your profile to change your status.

5. /dnd to quickly pause notifications

On the desktop, using /dnd brings up a "Pause notifications until..." pop-up window where you can set how long you'd like to banish disruptions. 

On mobile, type /dnd 11:30, for example, if you want to pause notifications until 11:30.  

Other commands to know 

Getting the hang of it? I thought you might. But what about other handy slash commands? Here's a short list I've pulled together of the most useful slash commands:

  • /status - On desktop, it triggers a pop-up which allows you to set your status. On mobile, type /status followed by your preferred status, hit return, and it's set. 
  • /search - takes you straight to the search tool to search through messages and files in Slack.
  • /shortcuts - displays a list of keyboard shortcuts you can use in Slack.
  • /who - lists up to 100 members of your current channel.

Also: The best collaboration apps: Top team tools

Finally, if you find yourself unsure of what all slash commands can do, just type / to reveal an entire list of the available slash commands for your workspace.


Getting help with slash commands in the mobile Slack app.

And that covers the basics of using slash commands in Slack. Once you get the hang of this handy feature, you'll find Slack to be a far more efficient and powerful tool for your communication and collaboration needs.

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