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- Slack does not use read receipts, so you can’t tell if someone has read a message you sent.
- Slack does indicate whether you’ve read messages, though, which helps you keep track of what you’ve read and what you haven’t.
- You can change the way Slack tracks read messages on the desktop in the Preferences menu.
For many people, Slack is an indispensable communication tool that keeps teams in close contact thanks to a combination of group chats and instant messages.
The service might seem like a natural place for read receipts, but Slack does not have any — you can’t get any indication of whether someone else has read a message you sent.
But Slack does make it possible for you to keep track of whether you’ve read specific messages, and that is often just as important.
Does Slack have read receipts?
Slack does not have read receipts. In other words, the app doesn’t include any way to let you know if recipients have read or seen your message, whether in group chats, channels, or in direct messages. Of course, this is something of a double-edged sword; not only can’t you tell if another user has seen your message, no one else can see if you have gotten to their messages yet, either.
How to manage what Slack marks as read
Even though Slack doesn’t have read receipts, it does track whether you have read messages or not, and you can control exactly how this works — but only on the desktop version of Slack. This level of control isn’t available on Slack for mobile devices.
To manage how Slack marks your messages as read, click your account icon at the top right of the app window and then choose Preferences. In the Preferences menu, click Mark as read.
You can control aspects of how Slack tracks which messages you have read.
Then, in the When I view a channel section, choose the option you prefer:
- Start where you left off and mark the conversation as read. When you choose a conversation, it places you at the last message you read but marks the entire thread as read.
- Start at the newest message and mark the conversation as read. When you choose a conversation, it places you at the newest message in the thread you read but marks the entire thread as read.
- Start at the newest message but leave the unseen messages unread. When you choose a conversation, it places you at the newest message in the thread you read but leaves the unread messages in the thread marked as unread.
Quick tip: If you want to mark a message as unread so you can more easily get back to it and take action on it or respond to it later, right-click the three-dot More actions menu atop a message and choose Mark as unread.