Best Practices for Slack Notification Settings


We understand it can be difficult to focus on your work when your computer constantly notifies you of new messages. To help mitigate the noise, Slack has several ways to customize notifications. You can adjust the sound, timing, and appearance of your notifications for specific channels, direct messages, or huddles. You can also have different notification settings for your desktop and mobile devices. The following are suggested best practices for Slack notification settings. For more Slack best practices, tips, and tricks, refer to U-M Slack: Best Practices and Tips.

Note: Although it is possible to access your Slack workspaces from a web browser, we recommend that you install the Slack desktop app on your computer.

Tips, Tricks, and Best Practices

By default, you’ll receive desktop and mobile notifications when:

These defaults apply to both desktop and mobile notifications unless you configure your preferences. You will find best practices for each notification configuration below.

Access your notification settings

To access your notification preferences in your desktop app:

  1. Click your profile picture in the lower left corner of the app.
  2. Select Preferences from the menu.
  3. Select Notifications from the sidebar in the pop-up that appears.

Note: Your notification settings will remain the same across each U-M Slack workspace of which you are a member.

Notify me about…

The Notify me about… section is where you will set which types of messages will trigger a notification. We recommend the following:

  1. Select Direct messages, mentions & keywords.

Optional: Click the Use different settings for my mobile devices checkbox if you would like different settings for mobile notifications, and then select the messages you’d like to be notified about via mobile device from the drop-down menu.

  1. Click the Notify me when a huddle starts in one of my channels checkbox.
  2. Click the Notify me about replies to threads I’m following checkbox.

Tip: Threads are great for sectioning off conversations within a Slack channel to avoid “spamming” the entire channel with chats between only a few people or about a specific topic.

My keywords

Keywords alert you to conversations in channels you've joined about specific words you set. Anytime someone uses one of your keywords in a message, you'll receive a notification and see the keyword highlighted in yellow. We do not have specific recommendations regarding keywords. However, it’s never a bad idea to include “urgent” and “emergency” if desired.

Notification schedule

After setting a notification schedule, you will only receive notifications during the hours you choose. Notifications will be paused when they are received outside of your schedule. We recommend selecting Weekdays from the Allow notifications drop-down menu and your normal work hours in the drop-downs beside it.

Sound & appearance

The Sound & appearance settings allow you to choose how notifications look, sound, and behave. Note that there are slightly different settings depending on which version of Slack (i.e., Mac, Windows, or browser) you are utilizing. The following are recommendations for each version.

For Mac:

  1. Check the Include a preview of the message in each notification checkbox under Sound & appearance.
  2. Select the sound you would like to hear when you receive a notification for messages and huddles.
  3. Check the Show a badge on Slack’s icon to indicate new activity checkbox.
  4. Check the Bounce Slack’s icon when receiving a notification checkbox.
  5. Check the Only bounce it once checkbox.

For Windows:

On Windows, note that you will see notifications in two places: in your taskbar and your Windows Action Center (notifications area).

  1. Check the Include a preview of the message in each notification checkbox under Sound & appearance.
  2. Select the sound you would like to hear when you receive a notification for messages and huddles.
  3. Select When left idle under Flash window when a notification is received.

Note: If you select Always, the Slack icon in the taskbar will stay there even when the desktop app is closed.

  1. Select Windows Action Center (abbreviated) from the Deliver notifications via… drop-down menu.

For web browser:

  1. Click Enable Desktop Notifications.
  2. Check the Include a preview of the message in each notification checkbox under Sound & appearance.
  3. Select the sound you would like to hear when you receive a notification for messages and huddles.

When I’m not active on desktop...

You can set if and when Slack sends a notification to your mobile device and/or email. We recommend selecting after I’ve been inactive for 5 minutes under When I’m not active on desktop….

If you would like to receive email notifications about Slack messages, check the Send me email notifications for mentions and direct messages checkbox and select once every 15 minutes.

Channel-specific notification settings

You can set notification preferences for specific channels and group direct messages (DMs) with three or more people to change what messages notify you. If you'd rather not receive notifications about any messages in a particular channel, group DM, or regular DM, you can also mute the conversation or turn off notifications.

Note: It is not possible to mute an entire workspace, only specific channels in it.

We do not have specific recommendations for channel notifications but caution that if you mute or turn off notifications for a channel or DM, you will not be notified of any messages, including mentions or keywords. To access these settings:

  1. Go to the channel or group DM for which you'd like to set notifications.
  2. Click the name of the Slack channel or group DM at the top.
  3. Click Get Notifications for All Messages and select the desired notification settings from the drop-down menu.

Tip: After setting channel-specific notification settings, you can view a list of channels and DMs with specific settings (including muted conversations) from your Preferences under Channel-specific notifications.

Additional Resources

Last Updated: 
Wednesday, November 15, 2023