Search for public or private channels in an Enterprise organization.


This API method can only be used on Enterprise Grid workspaces.


Method access

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Content types

  • Rate limits

    Tier 2
  • Arguments

    Required arguments

    Authentication token bearing required scopes. Tokens should be passed as an HTTP Authorization header or alternatively, as a POST parameter.

    Optional arguments

    Array of encoded team IDs, signifying the external orgs to search through.


    Set cursor to next_cursor returned by the previous call to list items in the next page.


    Maximum number of items to be returned. Must be between 1 - 20 both inclusive. Default is 10.


    Name of the the channel to query by.


    The type of channel to include or exclude in the search. For example private will search private channels, while private_exclude will exclude them. For a full list of types, check the Types section.


    Possible values are relevant (search ranking based on what we think is closest), name (alphabetical), member_count (number of users in the channel), and created (date channel was created). You can optionally pair this with the sort_dir arg to change how it is sorted


    Sort direction. Possible values are asc for ascending order like (1, 2, 3) or (a, b, c), and desc for descending order like (3, 2, 1) or (c, b, a)


    Comma separated string of team IDs, signifying the internal workspaces to search through.


    Only return the total_count of channels. Omits channel data and allows access for admins without channel manager permissions.


    Usage info

    This Admin API method searches for channels across an organization given a search query.

    This admin scope is obtained through version two of the OAuth V2 flow, but there are a few additional requirements. The app requesting this scope must be installed by an admin or Owner of an Enterprise Grid organization. Also, the app must be installed on the entire org, not on an individual workspace. See below for more details.

    If the app is installed by an Org Admin or Owner, ensure the Channel Management settings provide the appropriate permissions. The Org Admin or Owner installing the app must have the Channel Management role, and must also be granted access to Public channels and Private channels within this role. If these criteria aren't met, the Org Admin or Owner will receive a not_allowed error when attempting to install an app.

    Admin API endpoints reach across an entire Enterprise Grid organization, not individual workspaces.

    For a token to be imbued with Admin scopes, it must be obtained from installing an app on the entire Grid org, not just a workspace within the organization.

    To configure and install an app supporting Admin API endpoints on your Enterprise Grid organization:

    1. Create a new Slack app. Your app will need to be able to handle a standard OAuth 2 flow.
    2. In the app's settings, select OAuth & Permissions from the left navigation. Scroll down to the section titled Scopes and add the admin.* scope you want. Click the Save Changes button.
    3. In the app's settings, select Manage Distribution from the left navigation. Under the section titled Share Your App with Other Workspaces, make sure all four sections have the green check. Then click the green Activate Public Distribution button.
    4. Under the Share Your App with Your Workspace section, copy the Sharable URL and paste it into a browser to initiate the OAuth handshake that will install the app on your organization. You must be logged in as an admin or Owner of your Enterprise Grid organization to install the app.
    5. Check the dropdown in the upper right of the installation screen to make sure you are installing the app on the organization, not an individual workspace within the organization. See the image below for a visual.
    6. Once your app completes the OAuth flow, you will be granted an OAuth token that can be used for calling Admin API methods for your organization.

    When installing an app to use an Admin API endpoint, be sure to install it on your Grid organization, not a workspace within the organization.

    More on channel types

    The search_channel_types allows an array of types to be passed, each of which filters the channels that the search returns. If you pass multiple types, the search occurs in channels that satisfy any of the types. You can pass the following values in your list of search_channel_types:

    • private
    • private_exclude
    • archived
    • exclude_archived
    • private_exclude_archived
    • multi_workspace
    • org_wide
    • external_shared_exclude
    • external_shared
    • external_shared_private
    • external_shared_archived
    • exclude_org_shared

    private will search private channels, and private_exclude will exclude them from the search. The other names follow the same patterns for channels connected to other organizations and archived channels.

    The member_count field will return -1 when the channel is archived. Counts of 0 and above indicate current membership.

    Example responses

    Common successful response

    Typical success response

        "ok": true,
        "conversations": [
                "id": "GSEV0B5PY",
                "name": "privacy-channel",
                "purpose": "Group messaging with: @rita @nwhere @meanie",
                "member_count": -1,
                "created": 1578423973,
                "creator_id": "WPQ65MVKK",
                "is_private": true,
                "is_archived": true,
                "is_general": false,
                "last_activity_ts": 1583198954000200,
                "is_ext_shared": false,
                "is_global_shared": true,
                "is_org_default": false,
                "is_org_mandatory": false,
                "is_org_shared": true,
                "is_frozen": false,
                "connected_team_ids": [],
                "internal_team_ids_count": 4,
                "internal_team_ids_sample_team": "T013F30DBAB",
                "pending_connected_team_ids": [],
                "is_pending_ext_shared": false
                "id": "C013JDPD6CR",
                "name": "proj-decomposed-monolith",
                "purpose": "",
                "member_count": 1,
                "created": 1588786531,
                "creator_id": "WPQ65MVKK",
                "is_private": false,
                "is_archived": false,
                "is_general": false,
                "last_activity_ts": 1589854024000200,
                "is_ext_shared": false,
                "is_global_shared": false,
                "is_org_default": false,
                "is_org_mandatory": false,
                "is_org_shared": true,
                "is_frozen": false,
                "connected_team_ids": [],
                "internal_team_ids_count": 1,
                "internal_team_ids_sample_team": "TPQ67R81F",
                "pending_connected_team_ids": [],
                "is_pending_ext_shared": false
        "next_cursor": "aWQ6Mw==",
        "total_count": 14823


    This table lists the expected errors that this method could return. However, other errors can be returned in the case where the service is down or other unexpected factors affect processing. Callers should always check the value of the ok params in the response.


    One of the orgs provided in the external connected teams filter is not a top level team.


    One of the teams provided in the external connected teams filter is not connected to the org.


    The token provided doesn't have access to this method.


    Some aspect of authentication cannot be validated. Either the provided token is invalid or the request originates from an IP address disallowed from making the request.


    The provided cursor is not valid, often due to not urlencoding query parameters.


    An invalid search_channel_types arg was passed. Make sure there are no spaces between your args and that each is one of the enumerated options listed above.


    The provided sort argument wasn't valid.


    The provided sort_dir argument wasn't valid.


    The authenticated user does not have the permission to call this method.


    The token provided is not associated with an Org Admin or Owner.


    This endpoint can only be called by an Enterprise organization.


    One of the workspaces provided in the list wasn't found.


    Access to a resource specified in the request is denied.


    Authentication token is for a deleted user or workspace when using a bot token.


    The endpoint has been deprecated.


    Administrators have suspended the ability to post a message.


    The method cannot be called from an Enterprise.


    This method cannot be called by a legacy bot.


    The method has been deprecated.


    The token used is not granted the specific scope permissions required to complete this request.


    The token type used in this request is not allowed.


    No authentication token provided.


    The workspace token used in this request does not have the permissions necessary to complete the request. Make sure your app is a member of the conversation it's attempting to post a message to.


    The workspace is undergoing an enterprise migration and will not be available until migration is complete.


    Authentication token has expired


    Authentication token is for a deleted user or workspace or the app has been removed when using a user token.


    Two factor setup is required.


    Access to this method is limited on the current network


    The server could not complete your operation(s) without encountering a catastrophic error. It's possible some aspect of the operation succeeded before the error was raised.


    The server could not complete your operation(s) without encountering an error, likely due to a transient issue on our end. It's possible some aspect of the operation succeeded before the error was raised.


    The method was passed an argument whose name falls outside the bounds of accepted or expected values. This includes very long names and names with non-alphanumeric characters other than _. If you get this error, it is typically an indication that you have made a very malformed API call.


    The method was either called with invalid arguments or some detail about the arguments passed is invalid, which is more likely when using complex arguments like blocks or attachments.


    The method was passed an array as an argument. Please only input valid strings.


    The method was called via a POST request, but the charset specified in the Content-Type header was invalid. Valid charset names are: utf-8 iso-8859-1.


    The method was called via a POST request with Content-Type application/x-www-form-urlencoded or multipart/form-data, but the form data was either missing or syntactically invalid.


    The method was called via a POST request, but the specified Content-Type was invalid. Valid types are: application/json application/x-www-form-urlencoded multipart/form-data text/plain.


    The method was called via a POST request and included a data payload, but the request did not include a Content-Type header.


    The request has been ratelimited. Refer to the Retry-After header for when to retry the request.


    The method was called via a POST request, but the POST data was either missing or truncated.


    The service is temporarily unavailable


    The workspace associated with your request is currently undergoing migration to an Enterprise Organization. Web API and other platform operations will be intermittently unavailable until the transition is complete.


    This table lists the expected warnings that this method will return. However, other warnings can be returned in the case where the service is experiencing unexpected trouble.


    The method was called via a POST request, and recommended practice for the specified Content-Type is to include a charset parameter. However, no charset was present. Specifically, non-form-data content types (e.g. text/plain) are the ones for which charset is recommended.


    The method was called via a POST request, and the specified Content-Type is not defined to understand the charset parameter. However, charset was in fact present. Specifically, form-data content types (e.g. multipart/form-data) are the ones for which charset is superfluous.


    Need a token? Create and install a Slack app to begin.
    This will make a real API request. Beware of using it with live workspaces.

    API response

    Submit your arguments to see the API response