Fetches a conversation's history of messages and events.

This Conversations API method's required scopes depend on the type of channel-like object you're working with. To use the method, you'll need at least one of the channels:, groups:, im: or mpim: scopes corresponding to the conversation type you're working with.

This method returns a portion of message events from the specified conversation.

To read the entire history for a conversation, call the method with no latest or oldest arguments, and then continue paging using the instructions below.

The scopes and token types required to use this method vary by conversation type:

  • Apps using classic bot user token may use this method for direct message and multi-party direct message conversations but lack sufficient permissions to use this method on public and private channels.
  • Every other type of token can be used with this method for any conversations the relevant app, bot, or user is a member of. The calling app must also have the relevant *:history scope for the conversation type.



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


Conversation ID to fetch history for.


Paginate through collections of data by setting the cursor parameter to a next_cursor attribute returned by a previous request's response_metadata. Default value fetches the first "page" of the collection. See pagination for more detail.


Include messages with latest or oldest timestamp in results only when either timestamp is specified.

Default: 0


End of time range of messages to include in results.

Default: now


The maximum number of items to return. Fewer than the requested number of items may be returned, even if the end of the users list hasn't been reached.

Default: 100


Start of time range of messages to include in results.

Default: 0


Present arguments as parameters in application/x-www-form-urlencoded querystring or POST body. This method does not currently accept application/json.


Common successful response

Typical success response containing a channel's messages

    "ok": true,
    "messages": [
            "type": "message",
            "user": "U012AB3CDE",
            "text": "I find you punny and would like to smell your nose letter",
            "ts": "1512085950.000216"
            "type": "message",
            "user": "U061F7AUR",
            "text": "What, you want to smell my shoes better?",
            "ts": "1512104434.000490"
    "has_more": true,
    "pin_count": 0,
    "response_metadata": {
        "next_cursor": "bmV4dF90czoxNTEyMDg1ODYxMDAwNTQz"
Alternate response

Typical success response included formatted messages from bots and incoming webhooks

    "ok": true,
    "messages": [
            "type": "message",
            "user": "U012AB3CDE",
            "text": "I find you punny and would like to smell your nose letter",
            "ts": "1512085950.000216"
            "type": "message",
            "user": "U061F7AUR",
            "text": "Isn't this whether dreadful? <>",
            "attachments": [
                    "service_name": "Leg end nary a laugh, Ink.",
                    "text": "This is likely a pun about the weather.",
                    "fallback": "We're withholding a pun from you",
                    "thumb_url": "",
                    "thumb_width": 1920,
                    "thumb_height": 700,
                    "id": 1
            "ts": "1512085950.218404"
    "has_more": true,
    "pin_count": 0,
    "response_metadata": {
        "next_cursor": "bmV4dF90czoxNTEyMTU0NDA5MDAwMjU2"
Alternate response

Typical success response with latest timestamp and inclusive parameters specified

    "ok": true,
    "latest": "1512085950.000216",
    "messages": [
            "type": "message",
            "user": "U012AB3CDE",
            "text": "I find you punny and would like to smell your nose letter",
            "ts": "1512085950.000216"
    "has_more": true,
    "pin_count": 0,
    "response_metadata": {
        "next_cursor": "bmV4dF90czoxNTEyMzU2NTI2MDAwMTMw"
Common error response

Typical error response

    "ok": false,
    "error": "channel_not_found"


This method uses cursor-based pagination to make it easier to incrementally collect information. To begin pagination, specify a limit value under 1000. We recommend no more than 200 results at a time.

Responses will include a top-level response_metadata attribute containing a next_cursor value. By using this value as a cursor parameter in a subsequent request, along with limit, you may navigate through the collection page by virtual page.

See pagination for more information.

Pagination by time

This form of pagination can be used in conjunction with cursors.

The messages array contains up to 100 messages between latest and oldest. If there were more than 100 messages between those two points, then has_more will be true.

Provide timestamps in latest and oldest to specify the period in channel's history you want to cover. If a message has the same timestamp as latest or oldest it will not be included in the list, unless inclusive is true. The inclusive parameter is ignored when latest or oldest is not specified.

If the response includes has_more then the client can make another call, using the ts value of the final messages as the latest param to get the next page of messages.

If there are more than 100 messages between the two timestamps then the messages returned are the ones closest to latest. In most cases an application will want the most recent messages and will page backward from there. If oldest is provided but not latest then the messages returned are those closest to oldest, allowing you to page forward through history if desired.

Retrieving a single message

conversations.history can also be used to pluck a single message from the archive.

You'll need a message's ts value, uniquely identifying it within a conversation. You'll also need that conversation's ID.

Provide another message's ts value as the latest parameter. Set limit to 1. If it exists, you'll receive the queried message in return.

Finally, use inclusive=true because otherwise we'll never retrieve the message we're actually after, just the ones that come after it.

GET /api/conversations.history?channel=C2EB2QT8A&latest=1476909142.000007&inclusive=true&limit=1

You can easily generate a permalink URL for any specific message using chat.getPermalink.

Message types

Messages of type "message" are user-entered text messages sent to the channel, while other types are events that happened within the channel. All messages have both a type and a sortable ts, but the other fields depend on the type. For a list of all possible events, see the channel messages documentation.

Messages that have been reacted to by team members will have a reactions array delightfully included.

If a message has been starred by the calling user, the is_starred property will be present and true. This property is only added for starred items, so is not present in the majority of messages.

The is_limited boolean property is only included for free teams that have reached the free message limit. If true, there are messages before the current result set, but they are beyond the message limit.


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.


Value passed for channel was invalid.


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


Value passed for cursor was not valid or is no longer valid.


Pagination does not currently function on Enterprise Grid workspaces.


Value passed for latest was invalid


Value passed for oldest was invalid


No authentication token provided.


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.


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


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


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.


Administrators have suspended the ability to post a message.


The token type used in this request is not allowed.


The method has been deprecated.


The endpoint has been deprecated.


Two factor setup is required.


The method cannot be called from an Enterprise.


The token used is not granted the specific workspace access required to complete this request.


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


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 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 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.


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


Access to this method is limited on the current network


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


The service is temporarily unavailable


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.


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.

Sample code

Bolt is a foundational framework that makes it faster and easier to build Slack apps with the platform's latest features.

Fetching conversation history in Python

Show code to initialize app
# Store conversation history conversation_history = [] # ID of the channel you want to send the message to channel_id = "C12345" try: # Call the conversations.history method using the WebClient # conversations.history returns the first 100 messages by default # These results are paginated, see:$pagination result = client.conversations_history(channel=channel_id) conversation_history = result["messages"] # Print results"{} messages found in {}".format(len(conversation_history), id)) except SlackApiError as e: logger.error("Error creating conversation: {}".format(e))

New to building Slack apps with Python? Read Getting Started with Bolt for Python.

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