Searches for messages matching a query.

Facts

Method access

HTTP
JavaScript
Python
Java
HTTP
GEThttps://slack.com/api/search.messages
Bolt for Java
app.client().searchMessages
Powered by Bolt
Bolt for Python
app.client.search_messages
Powered by Bolt
Bolt for JavaScript
app.client.search.messages
Powered by Bolt

Content types

application/x-www-form-urlencoded
  • Rate limits

    Tier 2
  • Arguments

    ArgumentTypeDescription
    tokenRequired

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

    Examplexxxx-xxxxxxxxx-xxxx
    queryRequired
    string

    Search query.

    Examplepickleface
    count
    integer

    Number of items to return per page.

    Default: 20

    Example20
    cursor
    string

    Use this when getting results with cursormark pagination. For first call send * for subsequent calls, send the value of next_cursor returned in the previous call's results

    highlight
    boolean

    Pass a value of true to enable query highlight markers (see below).

    Exampletrue
    page
    integer

    Page number of results to return.

    Default: 1

    Example2
    sort
    string

    Return matches sorted by either score or timestamp.

    Default: score

    Exampletimestamp
    sort_dir
    string

    Change sort direction to ascending (asc) or descending (desc).

    Default: desc

    Exampleasc
    team_id
    string

    encoded team id to search in, required if org token is used

    ExampleT1234567890

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

    Example responses

    Common successful response

    Typical success response

    {
        "messages": {
            "matches": [
                {
                    "channel": {
                        "id": "C12345678",
                        "is_ext_shared": false,
                        "is_mpim": false,
                        "is_org_shared": false,
                        "is_pending_ext_shared": false,
                        "is_private": false,
                        "is_shared": false,
                        "name": "general",
                        "pending_shared": []
                    },
                    "iid": "cb64bdaa-c1e8-4631-8a91-0f78080113e9",
                    "permalink": "https://hitchhikers.slack.com/archives/C12345678/p1508284197000015",
                    "team": "T12345678",
                    "text": "The meaning of life the universe and everything is 42.",
                    "ts": "1508284197.000015",
                    "type": "message",
                    "user": "U2U85N1RV",
                    "username": "roach"
                },
                {
                    "channel": {
                        "id": "C12345678",
                        "is_ext_shared": false,
                        "is_mpim": false,
                        "is_org_shared": false,
                        "is_pending_ext_shared": false,
                        "is_private": false,
                        "is_shared": false,
                        "name": "random",
                        "pending_shared": []
                    },
                    "iid": "9a00d3c9-bd2d-45b0-988b-6cff99ae2a90",
                    "permalink": "https://hitchhikers.slack.com/archives/C12345678/p1508795665000236",
                    "team": "T12345678",
                    "text": "The meaning of life the universe and everything is 101010",
                    "ts": "1508795665.000236",
                    "type": "message",
                    "user": "",
                    "username": "robot overlord"
                }
            ],
            "pagination": {
                "first": 1,
                "last": 2,
                "page": 1,
                "page_count": 1,
                "per_page": 20,
                "total_count": 2
            },
            "paging": {
                "count": 20,
                "page": 1,
                "pages": 1,
                "total": 2
            },
            "total": 2
        },
        "ok": true,
        "query": "The meaning of life the universe and everything"
    }
    Common error response

    Typical error response

    {
        "error": "No query passed",
        "ok": false
    }

    This method returns messages matching a search query.

    The matching items are returned as hashes containing contextual messages. This response envelope also contains paging and result information.

    When using a user token with this method, search results will be affected by the search filters set in the Slack UI.

    When a search query matches multiple messages in close proximity to one another, only one match will be returned. Using the highlights=true parameter, you can identify which items match the query, and which are provided for context only.

    Note: Previously, search results might be returned with matches on the previous, previous_2, next, or next_2 messages, but not the message itself. However, the previous, previous_2, next, or next_2 fields are now deprecated and will no longer be provided in responses beginning December 3, 2020.

    If more than one search term is provided, users and channels are also matched at a lower priority. To specifically search within a channel, group, or DM, add in:channel_name, in:group_name, or in:@UserID. To search for messages from a specific speaker, add from:@UserID or from:botname.

    For IM results, the type is set to "im" and the channel.name property contains the user ID of the target user. For private group results, type is set to "group".

    All search methods support the highlight parameter. If specified, the matching query terms will be marked up in the results so that clients may replace them with appropriate highlighting markers (e.g. <span class="highlight"></span>). The UTF-8 markers we use are:

    start: "\xEE\x80\x80"; # U+E000 (private-use)
    end  : "\xEE\x80\x81"; # U+E001 (private-use)
    

    Please note that the max count value is 100 and the max page value is 100.

    Errors

    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.

    ErrorDescription
    not_authed

    No authentication token provided.

    invalid_auth

    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.

    account_inactive

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

    token_revoked

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

    token_expired

    Authentication token has expired

    no_permission

    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.

    org_login_required

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

    ekm_access_denied

    Administrators have suspended the ability to post a message.

    missing_scope

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

    not_allowed_token_type

    The token type used in this request is not allowed.

    method_deprecated

    The method has been deprecated.

    deprecated_endpoint

    The endpoint has been deprecated.

    two_factor_setup_required

    Two factor setup is required.

    enterprise_is_restricted

    The method cannot be called from an Enterprise.

    is_bot

    This method cannot be called by a bot user.

    team_access_not_granted

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

    invalid_arguments

    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.

    invalid_arg_name

    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.

    invalid_array_arg

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

    invalid_charset

    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.

    invalid_form_data

    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.

    invalid_post_type

    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.

    missing_post_type

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

    team_added_to_org

    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.

    invalid_json [hidden]The method was called via a `POST` request with `Content-Type` `application/json`, but the body was not valid JSON.
    json_not_object [hidden]The method was called via a `POST` request a valid JSON body, but the JSON value was not an object.
    ratelimited

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

    accesslimited

    Access to this method is limited on the current network

    request_timeout

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

    upgrade_required [hidden]The calling application needs to be upgraded.
    service_unavailable

    The service is temporarily unavailable

    fatal_error

    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.

    internal_error

    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.

    Warnings

    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.

    WarningDescription
    missing_charset

    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.

    superfluous_charset

    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.

    Arguments

    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

    Was this page helpful?