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Create and manage legal holds

In an Enterprise Grid organization, anyone with the Compliance Admin system role can place a legal hold on specific members to preserve their messages and files in Slack.

What to expect

  • When you create a legal hold, you can include message and file data from all conversations or just the direct messages a member is a part of.
  • With a hold in place, messages and files sent by all members in a conversation will be saved regardless of retention settings or if members edit or delete any content.
  • Data subject to a legal hold can be accessed from an export or using the Discovery API.
  • If  a channel included in hold is deleted, message and file data won't be saved. 
  • Messages and files from Slack Connect channels or direct messages are not included in legal holds.

Tip: If you’re an Org or Workspace Primary Owner, learn how to assign members to the Compliance Admin system role.


Create a legal hold

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
  3. Click Security in the left sidebar, then select Legal Holds.
  4. Click Create Legal Hold.
  5. Name the hold, then add a description if you’d like.
  6. Select which conversations to include, then add an optional date range.
  7. Click Add Custodians. Select the members you’d like to include in the hold, then click Add.
  8. Click Save.


Edit a legal hold

You can edit a legal hold to make changes to the name, description, or which members are included as custodians.

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
  3. Click Security in the left sidebar, then select Legal Holds.
  4. Click the  three dots icon next to a legal hold, then select Edit details.
  5. Edit the name or description, or add or remove members in the Custodians section.
  6. Click Save.

Note: It’s not possible to edit the date range or adjust which conversations are included for a legal hold.

Release a legal hold

  1. From your desktop, click your workspace name in the top left.
  2. Select Settings & administration from the menu, then click Organization settings.
  3. Click Security in the left sidebar, then select Legal Holds.
  4. Click the  three dots icon next to a legal hold, then select Release.
  5. Click Release to confirm.

Tip: If needed, you can reactivate a released legal hold. Click the  three dots icon next to a hold, then select Activate.

Who can use this feature?
  • Members with the Compliance Admin system role
  • Available on the Enterprise Grid plan

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