Managing channels

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Channels are spaces where users in your account can chat with each other on Zoom. They are mainly used for a specific project, team, or topic. Public channels are open for anyone to join, while private channels have invite-only membership.

Account owners and admins can view, create, and manage channels using the web portal. You can also assign and remove individual users and user groups to channels; and use IdP attributes to assign individual users and IM groups to channels, or automatically assign users to channels based on a SAML attribute.

  • Channels allow you to create private or public chat groups where you can send messages, files, images; and start an instant meeting with channel members.
  • Groups allow you to assign users in your account to groups that display in the Contacts tab (under All Contacts) in the desktop client and mobile app.

Note: When using the web portal, you can create channels with a maximum of 1,000 members.

Important: Starting on June 1, 2022, our engineering team will begin the migration and enablement of the New Admin Experience on all accounts. There won’t be any downtime while the migration processes, but the day the New Admin Experience is enabled on your account may vary. Your account owner will receive an email when it completes. In the New Admin Experience, IM Groups have merged with User Groups and appears as Groups. Refer to article about the old experience if the New Admin Experience hasn't been enabled on your account yet.

This article covers:

Prerequisites for managing channels

  • Paid Zoom account
  • Chat enabled (Allow users to chat with others setting in Account Settings)
  • Account owners, admins, or custom role with the chat channels privilege

Important: Users should be on client version 5.5.0 or higher to ensure accurate channel notifications and avoid compatibility issues. For older versions of Zoom (5.4.9 or before), system messages reflecting updates made to channels by the account admin will name the channel admin as the user responsible for those changes (e.g. “Gloria Song removed Ashley Smith from this channel”). Newer versions (5.5.0 or later) will show a generic “Your account admin” instead of the channel admin’s name (e.g. “Your account admin removed Ashley Smith”). This is one of many inaccuracies that will occur if updates are not made.

To show accurate system messages:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation panel, click Account Management then Account Settings.
  3. Click the Meeting tab.
  4. Under Admin Options, enable Require users to update the client, and select the latest Zoom version.

Channel management in the web portal versus desktop client

You can manage channels in the web portal or desktop client.

Use the web portal if you want to:

  • Create a channel by adding members from a user group. Changes made to this user group (for example, adding or removing users) will be reflected in the channel you create.
  • Prevent users in certain groups from creating public and/or private channels.
  • Create several channels by selecting Groups. Changes made to these user groups (for example, adding or removing users) will be reflected in the channels you create.
    Note: You can still add individual members after creating channels in the web portal.

Use the desktop client if you want to:

  • Create a channel by adding members from another internal channel.
  • Create a channel by specifying individual members.

How to create a channel by adding members from a group

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Zoom Chat Management then Channels.
  3. Click Create Channel.
  4. Select Create a single channel and add members of Groups.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Enter the required information. See the channel settings section for more information.
  7. Click Continue.
  8. Specify an existing user group to be part of this channel. Changes made to this group (for example, adding or removing users) will be reflected in the channel you create.
  9. Under Channel Admin, specify the channel admin. The channel admin will be able to change the channel's name, description, and settings.
  10. Under Posting Permissions, select which channel members are allowed to post in the channel.
    • Everyone: All channel members can post in the channel.
    • Admin only: Only the admin can post in the channel.
    • Admin, plus specific people: Only the admin and specified members can post in the channel.
  11. Click Done.

Note: When creating a new channel, the channel will automatically inherit storage retention policies from the account or group level. You can only change storage retention policies for a specific channel when you are editing a channel and if it's unlocked and enabled at the account level.

How to create several channels by selecting groups

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation panel, click Zoom Chat Management then Channels.
  3. Click Create Channel.
  4. Choose Select Groups and create channels for each of them.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Select one of more groups to create channels from. A new channel is created for each group you select.
    Note: If the group's name is also in use as a channel name, the web portal will require you to resolve the naming conflict by entering a new channel name. Click Continue after resolving the conflicts.
  7. Enter the required information:
    • Channel Name: By default, the channel names are the same as the names of the group you previously selected.
    • Type: Select the channel type.
      • Public: Anyone in your organization can join your channel.
      • Private: Only invited people can join your channel.
    • Posting Permissions, select which channel members are allowed to post in the channel.
      • Everyone: All channel members can post in the channel.
      • Admin only: Only the admin can post in the channel.
      • Admin, plus specific people: Only the admin and specified members can post in the channel.
    • Can Add External Users by: Specify if users not in your organization can be added to the channel.
      Notes: If you enable this option, make sure to review the channel privileges of external users.
        • No one: Don't allow anyone to add external users to the channel.
        • All channel members: Members internal and external to your organization can add external members.
        • Members in your organization: Only members internal to your organization can add external members.
    • New Member Can See History: If checked, new members can see messages and files sent before they were members.
    • Channel Admin: Specify the channel admin. The channel admin will be able to change the channel's name, description, and settings.
  8. Click Done.

How to add more members or groups to a channel

After creating a channel using one of the methods above, you can add members to the channel who are not part of the user groups you selected. You can also add more groups to the channel.

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Zoom Chat Management then Channels.
  3. Click the name of the channel.
  4. Click Add Members.
  5. Specify the members or groups to add.
    Note: Changes made to these user groups (for example, adding or removing users) will be reflected in the channels you create.
  6. Click Save.

How to edit channel settings

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Zoom Chat Management then Channels.
  3. In the right-side column, click the ellipses button , then click Edit.
  4. Change the following settings:
    • Channel Name: Enter a display name to help others identify your channel. By default, the channel name is the same as the name of the group you previously selected.
    • Channel Type: Select the channel type.
      • Public: Anyone in your organization can join your channel.
      • Private: Only invited people can join your channel.
    • Privacy
      • External users can be added: If selected, users not in your organization can be added to the channel.
        Notes: If you enable this option, make sure to review the channel privileges of external users.
        • By all channel members: Members internal and external to your organization can add external members.
        • By members in your organization: Only members internal to your organization can add external members.
      • New members will see previous messages and files: If selected, new members can see messages and files sent before they were members.
    • Posting Permission: Select which channel members are allowed to post in the channel.
      • Everyone: All channel members can post in the channel.
      • Admin only: Only the admin can post in the channel.
      • Admin, plus specific people: Only the admin and specified members can post in the channel.
    • Cloud Storage Retention: If enabled and not locked at the account level, you can specify how long messages and files are saved to the Zoom cloud. Channel-specific cloud storage periods will override any account or group-level retention settings.
  5. Click Save.

How to delete a channel

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Zoom Chat Management then Channels.
  3. In the right-side column, click the ellipses button , then click Delete.

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