How to Remove and Delete Message Reactions in Slack Workspace

As a regular Slack user, you must be familiar with message reactions—those little emoji that people can add to messages to quickly convey their thoughts or feelings. While reactions can lighten up conversations and make communication more fun and engaging, sometimes you may want to remove a reaction you have added or delete reactions from a message. Here are some best practices on managing reactions in Slack.

Why Would You Want to Remove or Delete Reactions?

There are a few reasons why you may want to remove or delete reactions from Slack messages:

  • The reaction is no longer relevant or appropriate: Perhaps you reacted too quickly and want to remove the reaction. Or the context of the conversation has changed, making the original reaction irrelevant.
  • To declutter busy channels: If a message has too many reactions, it can clutter up a channel, especially in public channels with high volumes of messages. Removing some reactions helps keep conversations tidy.
  • To focus attention: Removing extraneous reactions can help highlight the most important or relevant reactions and focus attention appropriately.
  • By accident: Sometimes reactions can be added accidentally by hovering over a message. Deleting these unintended reactions helps avoid confusion.

How to Remove Your Own Reactions

If you’ve added a reaction to a message and want to remove it, just hover over the reaction and click on it. This will instantly remove your reaction.

On mobile, tap and hold the reaction you want to remove and select the option to remove your reaction.

Removing your own reaction is easy and straightforward whether you’re on desktop or mobile.

How to Delete Reactions as a Message Author

If someone has reacted to your message, you can delete reactions as the original message author:

On desktop:

  • Hover over the message and click the “More actions” menu (the three dots icon)
  • Select “Delete reaction” to remove all reactions

On mobile:

  • Tap and hold the message to select it
  • Tap “Delete reaction” to remove all reactions

This will instantly remove all reactions that have been added to your message. Do this judiciously as deleting all reactions could disrupt the flow of a conversation.

How Admins Can Disable Reactions

If reactions start to get out of hand and affect productivity in your Slack workspace, Workspace Owners and Admins can restrict reactions in a channel or even across the entire workspace.

Here are the options to disable reactions:

  • Disable for a single channel: Admins can head to Channel Settings > Additional Options > Reactions and uncheck “Allow reactions”
  • Disable workspace-wide: Admins can go to Workspace Settings > Messages and uncheck “Allow reactions”

With the above options, admins can selectively disable reactions to curb reaction spam and declutter conversations.

How to Delete Reactions as an Admin

In addition to disabling reactions, Slack admins can also actively delete reactions that have already been added to messages.

To delete reactions workspace-wide:

  • Go to Workspace Settings > Messages
  • Scroll down to “Message deletion and reactions”
  • Check the box next to “Allow admins to delete any reaction”

Once enabled, admins can delete reactions by:

On desktop:

  • Hover over a message and click the “More actions” menu
  • Select “Delete reaction” to remove all existing reactions

On mobile:

  • Tap and hold a message to select it
  • Tap “Delete reaction” to remove all reactions

This allows admins to moderate reactions in the workspace and keep conversations tidy.

Should You Remove Reactions Added by Others?

Generally, you should not remove reactions added by other users unless you are an admin taking steps to moderate your Slack workspace. Reactions allow people to quickly interact with messages so removing reactions could disrupt conversations.

However, if a reaction is offensive or inappropriate, you should notify your Slack admin to have the reaction removed. Workplace harassment has no place on Slack or any professional communication platform.

Best Practices for Using Reactions

To keep your Slack reactions productive and not disruptive, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Use reactions judiciously: Don’t overwhelm conversations with reactions for every single message. Reserve reactions for when they are truly useful.
  • Don’t remove reactions unless necessary: Allow others to react as they see fit in most cases. Only remove your own reactions.
  • Disable if reactions become disruptive: If reactions start to impede productivity, admins should restrict reactions instead of deleting them.
  • Moderate thoughtfully: Admins should moderate reactions and disable them if necessary, but avoid deleting reactions unless offensive or harassing.

Key Takeaways

  • Reactions can enhance conversations but can also clutter channels if overused.
  • You can easily remove reactions you have added by clicking the reaction again.
  • Message authors can delete all reactions from their own messages.
  • Admins can restrict reactions channel-wide or workspace-wide.
  • Best practice is to use reactions thoughtfully and only remove them if necessary.

Following these tips will allow you to keep reactions constructive additions to conversations instead of disruptive clutter in your Slack workspace.